My wife's iPhone 11 Pro lists a MAC adddress of 88:A4:79:xx:xx:xx. This address does not show up on my DHCP client list, but it is connected to the network

There was an unknown device on my network with MAC address of 4A:88:DC:xx:xx:xx. This address cames up as "No vendor" on MAC lookup sites.

Not knowing that device, I blocked the MAC address. Subsequently the iPhone is unable to connect to the network.

What is going on? Why would the phone show a different MAC address than is actually connecting to the network?

Any insight appreciated.


1 Answer 1


For privacy reasons, iOS randomizes its MAC address so that public Wi-Fi networks (and other Wi-Fi based tracking networks) cannot use your unique unchanging MAC address to track you from place to place.

That 4A:… MAC address has the 2's place bit in the first octet set, which signifies that it is a locally administered MAC address (which in this context means it was randomly self-generated) not the guaranteed globally unique address that's burnt into the hardware. The 88:… address does not have the first octet's 2's place bit set, so it is the guaranteed globally unique address that's burnt into the hardware.

If you go into the iOS Wi-Fi settings for that network, you can turn off the "Private Address" switch to get your iPhone to use its unique, trackable MAC address on that network. See Apple's support document for details on this.

  • I understand now. Turns out my Galaxy S10 was doing the same thing. It's good to why. Thanks for helping me understand.
    – JohnL
    Dec 5, 2020 at 13:14
  • 1
    @JohnL See apple.stackexchange.com/help/someone-answers for what to do if somebody answers your question
    – nohillside
    Dec 5, 2020 at 13:29

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