Are you suddenly seeing a large number of "Unknown Devices" appearing in your Circle device list? This might be caused by one of your devices using a new privacy feature, a settings change on a Windows 10 device, or some software on the device.
Why is Circle finding these "Unknown" devices?
Have any devices with Android 10 or iOS 14 (or versions above that) on your network? These OS versions and above include a feature to use randomized MAC addresses when a device connects to a network. For both operating systems this feature is enabled by default. Since Circle uses MAC addresses to track devices this could lead to new "Unknown devices" appearing in your device list.
This issue might also occur if you have a Windows 10 devices with the "Random Hardware Address" feature enabled in its settings. (The issue can also occur on other devices that have installed "MAC spoofing" software.)
How do I address this?
For Android and iOS devices
Option 1 - Install the Circle kid app on iOS and Android devices
we recommend that you install the Circle Parental Controls app on any Android or iOS devices and configure those devices as "kid devices" so they can be easily identified and managed. This will manage the device whether inside or outside your home, and even if random MAC addresses are enabled.
Option 2 - Disable the Random MAC / Private MAC Feature
If you don't want to install the Circle kid app on an Android or iOS device, you can disable random MAC addresses on the device itself. Remember that kids can change this feature as well.
These random MAC / private MAC features are not available for versions below iOS 14 or Android 10, so make sure to check your device for version info before proceeding on the below.
Disabling Android's Randomized MAC Address Feature
To disable random MAC addresses:
- Open the Android Settings app.
- Tap Network & Internet.
- Tap Wi-Fi.
- Tap the gear icon associated with the wireless connection to be configured.
- Tap Advanced.
- Tap Privacy.
- Tap Use Device MAC.
Note: The instructions above may differ for your Android device. Refer to your device manufacturer's help site for more assistance with this feature.
Disabling iOS's Private Address Feature
- Open the iOS Settings app.
- Tap on Wi-Fi.
- Tap the "i" next to the Wi-Fi you'd like to manage the connection for.
- Tap the "Private Address" toggle to disable it in the off position.
Windows 10 devices
Have a Windows 10 device in your home that is appearing as an "Unknown Device" in your Circle device list? This might be caused by the "Random hardware addresses" setting on the device. The setting changes the MAC address on the device each time it connects to the network. Circle uses that MAC address to identify devices. Follow this guide to disable the feature causing that issue.
"Unknown devices" may appear in your Circle device list if MAC spoofing software is installed on the device and enabled to create new MAC addresses for the device. You can remove this software to resolve the issue. We recommend locking down the account that installed this to keep it from installing new apps/software to evade Circle.
Need more help identifying devices? Check out this article.