How to Find Wifi Password with Windows & MacOS

lost wifi password - trying to find wifi password

Losing or forgetting WiFi passwords is very common among people. We all have been in a situation at least once where we need to figure out how to find Wifi password. Most of the internet routers use the default passwords which consists of a string of random characters and numbers. These types of passwords are definitely not easy to memorize. It’s a good practice to save them somewhere. But still, you might lose them unexpectedly.

Here’s how you can find your lost Wifi password of any network which you have connected at least once on your PC or laptop.

Checking the Router to find Wifi Password

In case of losing your Wifi’s password, the first thing you must do is to check your router. Modern Wifi routers contain important information written usually on a sticker pasted on them. this information includes the network name, SSID and the default password of the wireless network (Wi-Fi).

wifi router backside showing password, SSID, key and other information to find Wifi password

The SSID is the name of your network. On some Wifi routers, password can be listed as WPS Key or WPS Password.

Now what if you changed the default network password in the past. Or maybe you cannot find that sticker on your router containing the relevant information. Well in that case, you will have to use your PC or laptop to find the Wifi password.

Getting the Wifi Password of Currently Joined Network (Windows)

No need to worry if you have joined a Wifi network but do not remember its password anymore. You can easily find it by following these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel by typing it in the Windows Search Bar.
  2. From the Control Panel Menu, click on “Network and Sharing Center”.

    3. From the Networks and Sharing Center Panel, click on your connected Wifi network (written as Connections). The Wifi status window will open up.

    Network and Sharing center panel showing the name of the Wifi network connected

    4. From the Wifi status window, click on “Wireless Properties”.

    5. Inside the Wireless Properties window, go to the security tab. Now click on the “Show Characters” checkbox. The password of your currently joined Wifi network will appear in the Network Security Key bar. Note that you will require a Windows Account Profile with administrator access to do it.

    Wireless Network Properties window showing how to unhide the Wifi password

    Find Wifi Password of Previously Joined Network (Windows)

    You can also easily find the passwords of all the previously joined Wifi networks on your laptop or PC.  Follow these steps to get them:

    1. Open Command Prompt. You can simply search it on the Windows Search Bar or right click on Windows Start Button and select Command Prompt. You can also use Windows Terminal or PowerShell for this task.

    2. In the Command Prompt, type in the following command:

    netsh wlan show profiles

    This will show you the list of all the previously connected networks on your PC or laptop. You can find your desired network from here.

    3. Now to find the password of any of these networks, you will have to type in another command in the following format:

    netsh wlan show profile “your wifi name comes here” key=clear

    Do this without the double quotes. For example, if your Wifi network’s name is tetrageek, your command would be like

    nets wlan show profile tetrageek key=clear

    4. After typing in the command, hit enter. Your Wifi Network’s password will be listed next to “Key Content”.

    command prompt cmd console showing Wifi network information

    Finding Wifi Password on MacOS:

    Finding password of any Wifi network which has been connected to your MacOS device can also be found easily. Every one of those passwords are saved in the Keychain Access Manager. This is actually the dedicated password manager of Mac Operating System. Follow these steps to find Wifi password on Mac OS:

    1. Open Keychain Access Manager by simply typing it in Mac OS search bar.
    2. On the left hand sidebar, click on “System” and then select “Passwords” in the category options.
    3. Now the list all previously connected Networks will appear. From this list select the Wifi network whose password you want to find and double click on it.
    4. A window will appear which will be having information related to the network selected. Click on the Show Password checkbox.
    Keychain access manager with show Wifi password checkbox

    5. You will be asked to enter your device’s account password and username to prove administrator rights. After that the password will appear.

    Final Thoughts and Tips

    It is recommended to take a picture of the Information sticker pasted on your Wifi router so that you may have the network details even after you lose the sticker. Moreover, Wifi and network related information can be stored in some file saved using any cloud storage service.

    Although still you can easily find those passwords if lost using the methods told above. These are applicable for all the latest versions of Windows and Mac Operating System.