Changing MAC Address in macOS Big Sur & Monterey with spoof-mac
If you want to change your MAC address in macOS Monterey or Big Sur, you can use the traditional method to spoof a MAC address, or you can use a slightly easier approach by using a command line tool called spoof-mac. We’ll be covering the mac-spoof method here, which relies on HomeBrew.
For some quick background, your computers MAC address is unique and identifies it to connected networks, and some services use MAC addresses for filtering who or what is allowed onto a particular network. Additionally, some services use a MAC address to track a computer or device. And by the way, MAC in this case stands for Media Access Control, not to be confused with Mac which is short for Macintosh – but yes, this article will cover changing the MAC address on a Mac.
This is aimed at advanced users, as the majority of people have no need to change a MAC address or spoof one.
Using spoof-mac to Change a MAC Address in MacOS Monterey / Big Sur
Before beginning, you will need to install Homebrew on the Mac if you have not done so already. Assuming that’s already done, launch Terminal app to get started.
- From Terminal app, install mac-spoof with HomeBrew
- Option-click on the wi-fi menu bar item in MacOS to get the interface name (typically en0, sometimes en1)
- Temporarily disconnect from wi-fi by going to the Wi-Fi menu and toggling the current Wi-F network so that it’s not longer connected
- At the command line, use the following mac-spoof command to generate a random MAC address and change the network interface at en0 to that (change en0 to en1 if applicable):
- Return to the wi-fi menu and now re-connect to Wi-Fi on the Mac, the new MAC address should immediately take effect
brew install spoof-mac
sudo spoof-mac randomize en0
The MAC address will remain changed until you either switch it back, or the Mac is rebooted.
Note that some users may find that only disconnecting from the active wi-fi network, changing the MAC address, then reconnecting to that network works, while others may find that temporarily disabling wi-fi, changing MAC address, then re-enabling wi-fi works. In testing, both worked on my particular MacBook Air, and FWIW disabling Wi-Fi is the more traditional approach.
This applies to the Mac computer of course, but interestingly enough, the latest versions of iOS and iPadOS offer a private wi-fi address feature on iPhone and iPad that is basically changing and randomizing the MAC address as well for those devices. Perhaps a similar privacy feature will arrive for the Mac eventually.
Whether or not this spoof-mac HomeBrew approach is easier than using the bundled command line tools to spoof a MAC address in Mac OS is up to you and your particular use case.
Why’d you change your MAC address? Do you intend to use this capability often? Do you use another approach to spoofing MAC addresses? Share your experiences, tips, and thoughts in the comments.