Whenever you connect to a Wi-Fi wireless network, Windows operating system, including Windows 10, saves and remembers the Wi-Fi password or network security key of the wireless network to facilitate the automatic joining and connecting to the Wi-Fi on subsequent system startup.
Those Wi-Fi password or network security key saved by Windows 10 can be retrieved and viewed, just in case you forget the password or key to connect other devices to the wireless network.
This tutorial shows various ways you can view the saved Wi-Fi passwords or wireless network security keys on Windows 10.
Method 1: View Saved WiFi Network Security Key Via Wireless Properties
- Open Control Panel and go to Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center.
- Inside Network and Sharing Center, click or tap on your Wi-Fi network connection that you’re connected to.
- Wi-Fi Status window should be opened. Click or tap on Wireless Properties button.
- Go to Security tab and select the Show characters check box
The saved Wi-Fi password will be shown in the text box of network security key.
Method 2: Retrieved Saved Wireless Wi-Fi Password Key via Command Prompt
Open an elevated Command Prompt or PowerShell as Administrator, and type the following command to view the list of wireless network that the Windows ever connected to in the past:
netsh wlan show profile
Once you get the name of Wi-Fi network that you can get the password key for, type the following command:
netsh wlan show profile name="<WiFi network name>" key=clear
Replace <WiFi network name> with actual name of the wireless network that you want to retrieve and view its password.
The password or security key for the Wi-Fi network will be shown next to Key Content under “Security settings” section.
Method 3: Use Third-Party Software to View Stored Wi-Fi Password
It’s unlikely that you’ll ever need third-party software to help you to retrieve the saved WiFi password on a Windows machine. However, if you need one, there are plenty of choice, and most of them is free to download, install and use. Here’s some example of the software available.
Magical Jelly Bean Wi-Fi Password Revealer (download from magicaljellybean.com)
WirelessKeyView (download from nirsoft.net)
Wifi Key Finder (download from gearboxcomputers.com)