If you have lost or forgot the password for your Wi-Fi Network / Router, than it is very easy to retrieve it, provided that it’s stored in your computer! There are 2 ways to check whether there’s any stored Wi-Fi Passwords on your computer:
1. Using Wireless Network Connection Properties:
If you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8, then right click on Wi-Fi Icon in the notifications area and select properties of a Wireless Network / SSID whose password you want to see:
A new Window with name <Wireless Network Name/SSID> Wireless Network Properties will pop-up:
On this Window, click on Security Tab. Now check Show Characters under Network Security Key:
Using this method you will be able to see the stored password of your Home / Office Wi-Fi Network.
2. Using Wireless Key Viewer Utility from Nirsoft
If you using older version of Windows OS like Windows Vista or XP, than above trick will not work on these OS. In order to see stored Wi-Fi Network Passwords on these Operating Systems, you need to make use of a third-party utility known as Wireless Key Viewer developed by Nirsoft.
This utility can easily retrieve all wireless network security keys / passwords (WEP / WPA) stored in your computer by using the Wireless Zero Configuration service of Windows XP or by using the WLAN AutoConfig service present in Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2008:
Using Wireless Key Viewer you can easily view following information of any Wi-Fi Network / Router, which your computer have used in the past:
- Network Name (SSID or Service Set Identifier)
- Key Type (WEP or WPA)
- Hex Key
- ASCII Key – This is of your main use!
- Name of Wireless Adapter your Desktop / Laptop / Netbook is using for connecting to the internet
- Wireless Network Adapter GUID i.e. Globally unique identifier. GUID is a string of alpha-numeric characters
- Authentication like WPA2PSK etc.
- Wireless Encryption Technology used like AES etc.
- Connection Type
- Some Anti-virus / internet security softwares detects Wireless Key Viewer utility as infected with Trojan / Virus. This is a false positive alert and must be ignored, if your PC is completely clean.
- None of the above mentioned trick and utility can crack the wireless key of other wireless networks like your neighbor’s or cyber / internet cafe’s Wi-Fi Password. The above mentioned trick and utility can only show you Passwords stored on YOUR own personal computer.
- If the Password for a Wireless Network / Router has been changed and your computer is still storing old password, then you need to either contact Network Administrator of your office or reset the home router completely. Reset instructions are normally present in the manual that came with your router.
Also See: Boost Wi-Fi Router’s Signal Strength