How to See Your Wifi Password

Tutorial Dec 20, 2020

Whether we are using a Windows or Linux machine, the password we use to connect to any Wi-Fi network will get stored in the filesystem somewhere. And that password can be retrieved as plain text easily.

Maybe you want to connect a new device to the Wi-Fi network you are already using on another device but forgot its password. Or maybe you're a guest at someone's place and don't want to bother them by asking for the password again. Whatever the scenario is, this tutorial will show you how to find your Wi-Fi password from your Windows or Linux machine.

1. WINDOWS

First, open a command prompt window. Search for cmd in Windows start menu. When you see Command Prompt as a result, click on it.

Run the following command to see a list of all the Wi-Fi networks your Windows machine connected to previously.

netsh wlan show profiles
Profiles on interface Wi-Fi:

Group policy profiles (read only)
---------------------------------
    

User profiles
-------------
    All User Profile     : Pizza Pan
    All User Profile	 : Pineapple
    All User Profile     : Internet Abyss
    All User Profile     : AndroidAP

We can check the password used to connect to any of these Wi-Fi networks. For example, to see the password used to connect to the Pineapple network, use the following command.

netsh wlan show profile name=Pineapple key=clear
Profile Enchanted Abyss on interface Wi-Fi:
=======================================================================

Applied: All User Profile

Profile information
-------------------
    Version                : 1
    Type                   : Wireless LAN
    Name                   : Pineapple
    Control options        :
        Connection mode    : Connect automatically
        Network broadcast  : Connect only if this network is broadcasting
        AutoSwitch         : Do not switch to other networks
        MAC Randomization  : Disabled

Connectivity settings
---------------------
    Number of SSIDs        : 1
    SSID name              : "Pineapple"
    Network type           : Infrastructure
    Radio type             : [ Any Radio Type ]
    Vendor extension          : Not present

Security settings
-----------------
    Authentication         : WPA2-Personal
    Cipher                 : CCMP
    Authentication         : WPA2-Personal
    Cipher                 : GCMP
    Security key           : Present
    Key Content            : thisIsAPassw0rd

Cost settings
-------------
    Cost                   : Unrestricted
    Congested              : No
    Approaching Data Limit : No
    Over Data Limit        : No
    Roaming                : No
    Cost Source            : Default

And that is all, we can see the password in plain text.

If there are spaces in the SSID (Wi-Fi name), like in the case of Pizza Pan and Internet Abyss, make sure to use double quotes to enclose the name as shown below.

netsh wlan show profile name="Pizza Pan" key=clear

2. LINUX

To see passwords of Wi-Fi networks used in a Linux machine, we just need to look through a file located at /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/. The file name will be the SSID (Wi-Fi name) with a .nmconnection extension, and the psk field in that file contains the password.

So, to see the password of the Pineapple network, we will use the following command.

sudo cat /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/Pineapple.nmconnection | grep "psk="
psk=thisIsAPassw0rd

To see all the Wi-Fi network connections and their passwords in one go, use the following command.

sudo grep "psk=" /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/*

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Lime

Simple, like quantum physics.

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