I have the IP address of a computer on my network but is there a way that with the IP address I can find the name of computer?

For example, if I know the IP address is, can I use this IP from my Mac to see the name, such as Jacob's MacBook?

  • You can also go on your router's configuration page ( or and look at each device's IP Address and corresponding name. – sameetandpotatoes Aug 10 '13 at 17:38
  • 1
    @sameetandpotatoes you cannot rely on that in general. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Aug 10 '13 at 23:54
  • Thorbjorn, itt was merely another way to approach the issue, but I understand from reading the answers that this is not the preferred way to solve this. – sameetandpotatoes Aug 11 '13 at 0:14

From the Terminal.app (or equivalent) you can use the host command to show the network name of the computer. This returns the name even if it has all sharing settings turned off and thus not showing via Finder.

For example, in my network I get the following (where I know the IP-address and the first part of the returned name is the computer's name)

➜ ~ host domain name pointer raspberrypi.private.lan.

It depends on the actual name of the computer if the network name is exactly the same, as in your example, I guess it would become Jacobs-MacBook.

  • This does not for for me for local servers: On my iPad an app creates a server under say, which I can access from my Mac, but neither host nor arp give me a name back. – halloleo Feb 22 '17 at 23:16
  • didn't work for me – Miguel Mota Sep 26 '17 at 15:51
  • tried it, but did not work for me - using Angry IP scanner I did get the device name though – Thieme Hennis Oct 29 '18 at 13:51

Without further access to the host (e.g. ssh or ARD) and no service running on it (e.g. iTunes Music Sharing/File Sharing) you can't get the computer name based on the IP-address.

The computer name in macOS is not necessarily indentical to the hostname or the Bonjour name! You can simply check this with scutil --get { ComputerName | LocalHostName | HostName }. ComputerName is the user friendly name, LocalHostname is the Bonjour name - both also visible in System Preferences > Sharing - and HostName is the hostname of the device. The hostname is usually related to or used with DNS, NIS, hosts file or similar methods of name resolution. On a newly installed consumer system no hostname is set. ComputerName and LocalHostName are usually derived from the first user's name and the Mac model (e.g. Admin's iMac | Admins-iMac).

Without a name record for the remote Mac in your hosts file or on a DNS-server in your local or a public network neither of the tools mentioned in the other answers (arp, ping, host) can be used to resolve the hostname.

If a known Bonjour service is running on the remote Mac you can get the Computer and the Bonjour name of an IP in a two-step process by retrieving all hosts offering it with dns-sd -Z _nfs._tcp local (the example service here is NFS - other service names can be found here) and pinging all listed Bonjour names until you find the proper IP. As an GUI alternative you can use the Bonjour Browser.

In some cases you can get a name similar to the Bonjour name by entering smbutil status <IP>. The name is the NetBIOS name which is the "all-caps and without allmost all special characters" version of the Computer/Bonjour name.


In Terminal I would use arp

  • First make sure you have sent at least one packet to this machine using ping.

    $ ping -c 1
      PING ( 56 data bytes  
      64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=255 time=0.981 ms  
  • Next arp that address.

    $ arp
      <host>.<domain> ( at 0:1c:c4:f4:b8:c7 on en1 ifscope [ethernet]
  • You're just doing an extra step with the ping+arp combination. arp is just calling the same thing as host to return the hostname. – Bert Aug 11 '13 at 14:31
  • didn't work for me – Miguel Mota Sep 26 '17 at 15:49

In Finder, go to your computer (which should be listed on the left sidebar under Devices). Then double-click on Network. This will show you all of the other computers on your network that are browsable.

  • 3
    That is not what he is asking, he is trying to find the host name from the ip address. just because a mahine is one the network does not mean that it is exposing afp, smb or netfs. – hoss Aug 11 '13 at 1:28

Just Ping that ip address with -a option. It will show you the computer name. Example ping -a

  • 6
    The -a flag means audible (or ring the bell). It has nothing to do with hostnames. Refer to the man page for ping – Allan Jul 14 '17 at 10:41
  • 1
    And the flag would have to be set directly after the command: ping -a ... – klanomath Jul 14 '17 at 10:43
  • oh yeah sorry man.. Its ping -a ... some time hand makes mistake while mind not. – vinay kumar Jul 17 '17 at 11:29
  • ping -R -v ... should do the trick on mac. – Nick Sweeting Jun 6 '19 at 9:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .