View Your Saved WiFi Passwords

wirelessIf you travel at all or work out of multiple locations, your computer probably has a pile of saved WiFi networks that it can connect to quickly and easily. When you’re in range, your computer will connect and you’ll be on your way. But what if you need to know the password of one of those wireless networks you have saved away (say to share with a colleague)? While there are third-party tools that can get what you need, you can get the information out of Windows without downloading or installing anything. Here’s a couple ways how you do it.

If you need to know password of current network: This one’s the easiest. You basically need to get into the wireless network’s properties and check the security tab:

  1. On a Windows PC that’s connected to your Wi-Fi network, do one of the following, depending on which version of Windows is running on your PC (basically, you need to open the Network and Sharing Center):
    • On Windows 11, select the Start button, type control panel, then select Control Panel > Network and Internet  > Network and Sharing Center.
    • On Windows 10, select the Start button, then select Settings  > Network & Internet  > Status  > Network and Sharing Center.
    • On Windows 8.1 or 7, search for Network and, then select Network and Sharing Center from the list of results.
  2. In Network and Sharing Center, next to Connections, select your Wi-Fi network name.
  3. In Wi-Fi Status, select Wireless Properties.
  4. In Wireless Network Properties, select the Security tab, then select the Show characters check box. Your Wi-Fi network password is displayed in the Network security key box.

If you need to know the password of another saved network: While Nirsoft’s tools make this fairly easy, here’s how you would view a password of a saved network that you can’t connect to, using the command line.

  1. Head to the start menu, type “Command” and click on the “Command Prompt” app.
  2. Once on the command prompt, type the following: netsh wlan show profiles
  3. Once you run that command, you’ll see a list of Windows’ saved wireless networks.
  4. To view the password of a specific network, type the following command, editing as appropriate: netsh wlan show profile name=”Wi-Fi NAME” key=clear
  5. Scroll through the output of that command and you should see a password in the Security Settings section of the output in the “Key Content” section.
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