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Recovery of a Wireless Password

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Recovery of a Wireless Password

     One of the calls that I regularly have to deal with involves clients who can’t add laptops/tablets to their wireless networks, because they can’t remember their wireless password. Usually you only have to enter the password for a wireless network the 1st time you connect, so this is not a password that you will use everyday (unless you use the same password that you use for absolutely ever other sign in on earth, which isn’t recommended).

     The situation goes something like this. Six months (or more) after the initial set up, the client buys another laptop or tablet and now he cant remember what the password is. That’s when you get the call where they say “What’s my password”? To begin with, that’s a loaded question. Asking a tech, “what’s my password” is like asking “what’s the pin number to my debit card”, and honestly I don’t want to know either (if I can help it), for both your protection and mine. When I’m setting up any equipment and get prompted to enter passwords, I always hand the keyboard over to the client, explain what the password requirements are and make them type it in. So honestly no, I really don’t know what you typed. So you are in this situation where NOBODY knows the password, what are you to do? If you find yourself in this situation, here are some steps you can take to try to recover the wireless password.


From a Windows 7 pc/laptop/tablet already connected to wireless
  • Click on start –> Control Panel –> Network and Internet –> Network and Sharing Center
  • On the top right of the Network and Sharing Windows, find and click on “Manage Wireless Networks

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  • You will now see your wireless connection. Right click on the connection and then left click on properties (on the pop up box you see) image
  • On the Wireless Network Properties box that comes up, click on the security tab. You will now see a “Network Security Key” box, that will have asterisks in it. Below that you will see a check box that reads “Show Characters”, put a check in that box. As soon as you check the box, you will now see your Wireless password.

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If you are Windows XP or Vista or If the above steps DON’T work

If the steps above don’t work, or if you are using something other than Windows 7, here are the steps you can use to recover your Wireless password.

  •   On the computer already connected to the wireless, go to the Nirsoft Website  and down a program called WirelessKeyView  (http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/wirelesskeyview.zip (http://www NULL.nirsoft NULL.net/utils/wirelesskeyview NULL.zip))
  • Once downloaded click on file WirelessKeyView (the one listed as an application) . The program does NOT require any actual installation. image
  • Once you click on the WirelessKeyView, a window will appear and your Wireless password will be listed under the Key (Ascii) column

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If you are using a Mac and need to recover the wireless password

If you are on a Mac, the steps are fairly simple.

  • Open System Preferences –> Network –> Airport –> Configure. Select the name of your network, and then click on edit

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  • A pop up window specific information about your network will appear. At this point, click the “Show Password” box

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  • When you click the box, you will see your password. (I just hope it isn’t 123456789)

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