How to Recover Lost or Forgotten Wi-Fi Network Password?

If you are using a Wi-Fi network in your home or office and you have lost or forgotten its password, then let’s check out in this post how to recover it?

Using Connection Properties of the Wireless Network

If you are using Windows 7 or 8 (8.1) operating system on your computer, then you can see a small Wi-Fi icon in the notification area/system tray. Click on the icon and then right click on the network’s name whose password you’d like to see:

network icon

A new property window will pop up and in this window click on Security tab and then check Show characters under Network security key:

wireless network properties

security tab

You can now see the network password that is saved on your computer.

Make use of Wireless Key Viewer

The immediate above trick will not work for older version of Windows OS viz. Vista, XP etc. Now if you want to see the network password on these versions, then you need to make use of a third-party application known as Wireless Key Viewer.

The application is developed by Nirsoft and is capable of retrieving network passwords by using the Wireless zero configuration service of Windows XP and by using the WLAN AutoConfig service of Vista, 7, 8 and Server 2008:


When you install and run the application on your machine, you will be able to see following details in it:

  • Your network’s Service Set Identifier a.k.a. SSID.
  • WEP or WPA key type.
  • Hexadecimal key.
  • ASCII Key – This will be the password that you are looking for.
  • Name of network adapter that is installed on your computer.
  • Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) reference number in alphanumeric characters of your adapter.
  • Authentication like WEPWPA-PSKWPA2-PSKWPA-PSK + WPA2-PSK etc.
  • Encryption technology used like AES, TKIP etc.

Important notes:

  • If you’re using a internet security suite from Bitdefender, Kaspersky etc. or some standalone anti-virus like Avira, AVG etc., then they may detect Wireless Key Viewer as malware. If you get such an alert, then keep in mind that it’s a false positive and you should add the utility in your security suite’s exception list.
  • Above mentioned trick and utility only allows you to view the password that is stored on your personal computer. If you came here to learn how to crack network password of your neighbour or hotspot present nearby, then this post is of no use to you.
  • If the password of your home router has been changed and your computer is still storing an old password, then you may want to reset your router. Reset instructions are generally present in the manual that came with your router or you may want to search online. In case you don’t know the password of your office’s network, then you need to contact the network administrator of your office.