Connecting to the internet is a big thing nowadays. With the increased popularity of connecting online, an increased amount of connection options have come into common use. Some of these include – wireless hotspots, home internet connections and public Wi-Fi. Most of the latest laptops do not come with ethernet port and completely rely on Wi-Fi for internet connection. With the increased dependency on Wi-Fi, there are also more possibilities that you forget the network security password.
Why Do You Need Wi-Fi Password?
Well, it’s always good to know the password what you have setup. If it has been long time then one fine day you will be needing the password for troubleshooting.
- Need password to connect another device
- Want to change the password for security reasons
- You want to reset the network settings
- Completely formatting the PC
In the first two examples, you just need to follow the below steps to find the password as the old password will be still stored on your Windows 10 PC. For the rest two cases, ensure you have retrieved the password before resetting or formatting.
Modem / Router Password is Different
Remember the Wi-Fi security password is different than yours router or modem password. If you are looking for the router password then the default password is usually shown in several places, depending on the provider. Generally you can find the router password underneath the modem/router on a sticker or on the box that the modem is supplied in.
How to Find the Wi-Fi Password in Windows 10?
In this article let us discuss how to retrieve your forgotten wireless network password which you are currently using for active internet connection. You can find the security key or password using one of the two methods:
- Get the password from network properties
- Using command prompt
1. Retrieving Password from Network Properties
First, you’ll need to open the Network and Sharing Center. This can be done by typing in “Network and Sharing Center” into the start menu search box, and then pressing the enter key. The window should look something like this.
Then, click on the connected wireless network. This will open the Wi-Fi status dialog box like below:
Once on this window, click on the “Wireless Properties” button. This will open the wireless network properties dialog window. From here, go into the “Security” tab where you can find the “Network security key”.
The network security key is your wireless network password. But the password will be masked and shown as dots. In order to view the password just click on the “Show characters” checkbox. This will then show the password.
2. Using Command Prompt
This is another way to find the security key of you wireless network using command prompt. Press “Windows key + R” to open “Run” dialog box. Enter “cmd” and click “OK” to open the command prompt.
Type the following command to see all the used wireless network connections on the computer.
Note down the name of your current active Wi-Fi network name, the names are technically referred as SSID or Service Set Identifier. Enter the below command by replacing the “[Network Name]” with your SSID and hit enter.
For example, if your Wi-Fi network name is “My-Link” then enter the command as below:
Scroll down to find the “Security settings” section. The wireless network security key or password will be showing against “Key Content” as shown below:
You can notice the security key found using both of the above methods are same as 73310000.
How to Find Wi-Fi Password in Mac?
Similar to Windows 10, it is also possible to track your saved Wi-Fi password. Press “command + shift” keys to open spotlight search box. Enter “Keychain Access” and hit enter to open the “Keychain Access” application. Follow the below process to find the password:
- Enter the name of your Wi-Fi network in the search box to filter the network and go to step 4. Otherwise follow the below steps 2 and 3, remember when you do the further steps the search box filter will be removed.
- Click on the “System” option under “Keychains” section.
- Then click on the “Passwords” under “Category” section.
- Identify your network name.
- Double click on your network name or click on the “i” button.
New dialog box will open with the network attributes. Click on the “Show password” checkbox and enter your administrator password to view the password.
You can also click on the key icon to check the strength of your password.
Always it is a good idea to set complex password as your network security key, but it is also important to remember that. Otherwise you can follow the above methods to find the already saved network password. Especially before resetting or reinstalling your operating system, ensure to write down the Wi-Fi password.
If you have any problems with finding the password, or if the password doesn’t work with the internet, then it is highly recommended that you contact your Internet Service Provider, so that the problem can be fixed as soon as possible.
Thank you for this great article! I don’t really use Windows that often (more Mac and Linux), which means that when I do, I need to look up all the settings and passwords again :-) So yes, great help!