How to Change the Mac Address of Your Laptop

By Dustin Thornton

A MAC address stands for media access control address and is a unique alphanumeric number assigned to a network adapter when a manufacturer produces it. The network adapters MAC address is an identifier to recognize that specific device and is essentially a digital fingerprint for your computer. Although it's not possible to alter the MAC address of your network card, as it's hardwired to the card when it was manufactured, you can "spoof" a different MAC address thus concealing your computer on the Internet. Doing so requires altering the registry slightly.

Step 1

Press the "Windows" key on your keyboard and "R" key at the same time to open the "Run" window.

Step 2

Enter "cmd" into the "Run" window and click "OK." The Windows command prompt will appear.

Step 3

Input "ipconfig /all" into the command prompt and press "Enter." The current MAC address is listed next to "Physical Address." Make a note of the current MAC address.

Step 4

Input "net config rdr" and press "Enter." Record the number in brackets that follows "NetBT_Tcpip_" or simply leave the command prompt window open for easy reference. You will need this number to edit the registry and change the visible MAC address of the computer.

Step 5

Open a new "Run" window and type in "regedit." Click "OK." The Windows registry editor will appear.

Step 6

Navigate through the Windows registry using the paths in the left window pane and locate the following registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}Note there are several sub-keys below this key that resemble "0000," "0001" and "0002."

Step 7

Click on each of the sub-keys below the selected key and search for one with a "NetCfgInstanceId" value in the right window pane that matches the value that you recorded in Step 4.

Step 8

Click "Edit" in the file menu once you find the correct registry key. Scroll down and select "New" then click on "String Value." A new value will appear in the right window pane called "New Value #1."

Step 9

Right-click "New Value #1" and select "Rename." Input "NetworkAddress" as the name and press "Enter."

Step 10

Right-click "NetworkAddress" and select "Modify." Input the desired new MAC address for your laptop into the "Value data" field and click "OK." The Mac address can contain letters and numbers, should be exactly 12 digits and should not contain dashes when you enter it into the registry.

Step 11

Exit any open windows and restart your computer for the changes to take effect.