Forgot your Wi-Fi password? Here is how you can recover it on both Windows and Mac

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In today’s world, complex Wi-Fi passwords are being adopted, since they offer better security against Wi-Fi Hijacking. With complexity, comes the difficulty to remember the very complicated password you set. One tends to forget their Wi-Fi password even if they just set it a few minutes ago.

Instead of going through the router settings to find the Wi-Fi password (if it allows), or resetting the router itself, there are simple ways on Windows and Mac to find the password much easily of any network your computer was ever connected to.

If you never changed your router’s default SSID and password

It might be possible, that you never changed your router’s default Wireless name (SSID) and its password or maybe you just changed the name, but not the password. If this is the case, then it is quite easy to find the password. You can find the password at the back of your Wi-Fi router. It would be probably be written under the router’s default SSID.

This is the Wi-Fi name you connect to along with the password when you first install your Wi-Fi router. Though, for security purposes, you should always change the default password, since this way anyone could connect to your network when you aren’t around.

On Windows:

Knowing the password of a network you are connected to already

In case you forgot the password the password after setting it up on your laptop or computer running Windows, it is quite easy to get hold of it.  For this you need to follow the following steps in sequence:

  • Ensure that the network, whose password you need to find is already connected.
  • Right-Click on the Wi-Fi icon (which shows the Wireless signal strength) in the taskbar
  • In the context menu that pops up choose “Open Network and Sharing Center
  • Click the name of the Wi-Fi you are already connected to in the new window that appears
  • This would bring up a new window labeled “Wi-Fi status”. Choose “Wireless Properties” here.
  • In the Wireless properties, click on the “Security” tab.
  • Now Single Click on the “Show characters” check-box. This will reveal the Wi-Fi password you were so longing to know.

Finding the password of the network you had connected to previously.

In case you had already connected to a network once, and just want to know the password, when the network isn’t in range to connect to, you can do so on Windows 7 pretty easily. Though, on Windows 8 and above, you would need to do so by using Command Line.

On Windows 7:

The steps are relatively easy:

  • Right-Click on the Wi-Fi icon (which shows the Wireless signal strength) in the taskbar
  • In the context menu that pops up choose “Open Network and Sharing Center
  • Now choose “Manage Wireless Networks”. This would appear on the left side of the Network and Sharing Center window
  • This will bring up a list of all the wireless networks you had ever connected to on that computer or laptop.
  • Find your network name from the list, and double-click on it.
  • This shall once again bring up the network properties window. Go to the security tab and choose “Show characters” check-box. This will reveal the saved Wi-Fi password of that network.

It might be possible that this password might have been updated, and you didn’t connect using a newer password. Therefore, it could no longer be of use. Still, it is worth a try.

On Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10:

This isn’t relatively easier yet not so difficult either. You just need to open Command Prompt first of all.

  • To open the command prompt, just right click on the start menu and then choose “Command Prompt”. This is by far the quickest method to open it. Else you may also press “Start” + “R” key and type in cmd followed by enter to open the command prompt.
  • After command prompt opens, just type the following command:

               netsh wlan show profiles

  • This will again bring up a list of all the Wi-Fi networks you had previously connected to
  • In order to know the password of the network you want, find the profile name, and then type the following command, replacing the Wi-Fi profilename with the actual Wi-Fi name:
    • netsh wlan show profile name = profilename key = clear
  • This would give a detailed description of the network, and you just need to look for “Key Content” The password would be mentioned there on the key content line, where you can take note of it or just remember.

Finding the password of a currently connected or previously connected network on a Mac

Surprisingly, the method of finding the password of a currently or previously connected network on a Mac is quite easier as compared to even Windows which is thought of to be the easiest amongst all the operating systems.

The method to do so requires these steps:

  • Press “Command + Space”. This shall bring up the spotlight search dialog.
  •   
  • Just type “Keychain Access”, without quotes obviously. Then press Enter. This shall lead you to the Keychain Access App.
  • You would then have to find your Wireless network name from the list, and then click on “info” button. If you can’t find the info button, it looks like an “i” confined within a circle, which shall be there near the bottom.
  • Now choose the “Show Password” checkbox, in the window that shall pop up.
  • You would be granted the password, once you enter your username and password in another dialog box that appears.
  • Also, this won’t work if you don’t have an administrator account, therefore use an administrator account while going through the ordeal.
  • Now the password shall be there in front of you.

See, all it took were just a couple of steps to find your Wi-Fi password. Even though it might have seemed difficult, but truly it isn’t. So, if you ever happen to be a computer noob, you aren’t out of luck, since you can just follow the steps in this article to find the W-Fi password on any laptop/computer running a Mac or a Windows.

 

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