For better privacy, devices running Android 10 or later use a randomized Wi-Fi MAC address by default. In some cases, you might want to disable this feature. Here’s how to do it.
Why Disable the Random Wi-Fi MAC on Android?
For most people, it’s OK to leave randomized MAC addresses turned on. It’s a privacy and security feature that makes you harder to track.
One good reason to disable it, however, is if you use MAC filtering on your router. In this case, if your device uses a random MAC address, your router won’t be able to identify your device, and you won’t be able to use MAC-specific settings for your device.
Also, if you have your router configured to always assign a certain static IP address to a device on your local network, you’ll need to link that IP with a certain device’s MAC address.
How to Disable Randomized MAC Addresses on Android
It’s easy to switch a randomized MAC address on or off whenever you want. But before you do this, know that various Android models and versions use different names for certain Settings options. For example, a OnePlus phone says, “Wi-Fi & Network,” and a Samsung one says, “Connections,” but they both take you to the same Wi-Fi settings menu.
With that in mind, open the “Settings” app on your Android phone. On most phones, pull down from the top of your screen and tap the gear icon to open Settings. You can also open your apps list and tap “Settings.”
In Settings, tap “Wi-Fi & Network” (or “Connections” or “Network & Internet” depending on your device).
Next, tap “Wi-Fi” to view your Wi-Fi networks.
When you see your Wi-Fi network name in the list, tap the gear icon beside it.
Next, tap “Advanced.” Then tap “Privacy.”
On OnePlus and Pixel phones, select “Use device MAC.” If you use a Samsung device, tap “MAC address type” and choose “Phone MAC.” If your device is different than both of these, look for a similar option that says “MAC” and enable it.
That’s it! Exit Settings, and you’re done. Make sure that you follow this procedure for each Wi-Fi network where you want to use the phone’s actual MAC address.
If you use an iPhone or iPad, your device also randomizes the MAC address. Luckily, you can turn that option off on your Apple devices, too.
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