I saw this unknown address under my personal hotspot summary on an iPhone:


Can this 10-digit number be a MAC address?

enter image description here

  • discussions.apple.com/thread/253654841
    – Shantanu Aryan
    May 7 at 17:52
  • Thank you very much. It makes sense. But the other problem is: what is it? From the discussion, we can see that the randomised MAC addresses are his other devices (but with missing zeros). In my case, I cannot link the randomised MAC address to any device. What do you think? May 7 at 18:03
  • 1
    This looks very much like an EUI-48 (aka MAC address). What makes you think it isn't? May 8 at 6:39
  • Mainly because it has 10-digits and not 12. May 8 at 7:41
  • Can you add a screenshot?
    – nohillside
    May 10 at 9:07

2 Answers 2


On Apple platforms, I’ve never had issues with the leading 0 being dropped by formatters that developers use or entering them in fields.

e:69:a5:97:7:17 and 0e:69:a5:97:07:17 are the same values

These are hexadecimal representation of numbers and not text strings.

  • Thank you, this clarifies a lot! Apparently, this has happened on Apple platforms, as was mentioned by a previous comment: discussions.apple.com/thread/253654841 , but still... no idea what/who was actually connected to my hotspot. May 10 at 13:46
  • Apple lets iCloud devices automatically join based on shared secrets. Do you use the same iCloud and between devices and one device might have joined @randomizedcontrol_932
    – bmike
    May 10 at 14:33
  • No, I have only activated iCloud on my iPhone. And no other devices have used this hotspot before... May 10 at 19:24
  • @randomizedcontrol_932 Your Apple devices can share wifi login information even if iCloud is not activated. May 11 at 22:27

Yes, "e:69:a5:97:7:17" is a MAC-address. You would perhaps more commonly see it written as:


MAC-address of this type are always 48-bits long. They're commonly represented as 6 numbers (0-255) represented in hexadecimal and separated by colons. Similarly to how you can write ordinary base-10 numbers, leading zeroes in each hexadecimal number can be left out.

The digit E in "0E" means that the address is a locally administered, unicast address.

That an address is locally administered means that it is assigned locally on this particular network, and only has a meaning on this particular network.

In contrast, a globally administered address is typically assigned by the manufacturer of a device, and would be valid across networks. Such an address can typically be traced to a device manufacturer, such as for example Apple, or a network interface microchip manufacturer, such as for example Realtek.

Basically this means that this MAC-address could really be any device on this local network - you would have to check your devices to know, which one it is. In your setup it is typically a phone, tablet, or similar.

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