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5 ways to view saved Wi-Fi passwords in Windows

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Remembering Wi-Fi passwords can be tricky. Often you have to search for technicians and system administrators to access a network you connected to previously. Fortunately, Windows offers several options for viewing the Wi-Fi passwords saved on your PC.

If you drew a blank when you were prompted for a password to log into a Wi-Fi connection in Windows, these methods should help.

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1. Use the Control Panel

One way to view the Wi-Fi passwords saved on your PC is to use the Control Panel. This method only works for active Wi-Fi networks.

  1. Rush Victory + R. to open the “Run” application.
  2. Enter control in the text box and press Enter. The Control Panel window will open.
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  1. Click on the “Network and Internet” option.
Wi-Fi access 2
  1. Click “Network and Sharing Center” in the panel on the right of the screen.
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  1. In the “View your active network” menu, click Wi-Fi on your active connection.

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  1. In the new window, click “Wireless Properties”.
Log in to Wi-Fi 7
  1. Open the Security tab. Check the “Show Characters” box under “Network Security Key” to see your Wi-Fi password.
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2. With the command prompt

Command Prompt is a powerful tool for managing various tasks in Windows. If you want to view the password for a specific network, you can use the command prompt to find it. That’s how:

  1. Rush Victory + R. to open the “Run” application.
  2. Enter cmd in the text box and press Enter to open the command prompt.
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  1. Type the following command in the command prompt:
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  1. Write down the name of the Wi-Fi you are interested in (in this case it is Kim) and enter the following command:

To notice: Replace “Wi-Fi Name” in the command with the name of the Wi-Fi network you are trying to access (in this example it is Kim).

  1. A list of information and settings related to the Wi-Fi network in question will be displayed.
  1. In the output, search for “Key Content” in “Security Settings” to get the password.
Access the Wi-Fi control

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3. Try PowerShell

Windows PowerShell is an advanced version of the command prompt. This task-based command line interface is basically a scripting language used to simplify administrative tasks.

You can use PowerShell to view a list of all Wi-Fi passwords saved on your PC. That’s how:

  1. Tap the magnifying mirror icon next to the Windows button on the taskbar.
  2. In the search box, type “Windows PowerShell”.
  1. Click “Run as administrator” to start PowerShell. Click “Yes” in the “User Account Control” window to continue when prompted.
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  1. Copy and paste the following command into Windows PowerShell.
  1. Blow Enter to execute the command. You will receive a list of Wi-Fi profiles and their passwords.
Enter the pixelated Wi-Fi password view

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4. Use the Wi-Fi password detector

You can also use third-party software to access Wi-Fi passwords saved on your Windows PC. One such tool is Magical JellyBean Wi-Fi Password Revealer. That’s how:

  1. Go to the Magical Jelly Wi-Fi Password Revealer website.
  2. Click the Download button to download the software. Once the download is complete, run the file to install Wi-Fi Password Revealer.
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  1. Launch the Wi-Fi password detector. All Wi-Fi profiles and passwords will be displayed.
  2. You can copy the password you need to the clipboard directly from the software by clicking on it and pressing CTRL + VS.
Wi-Fi access 21

5. Use WirelessKeyView

Another third party software for viewing saved passwords is WirelessKeyView. The difference with Wi-Fi Password Revealer is that WirelessKeyView is a portable application. This means that you don’t need to install the app to use it, so it’s very popular with system administrators.

Here’s how to use WirelessKeyView:

  1. Go to the NirSoft website, go to the bottom of the page and download WirelessKeyView.
Wi-Fi access 22

To notice: The password of the zip file is Wkey4567 #as indicated on the download page.

  1. Unzip the file and double-click the Wirelesskeyview.exe file to run the application. At this point you will need to enter the password.
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  1. The WirelessKeyView application will start and display all Wi-Fi passwords saved on the PC.
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Although Windows Security can detect WirelessKeyView as malware, it is completely safe. Whitelist the app to run without interruption.

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Alternative: check the router

Another possible way is to check if the password used is the default one that came with the router. You will usually find the password listed on the actual router. The default password should appear after “Wi-Fi Password”, “WPA Passphrase”, “Wireless Security Key”, “Default Password” or a combination of these words. If not, you have another option: check the admin panel of the Wi-Fi router.

To notice– Authorization from the router owner is required. Also, the method uses the router’s default password, so it may not work if the owner has changed it.

  1. Click on Victory + R. to open “Run”.
  2. Guy cmd in the entry box and press Enter.
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  1. Enter ipconfig in cmd to find the router’s default gateway IP address.
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  1. Check in “Wi-Fi wireless LAN adapter” to find the IP address of the router. Common IP addresses include 192.168.1.1, 192.168.2.1, and 192.168.0.1.
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  1. Open your browser (any browser is fine) and type the IP address in the address bar. You will be redirected to the router’s login page.
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  1. Log in by entering the default username and password. You can find the default router passwords at www.routerpasswords.com.

Once you are there, you can find the Wi-Fi password in the router’s wireless network settings. The process varies depending on the router model. Consult your router’s user manual if you have difficulty.

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Frequent questions

Can I hack my Wi-Fi password?

It is possible for you or someone else to crack your Wi-Fi password through a brute force attack. It relies on trial and error to crack passwords. You will need the right software, the right hardware, and some patience.

What’s a good password for my Wi-Fi network?

Opinions vary, but according to Avast experts, a good password should be no less than 15 characters, including a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters, special characters, and numbers. Also, try to avoid memorable keyboard paths. The stronger the password resulting from the password, the more difficult it will be to crack it.

How often do I need to change my Wi-Fi password?

Get in the habit of changing your Wi-Fi password once every three months. This is a good rule of thumb for any sensitive technology devices you use.

Image credit: Pixabay | All screenshots by Richard Kanyoro.

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