We all like to think that we practice good digital hygiene. When a file isn’t needed on our desktop, we trash it. The anti-virus suite on our desktop or notebook asks to scan for malware and we tell it to go ahead. Any sane individual living in a city, big or small, should have a Wi-Fi password. That’s a basic digital hygiene practice. Many people create a Wi-Fi password, then they forget what that Wi-Fi password is. That’s never a good place to find yourself in.
If you’ve forgotten your Wi-Fi password and have a Windows 10 PC, there’s plenty that you can do. You have the option to either recover the password for use on other devices or replace that Wi-Fi password on your router entirely.
Finding Your Wi-Fi Password in Windows 10
It seems obvious when someone finally mentions it, but you don’t necessarily have to go resetting your Wi-Fi password to find out what that password is. This is true, even if you didn’t write it down.
Any PC connected to your wireless network already knows the Wi-Fi password. The only thing you need to do is locate where it stores that information. On Windows 8 and Windows 10, it’s buried deep within the Network and Sharing Center.
Tap or click the Ask Me Anything bar along the bottom of your screen.
Type Network and Sharing Center.
Click on the name of your Wi-Fi Network. It should be in blue text as a link under View Your Active Network.
Select Wireless Properties.
Now tap or click on the Security tab in the window for your wireless network.
To see the password check the box that says Show Characters.
Now you’ve got the Wi-Fi Password you’ve been looking for. Just go to the new PC that you want to connect with and enter your newly found password. Note that this trick works in Windows 8 and Windows 7 too.
Gather up all of your devices and enter the password into any of them that don’t already have wireless network access. You should be done. You won’t have to reset your password or contact your internet provider to have them walk you through changing the password. That’s great news; some companies like to charge for tech support over the phone.
Finding Your Wi-Fi Password on Your Router
If you don’t have a Windows PC where you can find the Wi-Fi password, you have other options.
If your cable company configured your router, look through the documentation the installer left with you to see if they wrote down your password. Next, check your router for a sticker that details your Wi-Fi Password. Comcast, Verizon and other large companies tend to put a sticker on their routers to make setup like this easier. If there is a sticker, your network details should be printed on it.
It’s also worth noting that you may not need a password to connect a new device on your router at all. Many wireless routers come with a feature called WPS or WPA. They both allow devices to connect wireless networks securely with a push of a button. Look at your router for the WPS symbol shown above. If you find one, press it – then try to connect to the network from your PC. Windows 10 supports WPS so you should be logged in automatically.
Resetting Your Wi-Fi Password if You Can’t Find It
If you can’t find your Wi-Fi password with these methods, it’s time to seriously consider just resetting your router. This will erase all the changes you made to your Wi-Fi router, including its password.
The good news is that this is easy. Every wireless router that you can purchase from a retail store has a small hole where you can stick a pin and restore it back to factory settings. Take something tiny and stick it into that hole and hold it there for a thirty seconds. Keep in mind that you’ll need to go back and reconfigure every device connected to your network wireless with the new password.
Expect the wireless setup process to take the better part of an hour. You’ll need to create a new Wi-Fi network name and Wi-Fi network password. You may also find yourself forced to create a administrator username and password for configure the router in the future. If you’re with a provider that gave you a router and modem combo, contact that provider directly. They should be able to help you get back online and configure everything correctly.
Whatever you do, don’t rush out to buy a new wireless router to fix this problem.
Good luck finding your Wi-Fi password in Windows 10 or configuring your network if you had to go that route.