Finding the MAC address of a device

I always for get how to do this, so I’m putting it on my website as a kind of aide memoire for myself.

Every hardware device that connects to a network has a unique hardware address known as a Media Access Control (MAC) address. This MAC address is used by network hardware such as routers and switches to send traffic to the correct device on the network.

Part of the TCP/IP network stack is the ARP service (Address Resolution Protocol) which resolves and tracks the TCP/IP and MAC address of the remote devices that you’re communicating with.

To find out the MAC address of a remote device:

  1. Open the MS-DOS prompt.
  2. Ping a remote device that you want to find the MAC address. e.g. “PING”


  3. Type “ARP -A”, and press Enter.
    (Returns all the entries in your ARP address translation table).
  4. Alternatively, type “ARP -A | FIND “” and press Enter.
    (Returns just the entry that you’re looking for).


  5. The MAC address is in the format xx-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx

Author: Richard Bishop

2 thoughts on “Finding the MAC address of a device”

  1. Linux method:
    ifconfig eth0 | grep HWaddr | awk ‘{print $5}’
    (eth0 is the interface)

    On OS X, ifconfig again usable, but you need to search for “ether”:
    ifconfig en0 | grep ether

    (same for Solaris and FreeBSD)

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