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Wi-Fi passwords can be difficult to remember and sometimes difficult to retrieve if the router or information is not easily accessible to users. If you’ve already accessed the wireless network on a Mac, AppleInsider explains how to use keychain access to retrieve your Wi-Fi password.
In most cases, it is fairly easy to find the Wi-Fi network password, especially on home routers where the password can be changed through a software interface, or on some ISP routers that are printed on the side of the network device. On a workstation, it can be so easy to request technical support.
However, there are situations where it is not possible to answer any of these questions. For example, if you want to write down the password for a remote Wi-Fi access point so that you can easily add another device to your Wi-Fi network later.
One way to find a stored Wi-Fi password is to search the key ring, which is used for Wi-Fi passwords among other sensitive data. This guide shows you how to search the key ring for a specific password.
How to Find WiFi Password on Mac Computers using Keychain Access
When you’re on the road with your Mac laptop, connect to a variety of Wi-Fi networks to stay online for productivity and entertainment. After a while, your Mac turns into a digital keychain with passwords for wireless networks around town. But how do you retrieve a Wi-Fi password on your Mac to share it with someone else or use it to connect to the same wireless network on your smartphone or tablet? Actually, it’s quite simple:
- Open the Spotlight search and type “Keychain Access” without the quotes in the search bar.
- In the “Keychain Access” window, click on the “Passwords” category in the left sidebar.
- In the search bar, type the name of the wireless network for which you want the password.
- Double-click the network to open it.
- Click the check box next to the “Show password” text box and confirm your user name and administrator password.
- The password you are looking for should appear in the Show Password text box.
Find your Wi-Fi password with Terminal on Mac
Terminal is an application built into your Mac that allows you to control your Mac through command prompts. This method is for those of you who prefer a more direct solution and know the exact name of the wireless network in question.
- First launch of the terminal with Spotlight search.
- Type the following command:
- security find-generic-password -ga WIFI NAME | grep “password:”
- Replace the WIFI NAME section with the exact name of the network for which you want the password.
- Once the command has been entered correctly, you will be prompted to enter your username and password.
- As mentioned earlier, if you are not sure what your username is, simply click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen.
- Once you have authenticated, your password will appear just below the order you previously entered.
Now you don’t have to walk the long way to the router.
However, if you still forget your network password, there are other options that can still help you. You can choose to use trusted third-party applications. These password managers will remember passwords for you.
The applications work like a keychain, but most of them have other features that you might be interested in. Some of these applications include 1Password and Secrets. You only need one main password, and the application will remember the rest of the passwords for you.
With these options, you won’t have to deal with dusty corners to access your router. Use one of these methods to manually recover your password. You can also recover your forgotten WI-FI password using third-party software of your choice.
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I am a computer enthusiast and a practicing IT Professional. I have years of experience behind me in computer programming, hardware troubleshooting and repair. I specialise in Web Development and Database Design. I also have a CCNA certification for Network Design and Troubleshooting.