Once a computer or mobile device is once connected to a wireless network, the password is often forgotten. In nearly 100% cases, people just set the device to remember the network passwords and whenever these networks are in range, the device will automatically connect to the preferred wireless network without even asking the user for anything at all. When this practice keeps going on for a long time, most people would just forget what their Wi-Fi password is.
Thankfully, all the popular operating systems have easier ways to retrieve saved Wi-Fi passwords from a device’s settings. However, a device must have been connected to a wireless network at least once to have that network’s password saved on the device. The methods mentioned later in this article can’t find the password for random wireless networks.
Find Wi-Fi Password on Windows
On Microsoft Windows platform, the best and fastest way to find the Wi-Fi password of a connected network is to use the Command Prompt tool. This would require typing commands inside the command prompt, which might not be very pleasant for many users. There’s an explanation for the users who prefer a graphical user interface, as well.
To begin, open the Command Prompt using WinKey+R. On the box that shows up, type ‘cmd’ and hit enter. Command Prompt will open. Simply type this command –
netshwlan show profile “your-wifi-name” key=clear
Your-wifi-name inside the double quotes is the network name your computer connects to. Keep the name within the double quotes for Windows to identify the network.
And for the GUI people, please head over to Network and Sharing Center, open the wireless connection property, on the box that show up click on ‘Wireless Properties’. Another box shows up, find the option ‘Show Characters’ next to a check box. Check the box and the password will unveil.
Only users with admin access can find the password on a Macintosh computer. After you obtain admin access, press cmd and space button together to start Spotlight, search ‘Keychain Access’ on the box. Or open the same from this location /applications/utilities/keychain access.
Inside Keychain Access, the list of all the wireless network connections the computer has ever connected to will show up. Double click on the desired network’s name, click on Show Password and the box will prompt for computer password. Enter, and the Wi-Fi password will be revealed.
Finding out the WiFi password on an Android device is the most difficult among these three. Only rooted device users can see the file that contains the Wi-Fi password, otherwise there’s no hope.
On a rooted device, an app like WiFi Password Recovery could help, it’s available on Google Play Store. There are few others as well for the same purpose. Even without using an app, Android users could find the configuration file titled wpa_supplicant.conf located at /data/misc/wifi/. This file opens with a text editor and shows the Wi-Fi passwords alongside their SSIDs.
Every device have their respective ways of finding the Wi-Fi password from inside the device but they require various levels of workaround. The best solution is not to forget the Wi-Fi password at all; there are smartphone apps which can store passwords safely and out from any intruder’s reach.