Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you need to connect to a WiFi network but can’t remember the WiFi password? Forgetting your WiFi password can be frustrating, especially if you need to access the internet urgently.
For example, let’s say you bought a new mobile phone and need the password to connect to your WiFi network, but you can’t remember the WiFi password. Or perhaps you’ve recently changed your WiFi password for security reasons and forgotten the new one.
Luckily, there are several ways to recover a forgotten WiFi password on your Windows computer. In this guide, I will show you five methods to easily recover a forgotten WiFi password. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents:
- 5 Ways to Recover Forgotten WiFi Password
- How to avoid forgetting WiFi password in future
5 Ways to Recover Forgotten WiFi Password
There are multiple ways to find and recover the forgotten WiFi password. I will share five surefire ways in this guide. Whether you prefer using Windows settings, Command Prompt, or your router’s configuration page, I will provide step-by-step instructions for each method so you can choose the one that works the best for you.
1. Recover WiFi Password From Windows Settings
Once you connect to a WiFi network, Windows automatically saves the WiFi password so that you can connect to the same network without entering the password again. This means you can recover the WiFi password directly from the Windows settings. Here’s how.
Note: Connect to the WiFi network from your Windows device before following the below steps.
- Use “Windows key + I” to open Settings.
- Select “Network & Internet” on the sidebar.
- Click on the “Advanced network settings” option.
- Scroll down and click on “More network adapter options.”
- Right-click on your WiFi adapter.
- Select “Status.”
- Click on the “Wireless Properties” button.
- Go to the “Security” tab.
- Select the “Show characters” checkbox to see the forgotten WiFi password.
- Note down the WiFi password somewhere safe to recover it.
Steps with more details:
The first thing to do is open the network adapters page. For that, press the “Windows key + R” shortcut to open the Run window. Type “ncpa.cpl” and click the “Ok” button. You can get to this page from “Settings -> Network & Internet -> Advanced network settings -> More network adapter options.”
Once on this page, find and double-click on your WiFi network adapter. You can also right-click on the adapter and select Status.
Related: Don’t like the default network adapter name? Here’s how to rename a network adapter on Windows.
The above action will open the adapter status window. Here, click on the “Wireless Properties” button.
In the Network Properties window, go to the Security tab and select the “Show Characters” checkbox. As soon as you do that, you will see the WiFi password. Note down the forgotten WiFi password somewhere safe.
2. Use the Command Prompt to Recover the WiFi Password
You can get back the forgotten WiFi password by running a couple of commands in the Command Prompt or Terminal. Let me show you how.
- Right-click the Start icon on the taskbar.
- Select the “Terminal (Admin)” option.
- Execute the “netsh wlan show profile” command.
- Note down the WiFi SSID name.
- Run the “netsh wlan show profile ‘network_name’ key=clear” while replacing network_name with the SSID you got earlier.
- The forgotten WiFi is password next to “Key Content” under “Security Settings.”
Steps with more details:
You can either use the Terminal or Command Prompt. To start, right-click the Windows icon on the taskbar and select the “Terminal (Admin)” option. This action will open Windows Terminal with administrator rights. If you want to use Command Prompt, search for it in the Start menu and open it as admin by selecting the “Run as administrator” option.
Run the below command in the Terminal window. It will show a list of all the saved WiFi networks. From the list, find your WiFi network and note down the SSID. You can use the SSID to show or hide a WiFi network.
netsh wlan show profile
Next, run the below command while replacing “network_name” with the actual WiFi SSID name.
netsh wlan show profile 'network_name' key=clear
As soon as you execute the command, you will see a list of information where you can find the forgotten WiFi password next to “Key Content” under the “Security Settings” section.
Once you know the password, note it down somewhere safe and use it to log into the WiFi network. You can safely close the Terminal or Command Prompt window.
3. Recover Forgotten WiFi Password From Router Settings
Your WiFi network is configured in the router. That means you can get your forgotten WiFi password from the router configuration page.
Since every router and its configuration page is different, I’m providing generic guidance that should work in a vast majority of cases. If not, I recommend you consult the router manual or documentation.
First, open the router page in your browser and log into your router. Generally, the router IP address is 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1.
Once logged in, go to the wireless or WiFi configuration page, select “Wireless Security,” and you should see your forgotten WiFi password in the Password field. On some routers, you might have to select some kind of Show Characters checkbox to see the password.
With that, now you know your forgotten WiFi password.
4. Resetting Your WiFi Router to Recover the Default Password
If you are unable to find the WiFi password with the methods shown above, resetting the router might help. Though this method doesn’t tell you the forgotten WiFi password, it lets you recover the default WiFi password or set a new one.
Here’s how to reset your router:
First, locate the reset button on your router. It’s usually a small button on the back or bottom of the device.
Once you find the reset button, use a paper clip, toothpick, or some other small pointed object to press and hold the reset button for 10-15 seconds.
Release the reset button after 10-15 seconds.
Wait for the router to reboot. This may take a few minutes.
Once the router has finished rebooting, it should be back to its default settings. You can now log in to the router’s web interface using the default username and password (which are usually listed in the user manual) and configure the router as needed.
If you go to the wireless or WiFi configuration page in router settings, you should see the default WiFi password or set a new WiFi password.
5. Contact ISP to Recover Your WiFi Password
If your router is configured by your ISP (Internet Service Provided) or if it is a proprietary router from your ISP, then you can contact your ISP provider to get back the forgotten WiFi password.
Generally, for most ISP-configured routers, you can also get the router and WiFi network details by logging into your ISP-provided user account.
In some cases, the router and WiFi login details are also listed on the back of the router device.
How to Avoid Forgetting WiFi Password in Future
Though it is easy to recover a forgotten WiFi password, it is better to avoid forgetting the WiFi password in the first place. For that, here are some tips you can follow to not forget your WiFi password.
- Write it down: The easiest way to remember your WiFi password is to write it down somewhere safe and accessible. You could write it on a piece of paper and keep it in a secure location, or save it in a note-taking app on your phone or computer.
- Use a password manager: A password manager is a secure way to store all your passwords in one place. You only need to remember one master password to access all your saved passwords, including your WiFi password. Bitwarden (free & open-source) and 1Password (Paid) are a couple of good password managers you can try.
- Use a memorable phrase: Instead of using a random combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, try using a memorable phrase as your WiFi password. This could be a favorite quote, song lyric, or saying that you can easily remember. That being said, avoid using things like your maiden name, date of birth, famous names, pet names, etc., as passwords for better security.
- Set up automatic login: If your device supports it, you can set up automatic login to your WiFi network. That way, you don’t have to remember the password or need to manually enter your password every time you connect to the network.
By following these tips, you should be able to avoid forgetting your WiFi password in the future.
Forgotten WiFi Password — Conclusion
As you can see, if you ever forget your WiFi password, there are several ways to recover it. You can recover your WiFi password from Windows Settings, Command Prompt, or from your router settings. If all else fails, you can contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for assistance or reset your router to the default password.
Once you recover the forgotten WiFi password, it’s a good idea to write down your password somewhere safe or use a password manager to avoid forgetting it in the future.
If you like this article, here are a few more guides on managing WiFi on Windows:
- Disable WiFi when connected to ethernet (wired connection)
- How to check WiFi signal strength on Windows
- How to connect to a hidden WiFi network
- How to disable Microsoft WiFi direct virtual adapter
That is all. It is that simple to get back your forgotten WiFi password.
I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.
If you are stuck or need help, email me, and I will try to help as much as possible.