Unlock your computer’s hidden list of Wi-Fi passwords

The first time you set up your home Wi-Fi network, you connect all your devices to the Internet, like your phone and laptop, and then you probably never really think about your password. That is, until a friend or family member comes up and wants to hop onto the internet.

And maybe you don’t remember the password and didn’t write it down. It’s that super long number on the back of yours routers? Or did you change it to something more personal?

CNET TechTips logo

Luckily for you, there’s a way to find it everything your Wi-Fi passwords in one place: your computer.

Read more: The best password managers for 2022

As long as your Windows or Mac computer is already connected to the network, the Wi-Fi password is stored permanently in your settings. It might take some digging on your part, but all the passwords are there, saved and ready to be shared with anyone who wants to connect to Wi-Fi.

Here’s how to find the passwords of all the Wi-Fi networks you’ve ever connected to on MacOS and Windows. To find out more, find out 17 essential settings to customize your MacBook or how to get the most out of windows 11.

How to Find Wi-Fi Passwords in MacOS

Every password entered and saved on a Mac is stored in Keychain Access, the password manager for macOS. And that includes your Wi-Fi network passwords.

To get started, use the search function to open the Keychain Access app and do the following:

1. Click on System under System keychain in the sidebar.

2. After that, click on Passwords at the top of the window.

3. Find the Wi-Fi network you want the password for and double-click it.

4. Finally, check the box next to Show passwords and enter your password when prompted.

Keychain Access app pop-up on MacBook

Find all your stored Wi-Fi passwords in the Keychain Access app on MacOS.

Screenshot by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

The password field will then show the password you used to access that Wi-Fi network. You can double-click in the password field to select the password and copy it to the clipboard if needed.

How to find Wi-Fi passwords on Windows

Finding the password of the Wi-Fi network you’re currently connected to is easy on Windows, but getting your hands on all the stored Wi-Fi passwords takes some work, so we’ll discuss both methods below.

To find the password of the Wi-Fi network you are currently connected to in Windows:

1. Click the Start button and then go to Control Panel > Networks and the internet > network and sharing center (Windows 11) or Settings > Network and the Internet > State > network and sharing center (Windows 10).

2. Next to ConnectionsClick the name of your Wi-Fi network highlighted in blue.

3. On the Wi-Fi Status page that opens, click wireless Property and then on Safety form.

4. Finally, check the box next to Show characters to display the Wi-Fi network password above it.

Network Sharing Center on a Windows laptop

You can easily find the password for the Wi-Fi network you are currently connected to on Windows.

Screenshot by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

However, this is not the only way to find the passwords of your Wi-Fi network. The above method only allows you to view the password for any Wi-Fi network you are currently connected to, but is there a way to find the passwords for everything the Wi-Fi networks you have ever connected to on your Windows computer.

To find all your Wi-Fi network passwords in Windows:

1. Right click on the windows icon in the system tray on the desktop.

2. Click Windows Terminal (Admin).

3. To type show netsh wlan profile and hit log into on the keyboard to view all the Wi-Fi networks you have connected to.

4. Once you find the Wi-Fi network you want the password for, type netsh wlan show profile “(wi-fi network name)” key=delete (For instance, netsh wlan show profile “Netgear667” key=delete), then press the log into key.

Windows terminal on your computer

You can use Windows Terminal to find all the passwords of your Wi-Fi network.

Screenshot by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

The profile, connectivity, security and cost settings will appear. Your Wi-Fi network password will appear under Security settings and next to Key content. In addition to Windows Terminal, you can also use the Command Prompt application to type the commands listed above to find your Wi-Fi passwords.

If you want to learn more about passwords, both on your computer and on your smartphone, check out the best password managers to use And nine rules to follow when creating a password.