Random MAC Address is a feature of Windows and Android devices. The option is available under the Wi-Fi settings of the device, and if enabled, it will block the network provider from tracking your location and stop targeted ads. If you are serious about your privacy when using your Windows 10/11 computer or Android phone on a public Wi-Fi network, the Random MAC Address feature will protect you from snoopers.

Random MAC Address (Random Hardware Addresses in Windows) feature changes the device’s MAC address randomly each time a computer or smartphone connects to a network. So, it is hard to track a device using its MAC Address. Another advantage of it is that you can connect your device to networks even if its MAC address is blacklisted.


ALSO READ: 6 ways to fix Wi-Fi connecting issues on Windows 11/10 PCs

Enable random MAC address in Windows and Android devices

What is MAC Addresses?

MAC (Media Access Control) Address is a unique identifier of a device and set to the network adapter of the device for communication over a network. If you connect your laptop or smartphone to a public Wi-Fi network, an intruder can track your location with the help of the MAC Address. The new Random MAC Address feature can stop this activity.

How to Enable Random MAC Addresses on Windows 10 PCs?

1. Open Settings and click on Network & Internet.

2. Click on Wi-Fi.

3. Under the Use random hardware addresses option, select ON.

enable random MAC Address on Windows 10
How to enable random MAC Address on Windows 10

How to Enable Random MAC Addresses or Random Hardware Addresses in Windows 11?

1. In Windows 11, go to Settings and select the Network & Internet option.

2. Next, tap on Wi-Fi drop-down menu.

3. Now, turn on the Random hardware addresses toggle.

Enable random hardware address in windows 11

The above settings will apply to all networks. So if you want to use random hardware addresses for a specific network, for example, to disable it for your home network, follow the below instruction.

4. Open the Settings and choose Network & Internet option.

5. In Wi-Fi settings, select Manage known networks.

6. Tap on a Wi-Fi network, and choose the setting you want for Random hardware addresses.

Why Random Hardware Addresses Option Missing on my PC?

The Random hardware addresses option will not be available on all Windows 10 and 11 PCs. If the Wi-Fi hardware support it, the feature will be available in the Wi-Fi settings of your PC.

How to Turn on Random MAC Address on Android 10 and Later Devices?

1. Go to Settings and tap on the Network & Internet option.

2. Next, long tap on the Wi-Fi option, and in the next window, tap on the Settings (cog icon) next to the network name.

3. Now, tap on Advanced and select Privacy.

4. Next, choose the Use random MAC address option.

How to turn on random MAC Address on Android 10 and later devices

So, this is how to enable the Random MAC Addresses/Random Hardware Addresses feature on your Windows 10/11 PCs and smartphones running on Android 10 or later. This feature not only prevents tracking your location but also helps you to stay away from targeted ads and bloatware when you are on a public Wi-Fi network.

The Random hardware addresses option is the best feature for personal PCs connecting to public Wi-Fi. However, if you are in an office environment that relies on MAC to IP address, this feature can be problematic.

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Kannan is a computer and Android enthusiast, a blogger by passion and a tech freak. His always ready-to-help attitude, knowledge and hard work is what drives him.