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How to enable random MAC address for Wi-Fi on Windows 10

You can enable an option to send random physical addresses when using Wi-Fi, and here's how and why you should do it on Windows 10.

Windows 10 random MAC address

On Windows 10, even if you are not connected to a wireless network, the device is constantly sending a signal to find networks around the area to make them available at the time you need to connect.

The problem is that the signal includes the unique media access control (MAC) address (also referred as the physical hardware address) of your computer, and sending out the hardware address can allow some places, such as stores, public areas, and shopping malls to track your location in the specific area.

If you want to make it more difficult for people to track your movements as the device scans and connects to a Wi-Fi network, Windows 10 includes an option to send random hardware addresses. However, this option is only available for hardware that supports the feature. If the network adapter doesn’t support the randomize feature, you won’t see the option in the Settings app.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to always use a random MAC address for your Wi-Fi adapter on Windows 10.

Enable random MAC address for specific Wi-Fi network

To use random hardware addresses for a specific Wi-Fi network, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on Network & Internet.

  3. Click on Wi-Fi.

  4. Click on Manage known networks option.

  5. Select the Wi-Fi network.

  6. Click the Properties button.

  7. Turn on the Use random hardware addresses toggle switch.

  8. Select the On or Change daily option (as necessary).

Once you complete the steps, the device will use a random MAC address as it connects to the wireless network.

Enable random MAC address for all Wi-Fi networks

To use random hardware addresses for all Wi-Fi networks, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Network & Internet.

  3. Click on Wi-Fi.

  4. Turn on the Use random hardware addresses toggle switch.

  5. Select the On or Change daily option (as necessary).

After you complete the steps, the computer will use a random hardware address while scans for networks and connect to any Wi-Fi access point.