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Having a complex Wi-Fi password increases your security, as well as your likelihood to forget a long chain of letters and numbers. Fortunately, there are two quick methods for retrieving your home Wi-Fi password quickly and securely.

Keychain Access

Your Mac saves Wi-Fi passwords to your keychain, and you can see them in the Keychain Access application on your Mac.

To launch it, open Spotlight Search by clicking the magnifying glass in the top-right menu bar (or pressing Command + Space Bar). Type “Keychain Access” into the new search bar, and press Enter/Return.

Spotlight Search Magnifying Glass

In the Keychain Access window that appears, click “Passwords.”

Keychain Access for Wi-Fi Passwords

Double-click the name of the Wi-Fi network. In the pop-up window, check the “Show Password” box. You might have to enter your Mac’s admin username and password to reveal the password. Remember that Keychain access also stores passwords for various apps, websites, and more.

Show Password in Keychain Access on macOS

Terminal

You can also do this from the Terminal.

To launch a Terminal window on your Mac, open Spotlight Search by clicking the magnifying glass in the top-right menu bar (or pressing Command + Space Bar). Type “Terminal” and press Enter. You can also launch the Terminal by opening Finder and navigating to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.

In this new window, type the following command, replacing “WIFI NAME” for the name of the Wi-Fi network:

security find-generic-password -ga WIFI NAME | grep “password:”

a Terminal window

You might have to type your Mac’s admin username and password to reveal the password. Your Mac will display the password in the terminal in plain text.

Joel Cornell Joel Cornell
Joel Cornell is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He's spent twelve years writing professionally, working on everything from technical documentation at PBS to video game content for GameSkinny. Joel covers a bit of everything technology-related, including gaming and esports. He's honed his skills by writing for other industries, including in architecture, green energy, and education.
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