How to Find Out the Physical Address of a Computer

By Jenny Torres

The MAC address can also be known as your Ethernet ID.
i computer image by michele goglio from

The MAC address, or machine address, can be described as a house address for your personal computer. This address only applies to your computer and cannot be duplicated. Please do not get this confused with an IP address. An IP address can be reused hundreds of times for numerous computers. However, a MAC address is specific and is only giving to your computer; one address for each console. No computer is equipped without a MAC address and finding it is just a few clicks away.

For Windows 2000 and Windows XP

Turn on your computer and let Windows 2000 or Windows XP load.

Click the "Start" button located at the bottom left of your screen.

Click the "Run" button located in the start menu. The "Run Dialogue" box will appear on your screen.

Type "CMD" into the dialogue box and press enter. A DOS window or "Command Prompt" window will appear.

Type "IPCONFIG /ALL" into the command prompt and press enter. This will bring up either one address or a list of different addresses depending on if you have a multiple network connected to your PC.

Find the heading "Ethernet," adapter "Wireless Network Connection," which is where your MAC address is located.

Locate the physical address which will look a little like this: "00-50-BA-D1-BA-71." This is your MAC address.

Type "Exit" into the command prompt then enter to exit out of the DOS window.

For Mac OS X

Turn on your Apple computer and let Mac OS X load.

Click the apple icon located at the top left of your computer screen. A drop-down menu will appear.

Click "Systems Preferences" in the drop-down menu.

Click the "Network" icon located under the "Internet and Network" category; third category from the top.

Click "Automatic" in the "Location" drop-down menu if not already set.

Click "Built-In Ethernet" in the "Show" drop-down menu located below the location menu.

Click the "Ethernet" button located beneath the show menu.

Locate the "Ethernet ID" below. This is your MAC address.