Office of Student Life

What's a MAC Address and how do I find it?

January 16, 2021

Just like each house has it's own postal address, every device connected on a network has a Media Access Control (MAC) address, that uniquely identifies it.

The MAC address is tied to the Network Interface Controller (NIC), a subcomponent of the larger device. The NIC is where you make your physical connection to the network, by plugging in an Ethernet cable or connecting to a WiFi signal.

What does a MAC address look like?

The MAC address is a 12 digit hexadecimal number that is most often displayed with a colon or hypen separating every two digits (an octet), making it easier to read.

Example: A MAC address of 2c549188c9e3 is typically displayed as 2C:54:91:88:C9:E3 or 2c-54-91-88-c9-e3.

Can a device have more than one MAC address?

Yes. For each network interface in your device, there is a unique MAC address associated with it. So if your laptop has both an Ethernet port and Wi-Fi built-in, you will see two MAC addresses in the system configuration.

How do I find my MAC address?

In general, you will find MAC addresses in the system settings, general information, or network settings/status of your device. Occasionally, the MAC address is printed on a label affixed to the bottom of a device.

It is important to note that manufacturers sometimes use different names to describe the MAC address, such as Hardware ID, Physical Address, Wireless ID, Wi-Fi Address, etc.

For Windows Computers

  1. Press Start + R on your keyboard
  2. In the Run window, type in cmd and click OK
  3. At the command prompt, type ipconfig /all and hit Enter
  4. The MAC address for each interface will be listed as Physical Address
    • For wired interfaces, look for the term Ethernet or Gigabit in the name or description
    • For wireless interfaces, look for the terms Wireless or Wi-Fi in the name or description

For Mac Computers

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Click on the Network icon
  3. Select the interface you wish to use, then click Advanced...
  4. The MAC address is listed under the Hardware tab

For Roku Players

Tip: Some models have the MAC address printed on a label on the bottom of the device.

  1. From the Home screen, select Settings
  2. Select Network
  3. Select About
  4. The MAC address is displayed on the right side under Ethernet MAC address

For Apple TVs

Tip: Some models have the MAC addresses printed on the UPC label on the product packaging.

  1. From the main screen, click on Settings
  2. Select Network
  3. The MAC addresses will be displayed next to Ethernet Address or Wi-Fi Address

For Amazon Fire TV

  1. From the Home screen, scroll to the right and select Settings
  2. Select My Fire TV
  3. Select About
  4. Select Network
  5. The MAC addresses should be displayed on the right hand side

For Smart TVs

Due to the large amount of makes and models available, we are unable to list specific instructions. Please consult your TV's owner manual or contact your manufacturer for assistance.

You can also try searching online for "[tv brand] smart tv support", however we've included the most popular brands below:

Samsung Support

LG Support

Sony Support

TCL Support

Vizio Support

For Nintendo Switch

  1. From the Home screen, select System Settings
  2. Select Internet
    • For wireless connections
      1. Select Internet Settings
      2. Scroll to the very bottom to see the MAC address
    • For wired connections (assumes USB LAN adapter and TV dock)
      1. Select Internet Settings
      2. Select Wired Connection
      3. The MAC address should be displayed at the bottom

For Playstation 3 (PS3)

  1. Power on your PS3 without a disc
  2. From the home screen, select Settings
  3. Select Network Settings
  4. Select Settings and Connection Status List
  5. Scroll down to see the MAC addresses

For Playstation 4 (PS4)

  1. Power on your PS4 without a disc
  2. Bring up the toolbar and select Settings
  3. Select System
  4. Select System Information
  5. The MAC addresses should be displayed on screen

For Playstation 5 (PS5)

  1. From the main screen, select Settings (gear icon)
  2. Select Network
  3. Select Connection Status
  4. Select View Connection Status
  5. The MAC addresses shoudl be displayed near the top of the page

For Xbox 360

  1. From the Xbox Dashboard, scroll to settings and select the System tile
  2. Select Network Settings
  3. Select the interface your wish to use. then click Configure Network
  4. Select the Addtional Settings tab
  5. Select Advanced Settings
  6. The MAC address should be listed on the left hand side

For Xbox One

  1. Go to My Xbox from the Xbox Dashboard and select Settings
  2. Select Network
  3. Select Advanced Settings
  4. The MAC addresses should be listed on the right hand side

For Xbox Series X/S

  1. Press the Xbox button on your controller
  2. Select Settings under the Profile & System section
  3. Highlight General and select Network Settings
  4. Select Advanced Settings
  5. Select IP settings
  6. The MAC addresses should be listed on the right hand side

Ready to Register Your MAC Address?

For wired connections, use our device registration form.

For wireless connections, visit our device registration portal.

How is a MAC address different from an IP address?

Both MAC addresses and IP addresses are used to identify your device on a network, but for different purposes.

Speaking in automobile terms, MAC addresses are like Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs), which are unique to each vehicle. IP addresses are like license plates, which can be reassigned or transferred to different vehicles (VINs).

Whereas your computer (with MAC address X) may have an IP of today, if you were to remove your computer from the network, that IP address could then be used by your Roku (with MAC address Y).

MAC addresses are used to route data within the same local network. You need an IP address if you want your data to transfer to other networks, such as the Internet.

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