With the help of a few simple commands in Windows, Mac OS or Linux, you will be able to retrieve your saved passwords of all the wireless networks that your computer has already connected to.
Your computer was connecting to a wireless network for using the Internet some time ago. But now you have forgotten it, or someone has entered the password directly for connecting without telling you, such as your friends or the network administrator.
There would be no problem with your current computer because it's already connected to the wireless network, and you can use the Internet as usual. The point is that you want to connect the second device to this WiFi network, such as your smartphone, or laptop, but you don't actually know what the password is.
How To Retrieve a WiFi Password That’s Saved On Your Computer
In this article, I'm going to share detailed instructions that you can use to find those saved WiFi passwords on your computer and then use them for other devices without asking your network administrator or your friends.
Find Saved WiFi Password In Windows
Firstly, press Windows + X, and hit the A key and then select Yes to open the Command Prompt with the administrative privilege.
In the next step, execute the following command to view the saved password of your desired wireless network.
netsh wlan show profile name=UsefulPCGuide key=clear
Remember to replace "UsefulPCGuide" with the name of the wireless network whose password you want to see.
The Command Prompt program will show you all the necessary details of the requested wireless network. You can quickly locate the password under the Security Setting section.
Only want to show the saved password instead of everything? Use the command below:
netsh wlan show profile name=UsefulPCGuide key=clear | findstr Key
Note: Make sure you open the Command Prompt program in administrator mode. Otherwise, sometimes the password doesn't show.
Getting "The Wireless AutoConfig Service (wlansvc) is not running" error message?
Don't worry! Just press Windows + R, type: services.msc to open Windows Service. In the next step, search for WLAN Autoconfig and make sure it's running. If it doesn't, right-click on it and select the Start option.
Retrieve WiFi Password In Mac OS
Finding the saved wireless password in Mac OS is as easy as what you would do in Windows. In Mac OS, all the configuration details are stored in the Keychain, and you can use the "security" BSD command to view the desired information.
Press the Command + Space combination to bring up Spotlight. Then type: terminal and select the Terminal application from the list to open it.
In the next step, execute the following command to retrieve the saved WiFi password. Make sure you have replaced UsefulPCGuide with your wireless network name.
security find-generic-password -wa UsefulPCGuide
How about Linux?
Find Saved Wireless Password In Linux
To retrieve the saved wireless password in Linux, you can use the following command:
sudo cat /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/UsefulPCGuide | grep psk=
Make sure to replace "UsefulPCGuide" value with your wireless network name. The value of the "psk" field is the saved WiFi password that you want to know.
In case you don't know the wireless network name, use this command to view all the connections:
sudo grep psk= /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/*