I do have a Samsung Galaxy J5 2016, and I am trying to change its MAC address without rooting it.

I've done a lot of internet search, and I've come across many useful guides and advice, such as https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-change-my-Android-non-rooted-Mac-address.

Anyway, Terminal Emulator doesn't allow the operation indicated in the guide (ip link set...etc etc.): it outputs permission denied.

More search gives as a result that you can't do this command without logging as superuser and, in turn, that you can't do that if you aren't on a rooted device.

So I'm starting feeling as I'm chasing my tail...

Can anybody please help?

2 Answers 2


Simply, you can't. Because of how the permissions work in Linux, what android is built on, you are required to use a root account to make those changes. The root account being su, which is only accessible when you have a rooted device. To my knowledge there is no way around that, even using alternate commands that might exist.

  • many thanks for your answer...let's say I was strongly suspecting that
    – G. Carbone
    Dec 5, 2018 at 23:13

it's possible to make root changes without root access on some models... MTK for example.

If you have an MTK Device,
Use Engineering Mode to write a new MAC Address

  1. Open Dialer ( Phone )

  2. Type this number, replacing the letters for the numbers


This is called a secret launch code, it'll launch Engineer(ing) Mode and you can change MAC with the guide here

Scroll down to the MTK Part.

Other device's can use Terminal Emulator

Some can use factory image flashing software

Some ( Like your device manufacturer's ) can change the IMEI, MAC & Bluetooth Address using a pre-boot ... Used for factory address writing in the masses.

It's possible without root, but a lot more difficult....

Try your Terminal Emulator commands running as a shell user ID ... To do this, just use ADB and connect to the shell with

adb shell

This gives you more permissions as you'll be running as shell user.

  • OP mentioned having a Samsung phone, which does not have an MTK chip.
    – CodeMonkey
    Dec 6, 2018 at 15:59
  • having an MTK Chip isn't necessary, i provided the information for reference, i felt ...' simply, You can't ' is a bit ridiculous, every device has to be written by the factory on a line, it's as simple as connecting the wires ( usb in some devices ) and writing to the device. It's not just possible, it's the law. Dec 6, 2018 at 16:40
  • @Zillinium many thanks for your suggestions. I am trying to use them as a guide. How can I use adb? I downloaded Android Studio and all of its tools but there's still much I need to learn
    – G. Carbone
    Dec 8, 2018 at 19:07
  • If you are not familiar with ADB, it's going to take me a while to take you through everything, so I'm not sure if it can all be answered in one question.. As you run into problems, ask another question in Stack Overflow for example ( Installing ADB Problems ? ) ... You don't need the full android studio for ADB, you only need two or three files. ADB.exe and a few others that go with it. Dec 9, 2018 at 4:19
  • @ Zillinium I've successfully installed and set up ADB , but when I try to run the command j5xnlte:/ $ ip link set wlan0 40:F3:08:87:1F:8E it still returns permission denied
    – G. Carbone
    Dec 12, 2018 at 15:00

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