Have you forgotten or lost your Wi-Fi password? If so, here’s an easy way to find out what it is. For PC users, this only works if your Wi-Fi is still connected to your network.
While working in Hollywood, I asked a friend if I could use her Wi-Fi connection to do some research online. She was very concerned about giving me her password, so she shielded my view as she entered it on my computer. Unfortunately for her, I knew that once I had access to her Wi-Fi connection, I could easily view her password. She was extremely upset when I showed her what I am about to show you. For PC users, you must be aware of this and for Mac users, if you safeguard your Apple ID and user name passwords, you cannot view the Wi-Fi password as you can on a PC.
For PC users, we must first go to the control panel. If you don’t have your Control Panel available, there are a couple of easy ways to find it. First, you can click on the Cortana icon in the taskbar on the left, type in “Control Panel” and then when it appears above, click it to open.
If you can’t locate Cortana (or you are not sure what it is), click the Start button and scroll all the way down through the App list and when you find the folder: “Windows System,” click it to expand and then you can click “Control Panel.” You may want to right-click “Control Panel” and then Pin it to the Start menu, or if you hover over “More,” you can pin it to your taskbar for easier access the next time you need it.
With your control panel open, click “Network and Sharing Center.” If you don’t see this, in the upper-right, click “View by” and then click “Large icons.” Now you can open the network and sharing center. To the right, you’ll see “Connections” and “Wi-Fi” and the name of your SSID (network name). Click: “Wi-Fi” and the Wi-Fi Status box will open.
Next, click the “Wireless Properties” button and the “Wireless Network Properties” box will open. At the top of the box, click the “Security” tab and then checkmark the box: “Show characters” and your Wi-Fi password will be displayed.
For those using a Mac, open Finder, open Applications, open the Utilities folder and then double-click Keychain Access. Next, to the upper-left under Keychains, select System. Double-click the name of your network from the list in the center and a separate box will open. Checkmark the box: Show password. You will then need to enter your Apple ID password. You will now need to enter the administrator user name and password. If you are unsure of your user name, open Finder and look for the home icon in the Favorites sidebar. Your user name is the same as your home folder. Enter your user name and password. Once you do this, your password will be displayed.
For more than 15 years, Scott Lindsay has helped thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 500 articles about Apple and Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at ScottLindsay@live.com.