Did you forget one of your WiFi passwords? Do you need access to it right away?
Using the command prompt (CMD), you can see a list of every wireless network your computer has ever connected to and their passwords.
This article details how you can find out the WiFi password or change WiFi settings using CMD.
There comes a time when users like yourself forget your own WiFi password. This happens more commonly than you think. With WiFi routers running nonstop and WiFi connections establishing themselves automatically, there’s very little reason why you’d recall a complicated WiFi password.
Some users wind up using secure passwords consisting of random characters which are very easy to forget. Others just keep using the random one given to them by their ISP.
Either way, there’s no need to panic yet. WLAN profiles are created whenever users enter WiFi credentials and establish a new connection. The profile of that WiFi includes essential information like the network name, settings, and password.
We’re going to tap into these network profiles through the command prompt. This method will work regardless if you’re currently connected to the WiFi network you’re trying to gain access to or not. However, your computer had to have connected to that WiFi network at some previous point at least once.
Using CMD to Find the WiFi Password
Here’s how to find the WiFi password using the command prompt:
Open the command prompt by opening Run (Windows + R) and typing CMD. Hit Enter.
Note: Alternatively, you can use Search and type CMD. Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run As Administrator.
Type the following command line and hit Enter:
NETSH WLAN SHOW PROFILE
You will see a list of WLAN profiles stored on the PC. Take note of the network name you’d like to explore.
Type the following command and replace “WIFI” with the network name.
NETSH WLAN SHOW PROFILE WIFI KEY=CLEAR
Completing these steps successfully will bring up the WLAN profile of the network you want to connect to. Scroll down and you’ll find the password under the Key Content field.
Every device that connects to a WiFi network has an identifying number commonly referred to as a MAC address. And while some network technologies are dependent on MAC to function, some use them to track people or restrict access.
This is a bigger issue for mobile users. For example, some use specialized equipment to log a phone’s MAC address as their victims jump from one network to another. This means your steps can be traced to see just where you’ve been.
This breach of privacy can be prevented by changing your MAC address.
Changing Your MAC Address
Take a closer look at your WLAN profile. If MAC randomization is turned, chances are your MAC address is vulnerable to tracking. Consider changing your MAC address as an added measure for protecting your privacy.
Here’s how you change your MAC address on Windows:
Go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings.
Right-click on the network you’d like to configure and select Properties. A new window will pop up.
On the new window, click Configure.
Go to Advanced tab. In the Property field, select Network Address or Locally Administered Address.
Note: If you can’t find the Network Address option, there are third-party programs you can use to replace the MAC address.
In the Value field, type in a new MAC address. Click OK once you’re finished to exit. Enjoy!
It is very easy to find WiFi password in Windows 10 using a few CMD commands. These commands work even when you are offline, or you are connected to some other WiFi network.
Whenever we connect to a WiFi network and enter the password to connect to that network, we actually make a WLAN profile of that WiFi network. That profile is stored inside our computer, along with the other required details of the WiFi profile.
Using the commands, we can further optimize our particular WiFi network, like turning on some features such as mac randomization, changing the radio type of your WiFi, etc.
In case, you can’t remember the password of your wireless network, one way is to access the same via your router’s settings. But Because browsing through router settings can be quite a task sometimes. So, instead of using a GUI to find the individual passwords, we can also look for the WiFi password of that particular WiFi network using CMD.
Option 2 How to find WiFi password on Windows 10 using CMD?
- Open the command prompt and run it as administrator.
- In the next step, we want to know about all the profiles that are stored on our computer. So, type the following command in the cmd:
netsh wlan show profile
- This command will list out all the WiFi profiles that you have ever connected to.
- In the above picture, I have intentionally blurred some of my WiFi network names. As you can see, there are eight WiFi networks that I connect to. So, let’s go and find out the password for the WiFi ‘NETGEAR50’ in this case, which I created intentionally for this article.
- Type the following command to see the password of any WiFi network:
netsh wlan show profile WiFi-name key=clear
The command will be like:
netsh wlan show profile NETGEAR50 key=clear
- Under the security settings, in the ‘key content’, you see the WiFi password of that particular network.
Besides knowing the Windows 10 WiFi password, you can also use this result to optimize your WiFi further. For example, Under the profile information, you can see mac randomization is disabled. You can turn on the MAC randomization feature to avoid your location tracking based on the device’s MAC address.
Here is how to turn on MAC randomization on Windows 10?
- Go to Settings and click on ‘Network & Internet’
- Choose the ‘WiFi’ in the left pane and click on the Advanced option.
- Turn on the ‘Random Hardware Address’ feature under the settings. If your wireless hardware does not support this feature, the “Random Hardware Addresses” section will not show up at all in the settings app.
- Once you have turned this on, you are done.
Also, under the connectivity settings, in radio type, you can see the whole list. Channel interference could be another reason for slow WiFi. So, next time, you might also like to change the radio type settings for better speeds.
As far as radio type is concerned, you can also change that in your router for a better connection or connectivity. For this purpose, we have a dedicated article on to increase WiFi speed by choosing the correct WiFi channel.
If you are also aware of some more tricks and tweaks like this, please put them in the comment below. We would be happy to feature some of those in our next articles.