In Windows 8, you could view connection properties just by right-clicking any WiFi connection. In Windows 8.1, things got a bit more complicated if you need to find the WiFi password for a specific connection. In this post, you’ll learn how to display the WiFi security key for your current connection and for previous connections.
Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)

You might have to find the WiFi password for several reasons. If you often connect to a WiFi network, you will probably forget the security key at some point. If someone asks you about the WiFi password (say, in a coffee shop), you might want to make it visible in the networking settings. However, the main reason I often need to view the connection properties is to troubleshoot a WiFi connection.

As I explained before, whenever you can’t connect to a WiFi network that previously worked, a good start is to tell Windows to forget the WiFi connection (right-click the connection). Unfortunately, this means Windows will also forget the password. Thus, you will find yourself again bothering the person who is managing the WiFi password.

In Windows 8, you could just click the WiFi icon on the systray and right-click the WiFi connection to access the View connection properties dialog. For some reason, Microsoft removed this feature in Windows 8.1.

View connection properties option no longer available in Windows 8.1

View connection properties option: no longer available in Windows 8.1

However, in Windows 8.1, two other ways exist to access the WiFi password. You’ll find one way in the Network and Sharing Center for your current connection, and you can also use the netsh command to view the connection properties of previous WiFi connections.

View WiFi password of current connection ^

  1. Right-click the WiFi symbol in the systray and select Open Network and Sharing Center.
    Network symbol in systray
  2. Click Change adapter settings.
    Change adapter settings
  3. Right-click the WiFi adapter. In the context menu, navigate to Status.
    Status of WiFi connection
  4. In the WiFi Status dialog, click Wireless Properties.
    WiFi Status
  5. Click the Security tab and then check Show characters.
    Show characters to display WiFi password

You now see the WiFi password of your current connection. Doing so takes a few more clicks than in Windows 8, but you won’t have to do this often.

Find WiFi password of previous connections ^

If you are more the type-type type, you will prefer the netsh command anyway. This method allows you to find not only the WiFi password of your current connection but also that of previous connections. The syntax of the command looks like this:

netsh wlan show profile name="ConnectionName" key=clear

Find WIFI password on the command prompt with netsh

Finding WiFi password on the command line with netsh

Notice that you only need the quotation marks for the connection name (profile name) when the name contains a blank. You can find the password in the Security settings section next to Key Content.

To get a list of your previous WiFi connections, type this command:

netsh wlan show profiles

If you prefer a GUI, you can also list all of your previous WiFi connections in Windows 8.1 in the PC Settings:

WIN + C > Settings > Change PC settings > Manage known networks (under your current connection)

Previous WiFi connections in Windows 8.1

Previous WiFi connections in Windows 8.1

72 Comments
  1. Hank Arnold 7 years ago

    I'm a bit disturbed that it's that easy to determine a wireless password. Is there a way to block this and prevent anyone from getting the password?

    • IT 5 years ago

      You can try using web protection! Like the one in McD where you login with browser!

  2. Hank, I don't think that these Windows features pose a security risk because you require administrator privileges for both methods.

  3. Not sure if this still works in Win 8.1 (Currently d/l an ISO to VM it), but in Win 7, you can access this a bit more quickly by clicking on your Wifi Symbol, then right-clicking on your currently connected connection and clicking Properties. You'll need to be an Admin to show the characters, I believe this is currently the only "security" about it.

    Thanks for the commands, I did not know them! I'm adding it to a batch file, my *very* forgetful stepmom is going to really enjoy having this little tool.

  4. Martin, the method you described works in Windows 7 and in Windows 8 but not in Windows 8.1.

  5. Oh wow, you had clearly written it, I misread, my mistake haha, sorry!

  6. Anonymous 7 years ago

    thanksss alot for this info

  7. Brent P 7 years ago

    Martin,
    When trying to get the password for a previous connection in 8.1 I am getting the field 'Key Index', not 'Key Content'. The Key Index field, is definitely not displaying the password, as it's displaying a value = 1 for several old connections. Is there a fix?

  8. anonymous? 7 years ago

    when i used: wlan show profile name= *ssid* key=clear
    under security settings, on 3rd line, it showed: Security Key : Absent
    how can i make it show the security key?
    using win 8.1 and i am using Admin command.exe

  9. sawpeterpen 7 years ago

    Thanks, this just help me alot but my computer only shows fake password.

  10. Kay Malm 7 years ago

    I have installed the wifi application and I know the password. However, Windows 8.1 keeps telling me that the password is invalid. How do I correct this?

  11. Kay, right-click on the WiFi connection and then select "Forget this network." And then try again.

  12. Kay Malm 7 years ago

    Tried your suggestion. The password is still not accepted.

  13. Kay, there are countless possible causes for your problem. The next best thing you can do is to unplug the WiFi router and start it again. If this doesn't work, login to the router and search for stored or blocked connections/devices. You can also try to connect with another device and see if there is issue with the password. Maybe you will find some here.

  14. Kassie 7 years ago

    Amazing! Thank you!

  15. Manthan 7 years ago

    It worked in Windows 8.1.
    Thanks

  16. Akhil 6 years ago

    Thanks a lot for this post. Works with Win8.1 too.

  17. Kay Malm 6 years ago

    Windows 8.1 requires you to set up the wireless connection when you login for the first time. Then it automatically uses this connection to get connection. Since you are already logged in, I am thinking it will not allow you to login again. However, I cannot then see all the menu options on the wireless device such as change the password.

  18. Pallavi 6 years ago

    Thanks for this post. It helps me a lot!!1

  19. Laura 6 years ago

    Just what I needed, thank you!

  20. Junteks 6 years ago

    hi thanks for your tutorial..but I have encountered, that what if the wifi password has been change and I want to change it into my laptop also... but I cant since you can see only in wifi press "connect" and after clicking you cant connect the password has been changed...i dont see any logical why you cant enter new password..I have look into "Manage known networks" is not listed in there..that I want to forget that network and reconnect in order to type a new password...

  21. Timbob 6 years ago

    I have no wifi icon in systray. Now what? Thx.

  22. Laura 6 years ago

    Thanks so much!
    I was able to see previous wifi and recover password:)

  23. Daniel 6 years ago

    in the security settings field the line under 'Securtiy Key' is not there - even though i recieved the following 'Security Key :Present' - was wondering if their was somthing im missing so it looks a like this

    Security settings
    -----------------
    Authentication : WPA-Personal
    Cipher : TKIP
    Security key : Present
    <-- notice how this line is absent (i was wondering if there was a fix for that)
    thanks again

  24. ras 6 years ago

    i can login to my router. but i cant visible my password.
    i login to WiFi modem through LAN .

  25. Richard 6 years ago

    This was a very helpful info.

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