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You can often find your a Wi-Fi router's default password printed on the router itself. You can also view the password on a Windows PC, Mac, Android device, iPhone, or iPad that's previously connected to the network.

What’s the password to your Wi-Fi network, anyway? Whether you’ve changed the default password or not, it’s simple to find your Wi-Fi password. You can also look up any Wi-Fi network password if you’ve previously connected to that network from a Windows PC or Mac.

This is essential for hooking up new devices to a network. Whether you’ve misplaced your home network’s password, or you’re visiting someone and don’t want to ask them for the password a second time, here’s how you can find it.

First: Check Your Router’s Default Password

If your router is still using the default username and password, it should be easy to find. Modern Wi-Fi routers — and the combined router/modem units offered by many Internet service providers — come with a default Wi-Fi network name and password. Each router has its own default password, which is often random.

To find the default password, find your Wi-Fi router and examine it. You should see a sticker somewhere on it that contains both the “SSID” — the wireless network name — and the password. If you haven’t changed the default password yet, you can use that password to connect to the router.

If you don’t see a default password printed on the router itself, try looking at the documentation that came with the router for more information.

The back of a router.

What if you don’t have the manual or the password isn’t on the router sticker? As we mentioned in our guide to resetting your router’s password, you might be able to find the password by using common username and password combinations (e.g., “admin” for the username and “admin” for the password) or consulting RouterPasswords.com, a database of popular routers’ default logins.

Once you’ve connected to your router using the default password, make sure you change it and store the password in your password manager so your router is secure.

How to Find the Current Wi-Fi Network’s Password on Windows

If you’ve connected to a Wi-Fi network from a Windows laptop or desktop PC, Windows will remember that Wi-Fi network’s password. You can look up the Wi-Fi password on any Windows computer that’s currently connected to — or has previously connected to — that Wi-Fi network.

Right-click the Wi-Fi icon on your taskbar, then click the “Open Network & Internet Settings” option that appears in the context menu.

Note: The procedure for seeing your Wi-Fi password on Windows 11 is basically the same as on Windows 10, shown here, but the user interface is fairly different.

RELATED: How to See Your Wi-Fi Password on Windows 11

Scroll down to the “Advanced Network Settings” section, then click “Network and Sharing Center.”

Click the name of the current Wi-Fi connection next to “Connections.”

Click the “Wireless Properties” button in the Wi-Fi Status window that appears.

Click the “Security” tab and activate the “Show characters” checkbox to view the hidden password.

Open the "Security" tab, then tick the "Show Characters" box.

How to Find Passwords for Wi-Fi Networks You’ve Connected to Previously

Windows also stores the Wi-Fi password of networks you’ve connected to previously. In Windows 7 and earlier, you can find these from the Network and Sharing Center, but in Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows 11, you’ll need to use the command prompt.

Find Passwords for Other Wi-Fi Networks in Windows 7 and Earlier

To get started, click the “Manage wireless networks” link in the left menu of the Network and Sharing Center.

You’ll see a list of the previous networks you’ve connected to. Double-click a network name to open the network’s properties.

In the network properties window, go to the Security tab and check the box next to “Show characters” to see the Wi-Fi password in the “Network security key” field.

Find Passwords for Other Wi-Fi Networks in Windows 8, 10, or 11

In Windows 11, 10, 8.1, you’ll have to use the command prompt to find a previous network’s password. Right-click the Start button and select “Command Prompt,” “PowerShell,” or “Windows Terminal” to quickly open it

Then type in the following command:

netsh wlan show profiles

Run "netsh wlan show profiles" in PowerShell or Command Prompt to list saved Networks.

You’ll get a list of the Wi-Fi networks you’ve accessed before.

To find the password for one of the profiles, type in the following, replacing profilename with the name of the profile:

netsh wlan show profile name=profilename key=clear

Look for the “Key Content” line to find the Wi-Fi password for that Wi-Fi network.

Run "netsh wlan show profile name=profilename key=clear" to display the password of the network in plaintext.

How to Find the Password for Current or Previous Wi-Fi Networks on a Mac

If you have a Mac that’s currently connected to the Wi-Fi network or previously connected to it, you can also look up the password on that Mac.

To find the Wi-Fi password on your Mac, press Command+Space to open the Spotlight search dialog, type “Keychain Access” without the quotes, and press Enter to launch the Keychain Access app.

Press Command+Space, type "Keychain Access," then press Enter.

Select “System” on the left, pick the “Passwords” tab, then double-click your Wi-Fi network in the list to view the details of the network.

Note: You can also click the “i” icon near the top of the window to display the Wi-Fi network’s details.

Click the “Show Password” checkbox in the window that appears.

Check the "Show Password" box near the bottom of the Network Details window.

You’ll have to enter your username and password to gain access to the password, or use TouchID. You’ll need an administrator account for this. Assuming your Mac account is an administrator account, just type your account’s username and password.

After you do, your Mac will show you the Wi-Fi network’s password.

The password for the "Example Network" displayed in plaintext.

How to Find a Wi-Fi Network’s Password on an Android Device

Android has a convenient way to view your password built in. You need to get to the Network settings menu — you can do that by navigating to Settings, then tapping “Network and Internet” or by long-holding “Internet” in the swipe-down menu.

Tap "Network and Internet."

Tap the name of the Wi-Fi network that you’re currently connected to — in this case, it is “Example Network.”

Tap "Example Network" to view the details of the "Example Network."

If you want to view a Wi-Fi network you’ve connected to in the past, tap “Saved Networks,” which is down the page a bit.

Tap "Saved Networks" to view previous Wi-Fi networks.

Once you select the network you want to view — either from the Saved Networks list or your current network — you’ll see a “Network Details” screen. Tap “Share” to display the password for the network.

The plaintext password is displayed under the QR code.

The Wi-Fi password is displayed in plaintext under a QR code.

How to Find a Wi-Fi Network’s Password on an iPhone or iPad

The only way to find a Wi-Fi network’s password on an iPhone or iPad running a version of iOS older than iOS 16 is to jailbreak your device first. Talk about a headache.

RELATED: How to View Saved Wi-Fi Passwords on iPhone or iPad

Starting in iOS 16, the process is much simpler. You can find the password for any Wi-Fi network you’ve previously connected to by going to the Settings app, then tap the “Wi-Fi” option.

Open the Settings app, then tap "Wi-Fi."

Tap the “i” icon to view the network details.

Tap the obfuscated password to reveal your password. You can hit the “Copy” button to copy the password to your clipboard, then paste it wherever you’d like.

Tap the "Password" field to reveal the Wi-Fi network's password.

If you want to view the password of a Wi-Fi network you’ve connected to previously, tap the “Edit” button instead of the “i” icon.

All of the networks you’ve connected to previously are saved and available in a list.  Tap the “i” button next to the network to view the details.

Tap the password field to view your current password in plaintext.

Once again, tap the "Password" field to display the network's password in plaintext.

How to Find a Wi-Fi Network’s Password from the Router’s Web Interface

RELATED: 10 Useful Options You Can Configure In Your Router's Web Interface

If you have access to the router’s web interface, you can also attempt to look it up there. This assumes that the router is either using its default username and password so you can log in, or that you know the current username and password for the router.

Go to your router’s web interface and sign in with the current username and password your router requires. Look through the router’s interface for a “Wi-Fi” or similarly labeled section. You’ll see the current Wi-Fi password displayed on this screen, and you can also choose to change it to anything you want from here.

A Router's web interface showing the Wi-Fi password.

If All Else Fails: Reset Your Router to Its Default Wi-Fi Password

RELATED: How to Access Your Router If You Forget the Password

Can’t find your Wi-Fi network’s password and don’t have access to your router’s web interface — or just don’t want to bother? Don’t worry. You can reset your router and force it to use the default Wi-Fi passphrase printed on the router once again.

Look for a small “reset” button on the router. It’s often a pinhole button you’ll have to press with a bent paperclip or a similarly small object. Press the button down for ten seconds or so and your router’s settings will be completely erased and reset to their defaults. The Wi-Fi network name and password will be restored to the default ones on the router.

The reset button on the back of a router.

Not sure what your router’s Wi-Fi network name — or SSID — is? Just look at the Wi-Fi settings on any device connected to the Wi-Fi network and you’ll see the network name. If no devices are connected yet, you should see this information printed on the router itself or in the router’s documentation.

The Best Wi-Fi Routers of 2022

Best Wi-Fi Router Overall
Asus AX6000 (RT-AX88U)
Best Budget Router
TP-Link Archer AX3000 (AX50)
Best Cheap Router
TP-Link Archer A8
Best Gaming Router
Asus GT-AX11000 Tri-Band Router
Best Mesh Wi-Fi Router
ASUS ZenWiFi AX6600 (XT8) (2 Pack)
Best Budget Mesh Router
TP-Link Deco X20
Best Modem Router Combo
NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX80
Best VPN Router
Linksys WRT3200ACM
Beat Travel Router
TP-Link AC750
Best Wi-Fi 6E Router
Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000
Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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Profile Photo for Nick Lewis Nick Lewis
Nick Lewis is a staff writer for How-To Geek. He has been using computers for 20 years --- tinkering with everything from the UI to the Windows registry to device firmware. Before How-To Geek, he used Python and C++ as a freelance programmer. In college, Nick made extensive use of Fortran while pursuing a physics degree.
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