How to find Wi-Fi passwords on Windows – knowledge
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How to find Wi-Fi passwords on Windows

Finding the password to the Wi-Fi network you’re currently connected to is simple on Windows, but getting your hands on all stored Wi-Fi passwords takes a bit of work, so we’ll discuss both methods below.

To find the password to the Wi-Fi network you’re currently connected to on Windows:

1. Click the Start button and then go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center (Windows 11) or Settings > Network & Internet > Status > Network and Sharing Center (Windows 10).

2. Next to Connections, click your Wi-Fi network name highlighted in blue.

3. In the Wi-Fi Status page that opens, click Wireless Properties and then on the Security tab.

4. Finally, check the box next to Show characters to display your Wi-Fi network password above it.

Network sharing center on a Windows laptop
You can easily find the password for the Wi-Fi network you’re currently connected to on Windows.Screenshot by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

However, this isn’t the only way to find your Wi-Fi network passwords. The method above only allows you to view the password to whatever Wi-Fi network you’re currently connected to, but there is a way to find the passwords to all the Wi-Fi networks you’ve ever connected to on your Windows computer.

To find all your Wi-Fi network passwords on Windows:

1. Right-click on the Windows icon in the taskbar on your desktop.

2. Click Windows Terminal (Admin).

3. Type in netsh wlan show profile and hit Enter on your keyboard to view every Wi-Fi network you’ve connected to.

4. Once you find the Wi-Fi network you want the password for, type in netsh wlan show profile “(Wi-Fi network name)” key=clear (for example, netsh wlan show profile “Netgear667” key=clear), and then hit the Enter key.

Windows terminal on computer
You can use Windows Terminal to find all your Wi-Fi network passwords.Screenshot by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Settings for profile, connectivity, security and cost will appear. The Wi-Fi network password will appear under Security settings, and next to Key Content. In addition to Windows Terminal, you can also use the Command Prompt application to type in the commands listed above to find your Wi-Fi passwords.

If you want to read more about passwords, whether it’s on your computer or your smartphone, check out the best password managers to use and nine rules to follow when creating a password.

Correction, March 25: One of the commands for finding a Wi-Fi password on Windows included a typo. The third step in the alternate method has been fixed.

First published on Feb. 23, 2022 at 5:00 a.m. PT.

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