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What is my IP address or MAC address and how do I find it?

These are two settings which help networks to identify your computer. The IP address (IP means Internet Protocol) can change every time you connect to a network and is presented as a short series of numbers separated by dots, for example:

The MAC address (MAC in this case stands for Media Access Controller) is a number which is unique to your computer. It is sometimes called the Physical address and takes the form of six sets of two characters separated by colons or dashes, such as:




To find these addresses on Windows:

  1. Open DOS command prompt as follows:
    • Click Start the start button and type cmd into the search box.
    • Press Enter. The DOS prompt then appears.
  2. In the DOS Prompt window, type the command ipconfig /all
  3. if that does not work then try winipcfg
  4. The IP address of the PC you are using will be displayed. This will also provide information about the Mac Address (Physical Address) which will be a combination of letters and numbers (Hexadecimal)

To find these addresses on Mac OS X:

  1. Choose System Preferences and then Network
  2. Click on Ethernet to find the settings for a cable connection (such as ResNet)
  3. Click on AirPort to find the settings for a Wifi connection (such as eduroam)
  4. The IP address is then listed
  5. To find the MAC address, click on advanced - it is then given on the Airport tab as "Airport Id" and on the Ethernet tab as "Ethernet Id" (but it should be the same in each case) 

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This is question number 981, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Jason Bailey on 22 October 2002 and last updated by Alexander Butler on 14 March 2018