Changing Your MAC Address Using Macchanger

Macchanger is a free utility used to change the MAC address of the network adapter. Macchanger can randomly assign a MAC address or assign a specific MAC address of your choosing.


There are several instances changing the MAC address is necessary, but I use the utility while pentesting a wireless network with MAC filtering enabled and have to assign an approved MAC address to the wireless adapter.


The Macchanger utility is included with Kali Linux, but to install the application, update it, or verify your using the most up to date version run the following command. In the screen shot that follows the install command confirms that the newest version is already installed.

#apt-get install macchanger



Help with Macchanger can be accessed by running the following two commands.

#macchanger --help

#man macchanger

Assign a Random MAC Address

I’m using an Alfa USB wireless adapter and I will run the following commands to verify the adapters interface and the permanent MAC address.


#ifconfig wlan1

Macchanger can also be used to verify the manufacture burned in MAC address by running the following command.

#macchanger--show wlan1

Change the MAC address using one of the following commands.

#macchanger -r wlan1

#macchanger -A wlan1

Error Message

If you get an error message the MAC address can’t be changed and the adapter is busy take the adapter down and then rerun Macchanger. (Only the OUI portion of the MAC address is shown in the screen shot and the last 3 octets are blocked out)


#ifconfig wlan1 down 

#macchanger -A wlan1


Bring the interface back up and verify the MAC address is changed.

#ifconfig wlan1 up 

#macchanger --show wlan1


To return the MAC address to the vendor burned in address run the following command. You may have to take the interface down first.

#ifconfig wlan1 down

#macchanger --permanent wlan1

Assign a Specific MAC Address

The following command will assign a specific MAC address.

#macchanger --mac=aa:bb:cc:11:22:33 wlan1


Using the Macchanger GUI

If you’re not comfortable running commands there is a Macchanger GUI. A couple of commands will have to be run from the terminal window. One to install the Macchanger GUI application and the second to start the GUI application.

#apt-get install macchanger-gtk



After the GUI opens select the options to change the MAC address and click the Change MAC button.

As you can see Macchanger is a great utility to change the MAC address and is simple to use and offers a GUI application as well. Let me know any questions in the comments section below or share any commands you find easier to use with Macchanger, or pass along any other utilities you use to change the MAC address.

Thanks for visiting my blog and happy pentesting!


7 thoughts on “Changing Your MAC Address Using Macchanger

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  3. Hey, I tried changing my MAC using “macchanger -A wlan0” but when I try to connect to the Internet (“ifconfig wlan0 up” and then choosing a different network which I cancel and my system automatically connects to my current Wi-Fi network), the MAC address gets reverted back to the original MAC address. Why is that happening?

  4. I am having a similar problem. I bring down eth0 before running macchanger. The address changes to a new one but after the change in address, I can’t bring eth0 up again. If I force a reconnection using the network box at the upper right hand icon on the page, the address reverts back to the original one. The point is that once I change my mac address, I can’t get back on the internet since eth0 is no longer working. Any ideas?


  5. does not work on me this changer…….it says to me that **Could not change MAC: interface up or insufficient permissions: Operation not permitted** … can you tell how can make this to work

  6. Same problem here. Normally you would want to do a mac change before connecting to a network. But when you connect to a wifi mac reverts back to original. Tried literally everything. Macchanger, ifconfig hw ether, on 2 adapters. big fail..

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