Forgot WiFi password?: What to do now

For many people, the WiFi password is hanging on the fridge or in a certain drawer.

Forgot WiFi password?: What to do now

For many people, the WiFi password is hanging on the fridge or in a certain drawer. But what if it gets lost or you can't remember exactly which password you set manually in the router? The good news: In most cases, help is simple. This is how you get your WiFi key back.

The easiest way to get your password back is on Windows and Apple devices that are still connected to the router in question. In Windows 7, 8, 10 and 11 go to the "Network and Sharing Center" via the "Control Panel" and "Network and Internet". There you select the appropriate network and click on "Wireless Properties". In the window that opens, select the "Security" tab. The password is displayed there in encrypted form, with a tick for the "Show characters" option underneath. If you check this box, you will then see the WLA password in plain text.

On MacOS devices, users control "Keychain Access" via Spotlight search. In the input field there, type in the name of the network and open it with a double-click. Depending on the security settings, you can check the "Show password" box here or you have to enter the system password again to make the WLAN key visible.

The WiFi password can also be read out on iPhones, from iOS 16 even for all previously connected networks. With older versions, you control the "WLAN" via the "Settings". There you select the desired network, whereby its accessibility is sufficient, a connection does not have to exist. The encrypted password can be accessed via the info symbol next to the network and can be displayed in plain text after checking the code or the FaceID.

The whole thing works in a similarly simple way under Android 13: In the Internet settings, select either the active connection or a network from the list of all saved connections and click on the "Share" button. A QR code then opens, under which the password stored for this WLAN is also listed.

If you have not changed your password manually and have used the first WiFi key since setting up the router, this is often on the device itself, in the manual or on the packaging. Windows users can also read out all WiFi passwords stored on the PC via the "Command prompt as administrator". To do this, enter the following command in the command line of the terminal and replace WLANNAME with the actual network name: netsh wlan show profile WLANNAME key = clear

After pressing the Enter key, information about the network in question will appear, and in the "Security key" line you will find the password in plain text. Alternatively, we recommend using freeware tools such as "WirelessKeyView" or "Aircrack-ng" to use the same function on a graphical user interface and to make all WLAN keys stored on the PC visible.

On the other hand, if you have customized your password, you can reset the router to factory settings and then follow the steps above. However, it should be noted that this often involves setting up a new Internet connection. In order to carry out this and to assign the password again yourself, the device password of the router is required, among other things, in order to be able to dial into it. If none of this helps, the path ultimately leads to the support of the Internet provider.