We all like to think we’re practicing good digital hygiene. When a file is not needed on our desktop, we throw it away. The antivirus suite on our desktop or laptop asks for a malware scan, and we tell it to continue. Every sane person living in a city, big or small, should have a Wi-Fi password. This is a basic digital hygiene app. Many people create a Wi-Fi password, then forget what that Wi-Fi password is. It’s never a good place to find yourself.
If you’ve forgotten your Wi-Fi password and have a Windows 10 PC, there’s a lot you can do. You have the option to recover the password for use on other devices or completely change the Wi-Fi password on your router.
Finding Your Wi-Fi Password in Windows 10
It seems obvious when someone finally mentions it, but you don’t have to reset your Wi-Fi password to find out what that password is. That’s right, even if you didn’t write it.
Any computer connected to your wireless network already knows the Wi-Fi password. All you have to do is figure out where it stores this information. In Windows 8 and Windows 10 it is buried deep within the Network and Sharing Center.
Tap or click the bar at the bottom of your screen.
Click on the name of your Wi-Fi Network. It should be in blue text as a link below
Now tap or click the tab in the window for your wireless network.
Check the box that says to see the password.
Now you have the Wi-Fi Password you are looking for. Go to the new computer you want to connect to and enter your newly found password. Note that this trick also works in Windows 8 and Windows 7.
Gather all your devices and enter the password on anyone without wifi access. You should. You don’t need to reset your password or contact your internet provider for guidance when changing your password. This is great news; some companies like to charge for technical 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 has configured your router, check the documentation the installer left you to see if they typed your password. Next, check your router for a label detailing your Wi-Fi Password. Comcast, Verizon, and other big companies tend to stick a label on their routers to make it easy to set up this way. If there is a label, your network information should be printed on it.
It’s also worth noting that you may not need a password to connect a new device to your router. Many wireless routers come with a feature called WPS or WPA. Both allow devices to securely connect to wireless networks at the push of a button. Look at your router for the WPS symbol shown above. If you find one, press – then try to connect to the network from your PC. Windows 10 supports WPS, so you should be signed in automatically.
Reset If You Can’t Find Your Wi-Fi Password
If you can’t find your Wi-Fi password with these methods, it’s time to seriously consider resetting your router. This will delete any changes you have made to your Wi-Fi router, including its password.
The good news is that it’s easy. Every wireless router you can buy from a retail store has a small hole where you can stick a pin and restore it to factory settings. Take something small and stick it in that hole and hold it there for thirty seconds. Note that you will need to go back and reconfigure each wirelessly connected device to your network with the new password.
Expect the wireless setup process to take the better part of an hour. You will need to create a new Wi-Fi network name and Wi-Fi network password. You may also have to create an administrator username and password to configure the router in the future. If you are with a provider that provides you with a router and modem combination, contact that provider directly. They should be able to help you get back online and configure everything correctly.
Whatever you do, do not rush 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 need to go that route.