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VMWare – Changing The MAC Address of the Virtual Machine

VMWare – Changing The MAC Address of the Virtual Machine

Hello, in this article I will explain how to change the MAC addresses of virtual machines in VMWare ESXi 6.5 and later.

Because paid software licenses are often mapped to MAC addresses, the MAC address must not change in the new VM. so that you can re-use the licenses when you want to move a virtual machine to another location or rebuild the server from scratch. You can change the MAC address via VMWare with the following procedure:

  1. Select the virtual machine and click Network Adapter from the Edit menu.
  2. In the MAC Address section, select Manual from the drop-down menu and enter the required MAC address.
  3. Click Save to save your changes.
VMWare Default MAC Address Change Steps

VMWare Change MAC Address- Second Method

If the method above does not work and you receive errors such as “impermissible static MAC address” (these errors usually occur when you want to use the reserved MAC addresses in VMWare), you can follow the second procedure below:

  1. Turn off the virtual machine.
  2. Remove the machine from the inventory by selecting Unregister from the Actions menu.
Unregister a VM

3. From datastore browser, enter the datastore and navigate to the folder where the machine is located, and download the .vmx file of the machine.

Location of the .vmx File

4. Open the .vmx file you downloaded with a text editor and add / update the following lines (just in case, save the original file with a different extension and work with a copied file).

ethernetN.checkMACAddress = "false"
ethernetN.addressType = "static"
ethernetN.Address = "XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX" 

XX: XX: XX: XX: XX: XX is the new MAC address of the virtual machine. The N value in ethernetN is the Network Adapter number.

Ex: Network Adapter 1 -> ethernet0, Network Adapter 2 -> ethernet1

Updating the .vmx File

5. Save the file and upload it again from datastore browser.

6. Go to Virtual Machines and click Create / Register VM, select Register an existing virtual machine and click Next.

Registering the VM Again

7. From Datastore, navigate to the folder of the corresponding machine and select the .vmx file and press Next.

8. Click Finish to save the virtual machine back to inventory. You can now use your machine using the new MAC address.

Note: Menus may be different in different versions but the main idea is the same 🙂