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How to Find the IP Address on a MacBook

Knowing how to find your IP address on a MacBook is essential for various reasons, from troubleshooting network issues to setting up devices on your network. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover multiple methods to locate both your internal (local) and external (public) IP addresses on a MacBook. By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge you need to find your IP address using different techniques and tools.

Understanding IP Addresses

Before diving into the specific methods, it’s important to understand the basics of IP addresses.

Types of IP Addresses

  1. Internal (Local) IP Address: This is the address your MacBook uses to communicate with other devices within your local network (e.g., your home Wi-Fi network). It usually looks something like
  2. External (Public) IP Address: This is the address assigned to your network by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and is used to communicate with devices on the internet. It typically looks like

Methods to Find Your IP Address on a MacBook

Method 1: Using System Preferences

The easiest and most straightforward way to find your IP address on a MacBook is through the System Preferences.


  1. Open System Preferences:
    • Click on the Apple menu () in the top-left corner of your screen.
    • Select “System Preferences” from the drop-down menu.
  2. Access Network Settings:
    • In the System Preferences window, click on “Network.”
  3. Select Your Network Connection:
    • In the left-hand sidebar, select the network connection you are currently using. This could be “Wi-Fi” or “Ethernet,” depending on your connection type.
  4. View Your IP Address:
    • With your network connection selected, you will see details about the connection on the right side of the window. Your IP address will be listed under “Status” or “Connected.”

Method 2: Using the Terminal

For users who prefer using the command line, the Terminal application provides a quick way to find your IP address.


  1. Open Terminal:
    • You can find Terminal by going to Applications > Utilities > Terminal or by using Spotlight Search (press Cmd + Space and type “Terminal”).
  2. Find Your Local IP Address:
    • To find your internal IP address, type the following command and press Enter:


    • Look for the section that starts with en0 (for Wi-Fi) or en1 (for Ethernet). Your IP address will be listed next to “inet.”
  3. Find Your External IP Address:
    • To find your external IP address, type the following command and press Enter:


    • This command will query a web service that returns your public IP address.

Method 3: Using the Network Utility

The Network Utility is another tool available on MacBooks that provides detailed information about your network connections.


  1. Open Network Utility:
    • You can find Network Utility by going to Applications > Utilities > Network Utility or by using Spotlight Search (press Cmd + Space and type “Network Utility”).
  2. Select Info Tab:
    • In the Network Utility window, click on the “Info” tab.
  3. Choose Network Interface:
    • Select the network interface you are using (e.g., Wi-Fi, Ethernet) from the drop-down menu.
  4. View Your IP Address:
    • Your IP address will be displayed under “IP Address” in the details section.

Method 4: Using the Wi-Fi Icon

You can quickly find your local IP address through the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar.


  1. Click on the Wi-Fi Icon:
    • In the top-right corner of your screen, click on the Wi-Fi icon.
  2. Open Network Preferences:
    • From the drop-down menu, select “Open Network Preferences.”
  3. View Your IP Address:
    • This will take you to the Network settings in System Preferences, where you can see your IP address as described in Method 1.

Method 5: Using System Information

System Information provides a detailed overview of your MacBook’s hardware and network configurations.


  1. Open System Information:
    • You can find System Information by going to Applications > Utilities > System Information or by using Spotlight Search (press Cmd + Space and type “System Information”).
  2. Select Network:
    • In the System Information window, expand the “Network” section in the sidebar.
  3. View Your IP Address:
    • Select the active network connection (e.g., Wi-Fi) to view detailed information, including your IP address.

Method 6: Using a Web Browser

You can easily find your external IP address using any web browser.


  1. Open Your Web Browser:
    • Open any web browser, such as Safari, Chrome, or Firefox.
  2. Visit an IP Lookup Website:
  3. View Your IP Address:
    • The website will display your public IP address at the top of the page.

Advanced Topics

Dynamic vs. Static IP Addresses

Understanding the difference between dynamic and static IP addresses can be important for network configuration.

  • Dynamic IP Address: Assigned by your router or ISP and can change periodically.
  • Static IP Address: Manually configured and remains constant over time.

Setting a Static IP Address

If you need to set a static IP address on your MacBook, follow these steps:

  1. Open Network Preferences:
    • Go to System Preferences > Network.
  2. Select Your Network Connection:
    • Select the network connection you want to configure (e.g., Wi-Fi).
  3. Advanced Settings:
    • Click on “Advanced,” then go to the “TCP/IP” tab.
  4. Configure IPv4:
    • Change the “Configure IPv4” setting to “Manually.”
  5. Enter IP Address:
    • Enter the desired static IP address, along with the subnet mask, router, and DNS server addresses.

IP Address Conflicts

Sometimes, two devices on the same network might be assigned the same IP address, causing conflicts. This can result in connectivity issues.

Resolving IP Address Conflicts

  1. Restart Devices: Restart your router and the affected devices to see if they obtain new IP addresses automatically.
  2. Renew DHCP Lease: Go to System Preferences > Network > Advanced > TCP/IP and click on “Renew DHCP Lease.”
  3. Assign a Static IP: Assign a unique static IP address to the conflicting device as described above.

Using VPNs and Proxies

Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or a proxy server can change your external IP address and provide additional privacy.

How to Use a VPN

  1. Choose a VPN Provider: Select a reputable VPN service (e.g., NordVPN, ExpressVPN).
  2. Download and Install VPN Software: Follow the provider’s instructions to install their software on your MacBook.
  3. Connect to VPN: Open the VPN application and connect to a server. Your public IP address will now reflect the VPN server’s location.

How to Use a Proxy

  1. Find a Proxy Service: Choose a proxy service that fits your needs.
  2. Configure Proxy Settings: Go to System Preferences > Network > Advanced > Proxies and enter the proxy server details.


Finding the IP address on your MacBook is a straightforward task that can be accomplished through various methods, whether you prefer using graphical interfaces or command-line tools. Understanding the difference between internal and external IP addresses, knowing how to set a static IP, and resolving IP conflicts are essential skills for managing your network effectively. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily locate your IP address and enhance your understanding of network configurations on your MacBook.

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