Chances are you have a Wi-Fi network at trang chính, or live cthua to one (or more) that tantalizingly pops up in a danh mục whenever you boot up your máy tính xách tay or look at the phone.

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The problem is, if there"s a loông chồng next khổng lồ the network name (AKA the SSID, or service mix identifier), that indicates security is activated. Without a password or passphrase, you"re not going to get access khổng lồ that network, or the sweet, sweet internet that goes with it.

Perhaps you forgot the password on your own network, or don"t have neighbors willing khổng lồ mô tả the Wi-Fi goodness. Pre COVID-19, you could just go to a café, buy a latte, anduse the "free" Wi-Fi there (vaccines willing, maybe you"ll vày it again soon). Download an tiện ích for your phone like WiFi-Map (available for iOS và Android), and you"ll have sầu a các mục of millions of hotspots with free Wi-Fi for the taking (including some passwords for locked Wi-Fi connections if they"re shared by any of the app"s users).

However, there are other ways lớn get back on the wireless. Some require such extreme patience that the café idea, even in quarantine, is going to look pretty good. Read on if you can"t wait.

Windows Commands to Get the Key

This triông chồng works to recover a Wi-Fi network password (AKA network security key) only if you"ve previously attached khổng lồ the Wi-Fi in question using that very password. In other words, it only works if you"veforgottena previously used password.

It works because Windows 8 and 10 create a profile of every Wi-Fi network to lớn which you connect. If you tell Windows to lớn forget the network, then it also forgets the password. In that case, this won"t work. But few people ever explicitly bởi vì that.

It requires that you go inkhổng lồ aWindows Commvà Prompt with administrative privileges. Cliông xã the Star Menu, type "cmd" (no quotes), and the thực đơn will show Command Prompt; right-cliông xã that entry & select Run as administrator. That"ll open the blaông xã box full of text with the prompt inside—it"s the line with a right-facing arrow at the over, probably something likeC:WINDOWSsystem32>. A blinking cursor will indicate where you type. Start with this:

netsh wlan show profile

The results will bring up a section called User Profiles—those are all the Wi-Fi networks (aka WLANs, or wireless local area networks) you"ve accessed and saved. Piông xã the one you want lớn get the password for, highlight it, và copy it. At the prompt below, type the following, but replace the Xs with the network name you copied; you only need the quotation marks if the network name has spaces in it, lượt thích "Cup o Jo Cafe."

netsh wlan show protệp tin name="XXXXXXXX" key=clear

In the new data that comes up, look under Security Settings for the line Key Content. The word displayed is the Wi-Fi password/key you are missing.

On macOS, open up the Spotlight tìm kiếm (Cmd+Space) and type terminal lớn get the Mac equivalent of a comm& prompt. Type the following, replacing the Xs with the network name.

security find-generic-password -wa XXXXX

Remix the Router

This isn"t for getting on someone else"s Wi-Fi in the apartment next door. You need physical access to lớn the router for this lớn work. But, before you vị a fullrouterrephối simply to get on your own Wi-Fi, try tolog into lớn the routerfirst. From there, you can easily reset your Wi-Fi password/key if you"ve forgotten it.

That"s not possible if you don"t know the password for the router. (The Wi-Fi password and router password are not the same—unless you went out of your way to lớn assign the same password to lớn both). Resetting the router only works if you have access via Wi-Fi (which we"ve sầu just established you don"t have) or physically, utilizing an Ethernet cable.

If you"ve got a router that came from your mạng internet service provider (ISP), check the stickers on the unit before a reset—the ISPhường might have sầu printed the SSID and network security key right on the hardware.

Or use the nuclear option: Almost every router in existence has a recessedrephối button. Push it with a pen or unfolded paperclip, hold it for about 10 seconds, and the router will reset khổng lồ the factory settings.


Once a router is remix, you"ll need that other username/password bộ combo to lớn access the router itself. Again, vì this via a PC attached to the router via Ethernet—resetting the router probably killed any potential Wi-Fi connection for the moment. The actual access is typically done with a web browser, though many routers & mesh systems now can be controlled via an tiện ích.

Some routers may also have sầu a sticker with that mặc định Wi-Fi network name (SSID) và network security key (password) so you can indeed go bachồng on the Wi-Fi after a rephối.

The URL to type inkhổng lồ the browser lớn access a router"s settings is typically or, or some variation. Try them randomly; that generally works. To determine which one on a PC connected to the router via Ethernet, open a command prompt và type ipconfig. Look ahy vọng the gobbledygook for an IPv4 Address, which will start with 192.168. The other two spaces, called octets, are going lớn be different numbers between 0 và 255. lưu ý the third octet (probably a 1 or 0). The fourth is specific to lớn the PC you"re using khổng lồ log into the router.

In the browser, type 192.168.x.1, replacing the X with the number you found in the ipconfig search. The 1 in the last octet should point at the router—it"s the number one device on the network. (For full details, read How to Access Your Wi-Fi Router"s Settings.)

At this point, the router should then ask for that username và password (which, again, is probably not the same as the Wi-Fi SSID và network security key). Cheông xã your manual, assuming you didn"t throw it away, or go to, which exists for one reason: khổng lồ tell people the default username/password on every router ever created. You"ll need the router"s model number in some cases, but not all.


You will quickly discern a pattern aý muốn router makers of utilizing the username of "admin" & a password of "password," so feel không tính phí to lớn try those first. Since most people are lazy và don"t change an assigned password, you could try those options even before hitting the remix button. (But c"mon, you"re better than that.) Once you"re in the Wi-Fi settings, turn on the wireless network(s) and assign strong-but-easy-to-recall passwords. After all, you don"t want lớn chia sẻ with neighbors without your permission.

Make that Wi-Fi password easy to lớn type on a Smartphone device, too. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to get a điện thoại thông minh connected khổng lồ Wi-Fi with some cryptic, impossible to lớn key-in-via-thumbs nonsense, even if it is the most secure password you"ve sầu ever created.

Craông chồng the Code

You didn"t come here because the headline said "remix the router," though. You want to lớn know how to craông xã the password on a Wi-Fi network.

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Searching on "wi-fi password haông chồng," or other variations, nets you a lot of links—mostly for software on sites where the adware and bots & scams pour like snake oil. The same goes for the many, many YouTube videos promising you ways khổng lồ craông chồng a password by visiting a certain trang web on your phone.

Download those programs or visit those sites at your own risk, knowing many are phishing scams at best. We recommend using a PC you can afford lớn mess up a bit if you go that route. When I tried it, multiple tools were thankfully outright deleted by myantivirusbefore I could even try to run the EXE installation file.