There are many reasons why you may want to find your device MAC address, including, identifying and filtering specific devices on a network, locating a stolen device, fixing a network issue, or recovering data. A MAC Address short for Media Access Control Address is a unique, alphanumeric identifier assigned to every network device (such as Ethernet, Bluetooth, or Wireless card) that connects to a network.
MAC address often referred to as hardware address or physical address, is a 12 digit hexadecimal number embedded into the device’s network interface card by manufacturers. These are internationally unique identifiers, two devices can’t have the same physical address. There are 48-bit long and made up of 12 characters (6 pairs), which are separated by colons or hyphens (e.g. 00:1B:C8:8B:00:87).
MAC Address vs IP Address
Every device on the network has two types of addresses: MAC address and IP address. Since both MAC addresses and IP addresses are used to identify a network device, people often confuse one with the other. MAC Address identifies the devices on a network while IP address helps you to identify a network connection.
MAC address is permanently assigned to your device by the manufacturer while IP address is provided by the Internet Service Provider, which changes depending on your location. When a data packet is transferred from one device to another, it needs both addresses to get to its destination.
This guide will discuss the five different methods to find the MAC addresses using Settings, PowerShell, Command Prompt, Control Panel, and System Information in the Window 11 system.
Finding MAC Address using Settings in Windows 11
You can find the Physical address for a network adaptor in Windows 11 using the Settings app. To view a network adapter’s MAC address, use these steps:
First, open Settings on Windows 11 from the Start menu or by pressing the shortcut keysWin+I on your keyboard.
Next, open ‘Network & internet’ on the left panel and click ‘Wi-Fi’ or ‘Ethernet’ based on your network connection and choice. If you’re looking for the MAC Address of your Wi-Fi adapter, click ‘Wi-Fi’ or if you want to find the MAC Address of your Ethernet adapter (LAN connection). We are selecting ‘Wi-Fi’ here.
On the Wi-Fi settings page, click ‘Wi-Fi Properties’.
In the Wi-Fi properties, scroll down the page and you’ll find the ‘Physical address (MAC)’ at the bottom of the page. As you can see your MAC address is represented in six groups of two hexadecimal digits separated by colons, which include only the numbers ‘0-9’ and letters ‘A-F’.
You will also find other information about the network adapter here, including DNS address, IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, manufacturer information, and driver version.
Finding MAC Address using Control Panel in Windows 11
Another easy way to determine your device’s MAC address is by using the Control Panel. Follow these steps:
First, search for ‘Control panel’ in the Windows search box and open it from the result.
From the Control Panel Window, click the ‘View network status and tasks’ link under the ‘Network and Internet’ category.
In the Network and Sharing Center window, click on the ‘Change adapter settings’ link on the left panel to see the list of all the network adapters installed on your computer, including the virtual ones.
Here, right-click on the network adaptor you want to know the MAC address for and select ‘Status’ or just double-click on it. Here, we want to see the MAC address of the Wi-Fi adaptor, so we’re selecting Wi-Fi.
It will open the network Status dialog box. There, click the ‘Details’ button.
This in turn will open up another dialog box called ‘Network Connection Details’. Here, you can find your MAC address (Physical Address).
If you right-click on an unplugged or disconnected network, the ‘Status’ option would be greyed out because it’s not only available for a connected network.
This method only works for the currently connected network. If a network is unplugged or disconnected, you would have to use one of the following methods to find its MAC address.
Finding MAC address via System Information in Windows 11
Windows System Information (msinfo32) is a utility that gathers and displays diagnostic and troubleshooting information related to your computer system’s operating system, hardware, and software environment. It’s also possible to find the MAC address of a network adapter using the System Information app.
Search for the ‘System Information’ in the Search bar and click the top result to open the app. Or, press Win+R and type msinfo32 in the Run command and press Enter.
In the System Information app, expand the ‘Components’ branch from the navigation bar.
Under the Component section, expand the ‘Network’ branch and select the ‘Adapter’ option.
At the right section of the window, scroll down to the network adapter you want and you would see the MAC address as shown below.
Finding All MAC addresses using Command Prompt in Windows 11
Another quickest way to determine the MAC address of your computer is through the command prompt, which only requires a few steps and a command. This method will help you find the MAC address for all your NIC adaptors (network adaptors – wired and wireless) including virtual machines in your Windows 11 PC.
Search for ‘cmd’ or ‘command prompt’ in the Windows search box and open the first result to launch the Command prompt. Alternatively, open the Run command (Windows key + R), enter ‘cmd’, and click ‘OK’.
In the command prompt window, type the following command and press Enter.
ipconfig /all is a useful command that lists your computer’s current TCP/IP network configuration information about each network device including their MAC addresses.
There is another command you can use to get only the MAC addresses of your network adaptors without any extra information.
To list only the MAC addresses of all active network adaptors, enter the below command and press Enter:
This command only displays the physical addresses and their transport name. But it is a bit confusing to know which address is for which.
So let’s add the switch ‘/v’ to enables the verbose output which displays connection names and adaptor names in addition to their physical addresses:
Or, you can use this command instead to show all the MAC addresses of the active adaptors in a list:
getmac /v /fo list
Finding MAC address using PowerShell
Another command-line application that can be used to find the Physical addresses in Windows 11 system is Windows PowerShell.
First, search for PowerShell and click the top result to open the app.
In the Windows PowerShell window type the below command and press Enter.
This will list the MAC addresses of all active network adaptors configured on your Windows 11 device as shown below.
You can also use commands getmac and ipconfig /all detailed in the previous method to determine your MAC addresses.
Finding MAC addresses of All the Devices in Your Network
You can determine the MAC address of remote computers connected to the same network using ARP (Address Resolution Protocol). The Address Resolution Protocol is a communication protocol used to discover the fixed physical machine (MAC) address associated with the Internet Protocol (IP) address.
To do this first, you need to open the command prompt and run the following command to test the connectivity between your computer and your router:
This command will send 4 packets of data to the router and you will receive 4 in response. This command is optional, you can also just run the next command without running the above command.
Then, run the below command:
This command will list all the IP addresses and their associated MAC addresses (Physical Address), and allocation type (whether dynamic or static) in your connected network.