How to Find Your Saved Wi-Fi Passwords on Windows

Can you show Wi-Fi passwords in Windows?

Wi-Fi logo on laptop on outside table

methodshop / Pixabay

 

Your PC holds many secrets. Some of them are built right into the operating system, and we try to uncover them here. Others are put there by you. Specifically, I'm talking about your saved passwords such as those for Wi-Fi networks.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

01
of 09

Windows: The Secret Keeper

A Windows computer with screen showing forest scene

 Tetra Images/Getty Images

Once you share these secrets with Windows, it doesn't like to give them up. That could be a problem if you've forgotten your password and want to share it with someone else or simply want to transfer your passwords to a new PC.

The good news is you could use several methods to uncover your saved Wi-Fi passwords. 

Microsoft enables you to view the password for the network you're currently connected to. We'll cover the instructions for finding your password based on Windows 10, but the method will be similar for earlier versions of the OS.

02
of 09

The Easy Way

Screenshot of Open Network & Internet Settings

First, make sure your computer is currently connected to the wireless network for which you want to find the password. Then right-click the Wi-Fi icon on the far right of the taskbar and select Open Network & Internet Settings from the context menu.

Alternatively, go to Control Panel > Network and Internet.

03
of 09

The Control Panel

Screenshot of Network and Sharing Center link in Network & Internet window

This will open a settings window. Select the Network and Sharing Center link. The Network and Sharing window will open.

04
of 09

Wi-Fi Status

Screenshot of Wi-Fi in Network and Sharing Center

Select Wi-Fi next to the name of the wireless network for which you want to find the password. In Windows 7, right-click Wireless Network Connection and select Status. The Wi-Fi Status window will open.

05
of 09

Reveal Your Password

Screenshot of Network Security Key field on Wireless Network Properties box

Select the Wireless Properties button to open the Wireless Network Properties window. Choose the Security tab and then select the Show characters checkbox to reveal your password in the Network security key text entry box. Copy down your password and you're done.

06
of 09

The Slightly Harder Way

Screenshot of Magical Jelly Bean website

Windows 10's built-in method for uncovering passwords is great, but what if you want to find a password for a network you're not currently connected to?

For that, we'll need some help from third-party software. There are a number of options you can use, but the one we prefer is Magical Jelly Bean's Wi-Fi Password Revealer. This company also makes a product key finder that works well for finding the activation code for Windows in versions XP, 7, and 8.

07
of 09

Watch Out for Bundleware

Password Revealer is a free, easy program to use that will tell you everything you need to know about the Wi-Fi networks your PC has used in the past.

The one tricky thing about this program is that if you're not careful it will also download and install an extra program (AVG Zen, at this writing). This is a sponsored download, and it's how the company supports its free offerings, but for the end-user, it's incredibly annoying.

Take it slow when installing Wi-Fi Password Revealer (read every screen carefully!). When you come to the screen offering you a free trial of some other program just uncheck the box to install and continue as normal.

08
of 09

The Password List

Magical Jelly Bean Wi-Fi Password Revealer screenshot

 Lifewire

Once you've installed the program, it should start-up straight away. If it doesn't you'll find it under in your Start menu apps.

Now you'll see a small window listing every single Wi-Fi network your computer has saved to its memory complete with passwords. The listing is pretty easy to read, but just to be clear the name of the Wi-Fi network is listed in the SSID column and the password is in the password column.

09
of 09

Right-click to Copy

Magical Jelly Bean Wi-Fi Password Revealer 2 screenshot

 Lifewire

To copy a password, click on the cell containing the password you want, right-click, and then from the context menu that appears select Copy selected password.

Sometimes you may see passwords prepended with the word "hex." This means the password has been converted into hexadecimal digits. If that's the case you may not be able to retrieve the password. That said, you should still try to use the "hex" password as sometimes the password hasn't actually been converted at all.