It’s not uncommon to forget your WiFi password as you only need to enter it once on your PC, and it will automatically connect to it when the network is near.
I personally use strong passwords (and you should too) for my WiFi and often forget them, but thankfully, Windows 10 makes it easy to view network password when needed.
If you don’t remember your WiFi password and need to give it to someone or use it on a different device, there are multiple ways to view it right inside your Windows computer.
Today, I am going to show your different ways to view the WiFi password. Each method is useful depending on your preference and how much access you have to the PC settings if you are not the administrator.
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#1. Use Windows settings to view WiFi password
As I am the administrator of my PC and don’t have any restrictions, this is my go-to method for finding the WiFi password.
From the Start menu, click on Settings and then click on Network & Internet.
In the Status section, scroll down and click on Network and Sharing Center.
Now click on your WiFi name in the View your active networks section.
When the WiFi Status window opens, click on Wireless Properties here.
Afterward, move to the Security tab and check the checkbox next to Show characters to view your WiFi password.
#2. View WiFi password directly from the control panel
Although the above method works fine, what if you cannot access Windows 10 settings at all?
Or maybe you prefer a faster method and don’t mind remembering a small command. Well, you can directly access your WiFi network settings using the Run command. As long as you can access your network settings, this method should work for you.
Open the Run dialog by pressing Windows+R keys and type
ncpa.cpl in the text field and then click on OK.
This command will directly open your network connection in the control panel—Right-click on your WiFi network here and select Status from the context menu.
Click on Wireless Properties in the WiFi Status window.
Now click on the Security tab and then click on Show characters to reveal your WiFi password.
#3. Use a Power Shell command
Coming to a more advanced method – in the Power Shell, you can use a Network Shell (Netsh) command to view a bunch of details about your network, including its password.
Furthermore, you can also use this method to view the passwords of all the networks your PC has connected to previously. For example, if you want to know your office network password while you are home, you can do so using this method without needing to connect to the office network. However, this will not work if you have used the Forget option to forget a network’s details.
First, you need to know the name (SSID) of the WiFi network to use the
netsh command. This isn’t an issue if you are already connected to the network as you can see the name, but it will be a problem if you need to see a previously connected network’s password. Thankfully, you can use a Power Shell command to see the list of all the networks you have connected to before.
Note: You can use these same commands in Command Prompt, too, if you cannot access Power Shell for some reason.
Right-click on the Start menu and select Power Shell from the list.
Here enter this command
netsh wlan show profiles and press the Enter key. You will see all the saved networks name under the User profiles section.
Just copy the name of the network(s) from here so you could easily use it in the next command.
To know the password of any one of the saved networks, use the below-mentioned command and replace the
wifiname part with the actual name of the network.
netsh wlan show profile "name=wifiname" key=clear
For example, in my case, the command will be
netsh wlan show profile "name=SSID hidden" key=clear.
Once you press the Enter key, you will see loads of information about this network. Here in the Security settings section, the password will be written next to Key content.
#4. Use a third-party WiFi password viewer
You can also use a third-party app to help you view all your saved networks and their passwords in one place. If you frequently need to view your WiFi password, then using a third-party is useful as it makes it a single-click process view all the data. Additionally, you may like to use third-party software if you need to perform more advanced tasks like importing WiFi passwords from another PC/Windows or exporting them.
If you are up for it, I’ll recommend you give WirelessKeyView from NirSoft a try. Although there are many apps for this purpose, I like WirelessKeyView for its simple interface and is completely free.
The software comes as a .zip file, so you’ll have to extract it first. Once you launch the program, it will automatically search and list all the saved WiFi networks with their password listed under the Key (Ascii) section. You can also double-click on a network to view all its details.
If you don’t like WirelessKeyView for some reason, you can also use WiFi Password Revealer. It’s an installable program that shows all the saved network passwords and lets you quickly copy them in bulk.
Bonus methods 😎
The above methods should work fine for finding the WiFi password inside Windows 10. However, there are some other methods as well.
From Router web-interface
You can access the web-interface of your router to access its settings. There is usually an option to both change the password and view it. There are no universal instructions I can provide you to help with this as routers have different addresses to access the web-interface and the interface itself is different depending on router manufacturer.
However, to give you an idea, you need to use your router’s IP address to access the web-interface. Inside, you need to look for a wireless setting or WiFi setting option. There should be an option to reveal the password in it.
At the back of the router device
If you didn’t change the default WiFi password, then most probably, the default password is written behind or under the router. Just pick it up and search for a password on it; usually, it’s an 8-digit password.
Reset the router
You can also reset your router, which will reset all your settings along with the WiFi password. You can then use the default password to connect to the network. There should be a reset button on the router to press and hold for 5-10 seconds to reset the router. It’s inside a hole on most routers, so you’ll have to use a paper pin or something similar to press and hold it.
I am sure for most users; the first two methods will be more than enough to view the WiFi password. Although if you are a system administrator and need to handle multiple computers and connections, I’ll recommend using a third-party WiFi password viewer.
Next, find out how to optimize Windows power options.