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.
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
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="
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/*