How to find a Wi-Fi password on Mac

Need to find a Wi-Fi password on Mac? Check out these 4 different ways to find a saved Wi-Fi passwords on your Mac, whether you need to connect a new device or simply want to share the password with someone else.

Wi-Fi settings on Mac

You can find a Wi-Fi password if you connected to that specific Wi-Fi network with your Mac in the past. This can come in handy when you want to connect more devices to that network but don’t remember the password, or when you’re trying to share the password to that network with a friend.

Unless you’re the one who chose the password to begin with, it was most likely automatically created by either your internet company or the maker of your router. Either way, this is likely a complex multi-digit passphrase that you cannot possibly be asked to remember. So, here’s how to find it easily on your Mac.

Must see: How to see the Wi-Fi password of your current or previously joined Wi-Fi networks on iPhone

1. From Mac’s System Settings

1) Click the Apple icon  and choose System Settings on macOS Ventura or later.

2) Select Wi-Fi from the left sidebar.

3) Under the Known Network heading, you will see the Wi-Fi network you’re currently connected and available networks in your range. If you have ever connected to any of these networks, click the more icon next to the network and hit Copy Password.

Find password of connected or available Wi-Fi network on Mac

4) Now, open Notes, Messages, or any other text-based app on your Mac, and paste the copied Wi-Fi password from the clipboard by pressing the Command + V keys.

Uncovered Wi-Fi password on Mac and pasted it in Notes

Know the password of all previously connected Wi-Fi networks

With the above steps, you can find the password of the Wi-Fi network you’re currently connected to or are in the range of. Now, we will show you how to find out the password of any Wi-Fi network you have ever connected your Mac to. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in range of that network or not.

1) Open System Settings and click Wi-Fi.

2) Scroll down and click Advanced from the bottom right.

3) Here, you will see a list of all the known networks your Mac has ever connected to. Click the more icon next to a network and select Copy Password.

4) Finally, paste this password to Notes, Messages, or any other such app to see it.

Copy password of any known Wi-Fi network on Mac

Use the methods below if you’re on an older version of macOS and can’t follow the above steps.

2. Use Keychain Access

Keychain Access is an Apple application that is installed on all Macs. You might not have ever seen it, but if you have a Mac, it is there. The good thing with this method is that it can help you find the passcode of any network you have connected to with your computer, whether it is your home network, school, work, etc.

1) Open the Keychain Access app on your Mac. The best way to do that is to use Spotlight search by pressing the Command + Space keys on your keyboard at the same time. In the window that appears, start typing “Keychain Access” and hit Enter to launch the application.

2) In the sidebar, make sure you click on Login, and click on the Password tab. Then search for the network you want the password for by typing parts of this network’s name. Double click on that network.

Note that depending on your Operating System version, this screenshot may look a little different. The most important is that you click on Login, then Password, then start searching the network’s name.

Select wi-fi network

3) Click on Show Password. Type in your administrator user credentials to reveal the Wi-Fi password. Unfortunately, you cannot go through these steps without an admin password. If you are the only user of your Mac, then you are the admin, so simply enter the same passcode you use to log in to your Mac.

Show Wi-Fi password

4) You may be prompted to enter your administrator credentials again. Type in your full name as displayed on your Mac’s login screen and your password again.

Enter your admin credentials

5) The Wi-Fi password should appear in the text box next to Show Password.

See the Wi-Fi password

Keychain Access isn’t only useful to show Wi-Fi passwords on your Mac. It can also store your applications, internet, and web form passwords. If password management is something you are not great at, consider looking into 1Password on the Mac App Store. It’s a very useful app!

3. Use Terminal

Just like Keychain Access, Terminal is an app that comes pre-installed on all Macs, so even if you’ve never seen it before, it is on your computer. Although very powerful, Terminal is not as user-friendly as Keychain Access, and for this reason, we suggest going with the method above to retrieve a Wi-Fi passcode. But just like Keychain Access, it will require you to provide your administrator credentials.

1) Open the Terminal app on your Mac.

2) Type in or copy/paste the following command, making sure you replace “YourWifiNetworkName” with the exact name of your network:

security find-generic-password -ga YourWifiNetworkName | grep “password:”

3) Hit Enter and then type in your admin credentials.

4) Terminal will display the password for your network.

4. Look on your Wi-Fi router

This last method will work for most routers, but they require that not only do you have physical access to the router but that the network name and password were not changed. This is most likely the case if your Wi-Fi network was set up by your cable company technician. Typically, the technician will leave the default network name and passcode as it is written behind the router.

So look for the router (not the modem!), and turn it over. You should see a label on the back with details about what your Wi-Fi network name is and what the password is.

Wifi router password

Note that the shape and size of your router will vary depending on the manufacturer, but all newer routers have the network information on the back.

How to remember Wi-Fi passwords

The best way to never forget a Wi-Fi (or any other) password again is to use a password manager. Personally, I use 1Password, but there are multiple others that would work just as good for you. Keychain is also a great alternative for both Mac and iPhone.

Another alternative, although not as safe, is to use a password-protected note to save your password. You’ll still need to remember the password to that secured note, but you can set it to something you will remember for sure.

Finally, you could, of course, leave the passcode in a non-secured note or on a piece of paper in your desk drawer, but this is not a solution we feel comfortable recommending because it is not secured at all.

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