Connecting to Wi-Fi is an essential part of using any computer or mobile device these days. But what happens when you need to find the WiFi password you’re already connected to on your Windows 10 PC or laptop? Maybe you want to connect another device to the same network or you simply forgot what the password is.
Don’t worry – Windows 10 makes it easy to find and even display your current WiFi network’s password. You just need to know where to look within your Windows settings.
In this updated for 2024 guide, I’ll walk you through multiple methods to find your WiFi password on Windows 10. We’ll cover ways to reveal the password through the Windows 10 Settings app and other methods using the command prompt and third party tools.
Before diving into the various methods to find your WiFi password on Windows 10, let’s go over a few quick prerequisites:
- You’ll need a PC or laptop running Windows 10. These instructions may also work on Windows 11 with slight interface differences.
- Your Windows 10 device needs to already be connected to the Wi-Fi network whose password you want to find.
- You’ll generally need administrator access on your Windows 10 device to view the network passwords through Windows settings.
As long as you meet those requirements, you should have no issues finding your network password using one of the methods outlined next.
Method 1: Find Wi-Fi Password Through Windows Settings
The easiest way to find your Wi-Fi password on Windows 10 is through the Windows Settings app. Here is a step-by-step walkthrough:
- Click on the Start menu and type in “settings”. Select the Settings app icon that appears.
- In Settings, click on “Network & Internet”
- On the Network & Internet settings screen, select “Wi-Fi” on the left sidebar.
- Under the list of available Wi-Fi networks, select the network you are currently connected to and whose password you want to find.
- On the Wi-Fi status screen for your connected network, click “Wireless Properties”.
- A properties window for your Wi-Fi connection will appear. Select the “Security” tab at the top.
- Under this tab, check the box for “Show characters” below the Network security key field.
- After checking the box, your full Wi-Fi network security key (password) will now be fully visible.
And that’s it! As long as your Windows user account has admin access, you can easily reveal your Wi-Fi passwords this way without any extra tools or hacking needed.
The Settings method makes finding your passwords a breeze when you own the Windows device. But what if you’re trying to find the Wi-Fi password from a borrowed device or non-Windows gadget? The next methods will cover some alternate ways to find the passwords without having admin rights.
Method 2: Find Passwords in Command Prompt
Using the command prompt is another handy way to find your Wi-Fi password in Windows 10, even without admin rights. Here are the steps:
- Click Start and search for “cmd”. Open the Command Prompt app.
- In the Command Prompt window, type
netsh wlan show profilesand hit Enter.
- This will display a list of all Wi-Fi networks that device has connected to at some point. Find the name of the network you want the password for.
- Once you’ve located your Wi-Fi network’s name in the list, type
netsh wlan show profile "WiFiName" key=clear(replacing WiFiName with your network name) and press Enter again.
- The password for that Wi-Fi connection will then be displayed below in the Security settings section.
The command prompt method allows you easily view saved Wi-Fi passwords right within Windows using just the built-in netsh wlan tool. This comes in handy when dealing with a borrowed device or if you lost admin rights to view passwords through Settings.
Method 3: Find Passwords Using Third Party Apps
If the command line interface isn’t your style, there are also several handy third party apps available that can pull your stored Wi-Fi passwords. Here are some top options:
WirelessKeyView from NirSoft is a straightforward utility that scans your system and displays all Wi-Fi passwords saved on your device. It also recovers passwords from old router backups.
The free version works well for quickly grabbing one of your Wi-Fi passwords. The pro version offers extras like exporting passwords into other formats.
WiFi Passwords for Windows is another simple open source tool for showing your stored networks’ passwords. It also allows copying the keys with one click after retrieving wifi passwords.
There are no ads or bloat in this app – just an easy way to check your network security keys when needed.
NetSpot isn’t primarily focused on recovering passwords, but this utility has the handy extra ability to show passwords for any networks you select.
It’s main function is analyzing Wi-Fi signals, troubleshooting connectivity issues, locating dead zones and optimizing access point setups. Being able to easily pull network passwords is just a bonus on top of the advanced features.
There’s a free version but full functionality requires a premium license.
Alternative Methods to Get a Network Password
The above options cover the easiest and most direct ways to find your current Wi-Fi network passwords on a Windows 10 device. But what if none of those work or you’re trying to find the password for a new network?
Here are a couple alternative ideas for tracking down a Wi-Fi network security key in different scenarios.
Ask the Network Administrator
If you don’t have a device already connected to the target network, one of the simplest options is just asking for the password!
Whether it’s the admin for your work or school network or the owner of a home Wi-Fi, someone originally set up the network and chose the password. Kindly asking may just get you easy access instead of hacking around trying to crack their security.
This won’t work when dealing with public hotspots or other shared networks without a single owner. But with most home and private business networks there is usually an admin you can simply request the password from with proper permissions.
Check the Router Label or Admin Dashboard
If asking the network owner fails or isn’t possible (like a vacant rental property), another way is checking physical hardware and settings.
Often the Wi-Fi name (SSID) and password are printed directly on the label on the bottom of a wireless router or gateway. Unless later changed by the owner, grabbing the labeled admin credentials can get you directly into even a unknown network.
Similarly, if you can access an unattended router or gateway’s admin dashboard from a wired connection, you can view the wireless settings and find or even reset the current Wi-Fi password. Just navigate to the wireless, WLAN or security sections and check current credentials.
Caution: Obviously, directly accessing hardware for a network you don’t own without permission raises legal and ethical issues. First try contacting the owner or authorized admin if possible.
Crack WPA Security Keys Offline
A final more advanced tactic is cracking and revealing the actual Wi-Fi passwords offline using password hacking tools. This involves sniffing wireless traffic, capturing the WPA handshake then launching a brute force dictionary attack against that handshake capture with rainbow tables and word lists to break security.
We cannot recommend or endorse directly hacking or cracking any networks without authorization. But in an authorized ethical hacking context, tools like Aircrack-ng provide this kind of raw functionality.
The open source hacking suite Kali Linux comes preloaded with extensive tools for wireless password cracking like the ones outlines above. Only use these methods in a legal manner on your own Wi-Fi or with explicit permission. The concepts are powerful but can also be abused if handled irresponsibly.
Finding your current Wi-Fi password on Windows is thankfully pretty easy when using the built-in settings and tools. And now with more homes using WPA encryption instead of outdated WEP, your Wi-Fi security keys stay protected from most casual attacks.
Following this guide, you explored multiple handy methods to reveal your Wi-Fi passwords directly within Windows 10. Key options included:
- Using the Settings app and viewing the password under Wireless Properties
- Employing the netsh command in PowerShell or Command Prompt
- Downloading third party password finder utilities
- Asking your network admin for access
- Checking router hardware labels and settings
- And in a pinch, using advanced ethical hacking techniques
So the next time you need to share Wi-Fi access with guests or get a new device online, finding your network password is just a few clicks or taps away. No more tiny faded stickers or illegible scribbles!
Do you have any other handy methods for revealing your Wi-Fi passwords on Windows and other devices? Share your tips and tricks below!
- How to Find WiFi Password on Mac
- How to Find WiFi Password on iPhone
- Easy to View Wi-Fi Passwords in Windows 11 [2024 Update Guide]
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some commonly asked questions and answers related to finding Wi-Fi passwords on Windows 10:
What are the basic requirements to view my Wi-Fi password on Windows 10?
To view Wi-Fi passwords on Windows 10 using the built-in settings, you generally need:
- A PC or laptop running Windows 10
- Administrator access on that Windows user account
- Already be connected to the Wi-Fi network
Does finding the password delete it or disconnect my Wi-Fi?
Simply viewing or displaying your Wi-Fi network security key through Windows does NOT change, remove or disconnect the password or connection. It simply reveals the currentsaved password.
What if I don’t have admin rights? Can I still get the password?
Yes, using the Command Prompt method does not require admin access. So you can retrieve saved Wi-Fi passwords that way even from a limited user account.
How do I find passwords for Wi-Fi networks my PC was previously connected to?
netsh wlan show profiles displays ALL networks your device has connected to before, not just currently connected ones. So you can retrieve old passwords that have been stored.
Can I find the passwords of nearby Wi-Fi networks my PC is not connected to?
Unfortunately these methods only show saved passwords for networks your Windows device has actively connected to before. You cannot remotely access passwords for arbitrary external networks.
What if my Wi-Fi password contains special characters?
The revealed passwords show all characters accurately. So if your network security key has symbols, emojis or other special characters, they will be displayed properly.
Is there any risk of someone else getting my passwords from these methods?
Since these techniques all display passwords locally directly on your device, there is no added hacking risk or network exposure. The passwords stay securely on your own system.