Recovering A WiFi Security Key In Windows

In this video, Tony Fortunato demonstrates a method for retrieving a WLAN password stored in a PC.

Tony Fortunato

August 19, 2016

1 Min Read
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I think every network technician has been in a situation where he or she needs to recover the password from his or her laptop or desktop, often in situations where there's no time to lose. In this video, I show you how to retrieve a wireless password that is already configured in your Windows computer.

As I note in the video, this demo does not show you how to "crack" or figure out the wireless password for an unknown wireless network.


On several occasions, I've worked  with someone who was using a new laptop, but didn’t remember the WPA2 password from his or her previous laptop. I showed them this nifty trick -- or I guess the kids are calling it a ‘hack’ -- to retrieve their password from the other computer.

To recap the commands I used in the video:

netsh wlan show profile

Displays all your profiles, or previously configured SSID and passwords

netsh wlan show profile name=galaxys2

Displays details of a previously configured SSID or profile called galaxys2

netsh wlan show profile name=galaxys2 key=clear

Displays the same information as the previous command, but adds the WPA2 password. Specifically, you'll find it under the Security Settings, to the right of Key Content.

For this demo, I used Windows 8, but this method also works with Windows 7 and should work with Windows 10.

Hope this helps you out. Or use this tip to help someone else who's in a bind.

About the Author(s)

Tony Fortunato

Sr Network Performance Specialist

Tony Fortunato is a network performance expert who has been designing, implementing and troubleshooting networks since 1989. His company, The Technology Firm, provides clients of all sizes with services ranging from project management, network design, consulting, troubleshooting, designing custom-designed training courses, and assisting with equipment installation. Tony's experience in networking started with financial trading floor networks and ISPs, where he learned to integrate and support equipment from various vendors. Tony has taught and presented at numerous colleges and universities, public forums and private classes. He blogs frequently at NetworkDataPediaand has a popular YouTube channel.

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