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.

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