The Definitive Guide to Finding your WiFi Password

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We’ve all been there, that, “arghhhhh! What’s my router’s password?” moment. The fact is, if we follow all the suggested advice, then most of us will end up setting up a password which is impossible for mere mortals to remember. We then write it down and, because on that particular day, we’re being extra security conscious, we don’t scribble it on the sticky label on top of the router, no, we put it in a “safe” place which is so secure that moments after you’ve put it there you’ve forgotten exactly where it is. That safe place is supposed to be to stop anyone just getting your password and getting control over your router…But hang on the tough passport is to protect against hackers and hackers don’t come visit your house through the door. The result is that six months down the road when you actually need the thing because you need to tell a guest or make a change.

So what do you do? Well, there are several solutions to this problem depending on where you are and what network you want to get the password for.

Finding the WiFi Password of the Network you are Currently Connected to on a Windows Computer

If you are on a Windows notebook or desktop, whether you are home or at the office, the fastest way to get hold of your password, is through the Network and Sharing Center.  You can get here by simply right clicking the wireless icon on the right-hand side of the bottom bar. Alternatively, you can do a search for Network and Sharing Center. Once inside, tap on the network name, and then Wireless Properties. In the next screen, tap on the Security tap, then click the box next to Show Characters. The network password will appear above.

Finding the WiFi password of previously used Network on a Windows computer

In this case, it depends if you have Windows 7 or Windows 8/10. In the case of Windows 7 or earlier it is equally simple as above. Go the Network and Sharing Center, and then to Manage wireless networks. Choose a network, tap on it and then follow the procedure highlighted above.  

On a notebook running Microsoft Windows 8/10 it is not so easy, but still very doable. Firstly, bring up Command Prompt by either pressing Windows Key + R or right clicking on the Windows symbol and choosing from the list. Next, type netsh wlan show profiles into the Run window to bring up a list of all your previously accessed Wi-Fi networks. Once you have this type netsh wlan show profiles name=(name of network) key=clear. This should display the details of that network and you can see the password under Key Content.

Finding the WiFi Password of a Previously Used or Present Network on Mac

Press Command + SPACE to open the Spotlight search app, then search for “Keychain” and launch it. Find and open your Wi-Fi network from the list. Then click the “info” button– “i”– at the base of the window.

In the window that appears click Show Password. You’ll then have to enter your Mac’s username and password. Once you do so, your Mac will show you the Wi-Fi network’s password.

Finding your WiFi Password on a Smartphone

If you forget your password and you only have access to a mobile phone then things get a lot more complicated. For security reasons mobile phones have been designed to hide as much information as possible from prying eyes. For iPhone it requires you to jailbreak your phone and then install a piece of software called WiFi Passwords List.  If you’re on an Android Phone you have to root – ie get the highest level of access – your phone using one of the available tools available on the Play Store. Depending on how tech savvy you are, this may or may not be an easy thing to do. For the majority of us who don’t feel confident to root or jailbreak, you will need to find your password from your router.

Finding your WiFi password through your router’s web interface or app

Your router has a management console on the web. If you set up your router yourself you will know that. And you can access it through a browser on a desktop computer or through smartphone apps. You will need to go here in the following circumstances.

  1. If you don’t have a notebook or desktop computer, and you don’t want to root your smartphone.
  2. Even if you have a Windows computer, you may want to change your password as well as find it. To change your password you will have to come here.  

To access your router’s management console either download the app from your manufacturer or go to a browser on your PC. Once you have done this you will need to type an IP address then enter your default passwords and username for your router. Check in the manual provided or do a web search, but often the default passwords and username are simply, Admin and Root. They may even be printed on the back of your router. Once inside you will have to look around for the password tab inside the interface. Every manufacturer’s management console is a little different so you will be Google or look around to find the right place in the interface.

Finding your WiFi Password by Resetting

In the event you don’t want to or can’t do any of these things, you can reset your router to factory setting where it will use the default password written on the back of your router. Again Google how to do a full reset for your router.

Of course, make sure the default password is still on the back of your router. Although this will mean you can connect again to your network it is recommended you change the password so try and persevere with finding your way around the management console.

Conclusion  

The bottom line to all of this is to keep your password somewhere you’ll remember it. Write it on a sticky label on the router, pin it to your fridge, write a text file and keep it on your desktop. It helps to bit a little bit paranoid but not at your own expense.

The Quickest Way to Find the WiFi Password for a Home Router

The Almond series of routers has a built-in touchscreen enabling all the setup and management to be done on the screen of the router. It has a tab for passwords meaning all you have to do is walk up to Almond, tap the Wireless Settings screen and see your password. With Almond, you never have to worry about losing your WiFi password. You can also find your password much quicker compared to having to go through a browser or app.

For more information on creating a secure password and securing your network, click here.

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