Get MAC Address of android device without Wifi-ThrowExceptions

Exception or error:

How do I get the MAC-Address of the network interface of an android device which doesn’t have a Wifi-Interface (e.g. the android emulator)? WifiInfo obtained via the WifiManager returns null.


To be more clear: I have to communicate with an existing network protocol (not designed by me) on the local network where I have to send the mac address of the communicating interface within the payload during a registration phase.

How to solve:

Read /sys/class/net/[something]/address as a text file

But it’s unlikely to be useful in the way you think.


I’m going to take a leap and assume that you want this MAC address in order to establish a unique identifier for the device. Mac Addresses are not the way to do this.

There’s an Android Developer Blog post titled “Identifying App Installations” which covers the topic of generating unique ID’s fairly well, including the popular methods, and the pros/cons. It’s definitely worth a read. Quite relevant to this post is the following quote:

It may be possible to retrieve a Mac address from a device’s WiFi or Bluetooth hardware. We do not recommend using this as a unique identifier. To start with, not all devices have WiFi. Also, if the WiFi is not turned on, the hardware may not report the Mac address.

The options available to you instead include TelephonyManager.getDeviceId(), android.os.Build.SERIAL, and Settings.Secure.ANDROID_ID, all of which are covered in more detail in the linked post.


See this post where I have submitted example to provide pure-java implementations.

Utils.getIPAddress(true); // IPv4
Utils.getIPAddress(false); // IPv6 


What is the network interface you want the MAC address of? If there’s no wifi, you certainly can’t get the wifi device’s MAC address. It represents the physical hardware and if that’s not present, it simply doesn’t exist.


To get wifi MAC of android device using adb:
adb shell getprop ril.wifi_macaddr

Use the following code in Java to get it programmatically:

Process p = Runtime.getRuntime.exec("adb", "shell", "getprop", "ril.wifi_macaddr")
BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(p.getInputStream());
String macAddress = br.readLine();

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