This article teaches you how to find a forgotten Wi-Fi password on your Windows or Mac computer. You can do this by using your computer’s settings, or by accessing your router’s settings page. If all else fails, resetting your router will restore the factory default password. You cannot determine your network’s password on mobile.
Find Your Wifi Password Using the Router’s Stock Password
Determine whether you used the router’s stock password. If you used the password which came with the router when initially setting it up, you can usually find the password by checking the router or its documentation.
- If you changed the router password at any point in the time you’ve owned the router, you’ll need to use a different method.
Check the router unit for the password. Most manufacturers place the router’s password on a sticker that’s on the back or the bottom of the router unit.
- The password is usually near the “SSID” heading.
- In most cases, the password will be a long string of letters and numbers, both upper-case and lower-case.
Look for the password in the router’s manual or box. In the unlikely event that you still have the router’s original packaging and manual, you may be able to find a copy of the login sticker inside the packaging, listed in the manual (or on the back of it), or on a separate card which was included with the router. This is only necessary if you can’t find the stock password on your router.
- Unfortunately, you cannot look online for your router’s documentation, as your router’s password is unique to your model.
Find Your Wifi Password on Windows
Click the Wi-Fi icon
. You’ll find it in the far-right side of the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. Doing so will prompt the Wi-Fi menu to appear.
- This method only works if you’re currently connected to a Wi-Fi network for which you’ve forgotten the password.
- If you instead see an icon which resembles a computer monitor next to a cable here, you are connected to your router via Ethernet. You cannot use an Ethernet connection to determine your Wi-Fi password.
Click Network & Internet settings. This link is at the bottom of the Wi-Fi menu.
Click the Wi-Fi tab. It’s on the left side of the Settings window.
Click Change adapter options. This link is in the top-right corner of the Wi-Fi page, just beneath the “Related settings” heading. Doing so opens a Control Panel page.
Click your current Wi-Fi network. You should see a monitor-shaped icon with green bars next to it on this page; this is your current network.
Click View status of this connection. It’s a menu item just below the address bar at the top of the Network Connections window.
Click Wireless Properties. This option is in the middle of the window.
Click the Security tab. You’ll find this tab at the top of the window. Doing so opens a page that has a “Network security key” field near the middle of the page; this is where your password is stored.
Check the “Show characters” box. It’s below the “Network security key” field. This will replace the black dots in the “Network security key” field with your Wi-Fi password.
Finding the Password on Mac
- On Mac, you do not have to be connected to your Wi-Fi network to find the Wi-Fi password.
Click Go. This menu item is in the row of menu items that are in the top-left side of your Mac’s screen.
Click Utilities. It’s in the Go drop-down menu.
Double-click Keychain Access. It’s a key-shaped app in the Utilities folder.
Locate your network’s name and double-click it. This is the name you see when your Mac connects to the Wi-Fi network.
- You can sort the Keychain list alphabetically by clicking the Name category near the top of the Keychain window.
Check the “Show password” box. It’s near the bottom of the network window.
Enter your administrator password when prompted. This is the password you use to log into your Mac. Correctly entering your administrator password will force the Wi-Fi network’s password to display in the password field.
Find Your Wifi Password Using the Router Page
Connect a computer to the router via Ethernet. If you don’t know your Wi-Fi password and the computer in question isn’t connected to the Internet, Ethernet is the only way you’ll be able to connect.
- On a Mac, you’ll most likely need to purchase an Ethernet to USB-C (or Thunderbolt 3) adapter before you can connect your Ethernet cable.
- If Ethernet isn’t an option, you’ll have to reset the router to its default settings.
Go to your router’s page. Open your preferred browser and enter your router’s IP address into the browser’s address bar.
- You can use literally any web browser to perform this step.
Log into the router page. After entering the correct address, you may be asked for the username and password; if so, log in with your router credentials. These are typically different credentials than you use to connect to the Wi-Fi.
- The default username is usually admin, and the default password is usually admin, password, or blank. Most people change these after configuring the router, however, so if you can’t remember the username and password you may need to reset the router.
- If you didn’t change the default username and password, it should be printed in the router’s documentation or on the router itself.
Go to the “Wireless” section. Once you are logged into the router, find the “Wireless” or “Wi-Fi” section. This can usually be accessed by clicking a tab at the top of the page or finding it in the navigation menu.
- Each router page interface will vary, so you may have to navigate through a couple of different menus.
- Your router’s password may also be at the top of the main router page.
Find the password. On the “Wireless” page, you will see your wireless network name (SSID) as well as the security or encryption type (e.g., WEP, WPA, WPA2, or WPA/WPA2). Near the security options, you should see the “Passphrase” or “Password” field. This is your wireless password.
Find Your Wifi Password Resetting the Router
Understand when to use this method. If you’ve been unable to obtain your router’s password under any of the conditions outlined by the previous methods in this article, your Wi-Fi password is unrecoverable and you’ll need to reset your router to its factory settings.
- Restoring the router to factory settings won’t tell you the current password, but it will change the router’s password back to the factory password which is printed on the bottom or back of the router.
- Resetting your router will also disconnect every item you have connected to the router. For this reason, resetting the router should be your last resort.
Find your router’s “Reset” button. This button is usually on the back of the router. You’ll probably need a paperclip or needle to press the “Reset” button.
Press and hold the “Reset” button. Do so for at least 30 seconds to ensure that the router completely resets.
The lights on the router should flash or briefly turn off when the router has officially reset.
- Look for your router’s default login information. This information is usually found on the bottom of the router, and includes the following:
- Network name or SSID — Your network’s factory name that you’ll see in the Wi-Fi menu.
- Password or Key — Your network’s stock password.
Connect to your network. When entering the password, you’ll use the factory password that’s printed on the bottom of your router.
- You may have the option of changing the password before you connect to the Internet.
Find Your Wifi Password From a Laptop
If you’ve connected to the network in the past, the easiest way to do this is to grab the password from a computer that’s currently connected to it. Both Windows PCs and Macs make it easy to see your saved Wi-Fi passphrases. You can’t easily find saved Wi-Fi passphrases on other devices.
Doing this on Android requires root access, and doing this on an iPhone or iPad requires jailbreaking. However, if you’re using iCloud Keychain sync, Wi-Fi passwords from your iOS device may sync to your Mac, where you can access them.
To view a saved Wi-Fi password on Windows, open the list of wireless networks in the Control Panel — you can quickly do this by pressing Windows Key + R, typing ncpa.cpl into the box, and pressing Enter. Right-click a saved Wi-Fi network, select Status, and click the “Wireless Properties” button. Click over to the Security tab and check the “Show characters” box to view the saved Wi-Fi password.
You must have administrator access to the computer to view this information.
Hopefully, you have retrieved the Wifi password that you have forgotten. Leave a comment in the comment section to let us know.