I guess everyone had a case when computer connects to Wi-Fi network, but have no idea what the password is. Maybe you forgot it, or even “evil” net admin entered it without revealing it to you. Now when we have another device that we want to connect to Wi-Fi network, we have several options: one send the request to admin to help with new device or two use command prompt in windows computer (cmd), terminal in case of MAC or Linux and retrieve the password.
Find Password on Windows
Open command prompt ( windows key + R, and type in cmd), or in start menu search field type in cmd and once the application icon will come up, right-click and run as administrator. In command prompt window enter next command followed by enter to check the Wi-Fi password:
netsh wlan show profile name=[Wi-Fi name] key=clear
Replace [Wi-Fi name] with the name of your Wireless SSID or wireless name. The password will show up under the Security Setting section (see screenshot).
If you would only like to see the password and not the other information, use the findstr (findstr is a command in the command line interpreters (shells) of Microsoft Windows. It is used to search for a specific text string in files. The command sends the specified lines to the standard output device. ) command:
netsh wlan show profile name=[Wi-Fi name] key=clear | findstr Key
if the password is not visible, try restarting the command prompt and starting all over again.
Show the Password on Mac OS X
In case of mac, it is little bit different and it might require administrator rights as Mac OS uses Keychain to store the Wi-Fi configuration information and BSD command “security” can be used to retrieve any information stored in Keychain, including our Wi-Fi password.
Open Spotlight (Cmd + Space) and type terminal. Or navigate to Applications folder, then open the Utilities folder.
In command line, enter following command (Replace [Wi-Fi name] with the name of your Wireless SSID or wireless name), then enter your Mac username and password to access the OS X keychain and the Wi-Fi network password would be displayed on the screen in plain text.
security find-generic-password -ga [Wi-Fi name]
Reveal the Wi-Fi Password on Linux
The command to get Wi-Fi passwords works for Linux as well. Again, replace [Wi-Fi name] with the name of your Wireless SSID or wireless name. The value of the field psk is your Wi-Fi password.
sudo cat /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/[Wi-Fi name] | grep psk=
If you don’t know the Wireless SSID or wireless name, use the following command:
sudo grep psk= /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/*
Start WLAN AutoConfig (Wlansvc Service)
If you are using the command to retrieve the password on a Windows computer but getting an error that says – “The Wireless AutoConfig Service (wlansvc) is not running” – here’s a simple fix:
Click the Windows + R and in window type “services.msc”. Here go to WLAN Autoconfig service and make sure that the status is Running. If not, right-click the WLAN AutoConfig service, select Properties and go to Dependencies. Check all the dependencies to make sure they are all running.