How to view your forgotten wireless password in Windows 8.1

Passwords abound.

And let’s face it: between the surfeit of passwords securing your email, Facebook and computer accounts it’s hard to keep track of which password goes with which service.  So what do we do?  We often click “Remember me” or “Save password” on web forms or use password management services to keep things straight; however, some of those services such as Lastpass only apply to web applications.

Is there a way to peek behind the password dots in Windows?

Yup.

After setting up your home wireless network you might have forgotten the password you used.  This makes sense because  we don’t want to be inconvenienced with Wi-Fi passwords at home and once we configure our wireless devices there’s little need to know it.

But this convenience also presents a conundrum when your in-laws visit months later and demand to connect their iPads to your Wi-Fi network.

What the heck did I set the Wi-Fi password to?

Instead of resetting the wireless router (or worse, trying to hack your own password) you can actually view your password in plain text directly from within Windows.  There’s no addition software to install because this password reveal feature is baked right into the operating system.

Viewing your WiFi Password

Keep in mind that you’ll need to be an Administrator to pull this off though.

Press Windows Key + r and enter the following phrase in the run box to bring up the Network Connections Panel.

ncpa.cpl

Typing ncpa.cpl brings up the Network Connections Panel

Right click your wireless adapter and click Status from the context menu.

Windows Wi-Fi adapter Status

When the Wi-Fi status window jumps onto the screen, mash the Wireless Properties button in the middle.

Windows 8.1 Wireless Properties

Hit up the Security Tab and then click Show characters to reveal your password

Wireless Network Security Properties in Windows 8.1

Oh, so my Wi-Fi password was friendchickenforall!  Seriously, how did I forget that?

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Posted in Windows, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Tagged with: , ,