It happens to almost all of us. You set up your new wireless router, create a great password that no one will ever crack, and connect all of your devices to it.
After using the network for some time, you purchase a new device. You sit down to connect it to your network—but wait! You can’t remember that great password that you came up with.
Maybe you wrote it down, but you don’t know where that piece of scrap paper is that you scribbled it down on. You try every phrase you can think of. No luck! What can you do now?
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Worst-case scenario, you could do a hard factory reset on your router. However, that will clear any settings and firmware updates you have done. All the devices you have connected would need to be reconnected with the new password. That will require a lot of work and can be quite time-consuming.
Another option, assuming you’ve got an Apple device, is to use Apple’s wifi password sharing feature. Some android devices have similar sharing features. But what if your new device doesn’t have this capability?
If you have an iPhone that is already connected to that network, you can use your iPhone to retrieve that password. It’s much easier than doing a hard factory reset on your router and starting all over.
Using Your iPhone to Retrieve the Password
Getting the actual password will save you the headache of setting up your wifi network all over again. Let’s go over two methods that will give you what you’re looking for.
Method 1: Access Your WiFi Router
This method involves logging into your router’s console or admin interface. You need two things to view your password: your router’s IP address and its admin password.
The first one is easy to find; we will show you how to do that shortly. The second is a bit of a challenge—but if you’ve never changed the admin password, there’s a good chance you can find it. Follow these steps on your iPhone. Hopefully, you’ll be able to retrieve that much-needed password.
Find your router’s IP address.
You’ll need that address to get on the router’s admin console.
- Connect your iPhone to the network whose password you are looking for.
- Open your settings by tapping the “Settings” icon.
- Tap the wifi icon.
- Tap on the “i” near the wifi name that you are connected to.
- In the field marked “Router,” you will see a string of numbers separated by dots. This is the IP address of the router (255.255.255.0, for example).
- Copy the number from your phone by tapping on it and holding down, or write the number down. You’ll need it soon.
Find your admin password.
If you know your router’s admin id and password, then you’re all set to log in to the router. If you wrote it down somewhere, you need to find it—especially if you changed it from the default password. If you haven’t, then you should be able to get it using one of the following methods.
- By default, many routers have the username set to “admin” and the password set to “admin.” Try it and see if it works.
- If you still have the documentation that came with your router, you should find the password there. Nearly all routers provide it with the paperwork; some even have it on the box that it came in.
- Check the back and bottom of the router. In most cases, there will be a sticker on it that has the login information. This is especially true if you got your router from your ISP.
- Google it! Try an internet search for “admin password” along with the make and model of your router. This will usually come up with the documentation—which could list the password.
- Contact tech support for your router via email, IM, or phone. You will most likely find someone who can provide the information.
If you are unable to find the router’s login information, then you may want to skip ahead to the next method—using iCloud Keychain.
Login to the router’s admin interface.
Now that you have the router’s IP address and login information, you’re ready to get into the router’s admin console. Open your browser (Safari, Chrome, or whichever you prefer) and type the router’s IP address into the browser’s URL field. This will take you to the router’s admin console login.
Once you’re at the login page, just enter the username and password you retrieved from the previous step. You’ll be logged in and ready to find your wifi information.
Navigate to the security section.
Once you are in the console, you will need to find and navigate to the router’s security section. All routers have slightly different interfaces, so you may need to explore to find the password settings. Most likely, it will be in an area called “Security” or “Settings.”
Find your password.
After searching around, you will hopefully find the location where the password is set. It will typically be located with the name of your wifi network. There, you should see a password field and the information you are looking for.
Method 2: Use iCloud Keychain
If you can’t get into your router, using iCloud Keychain is another effective way to find the wifi password. Keychain will take the wifi password on your iPhone and save it to iCloud. This method requires that you have a Mac.
You can use the following steps to make this work.
Enable iCloud Keychain on your iPhone
You will need to ensure that iCloud Keychain is enabled on the iPhone that contains the wifi password. Here’s how to check it.
- Open the settings on your iPhone.
- Tap on your name at the top of the settings.
- Select iCloud.
- Select Keychain.
- If the slider is not already green, tap it to move it to green and turn it on. If it was green when you first got there, you’re good to go.
- Wait a few minutes to ensure that the information is uploaded to the cloud.
Enable iCloud Keychain on your Mac
- Ensure that you are logged into the same iCloud account as the iPhone.
- From the Apple menu in the top-right corner, select “System Preferences.”
- Click on the check box next to “Keychain.”
- Wait a few minutes for the Mac to sync with the Keychain.
Find The Password Using your Mac
- Use your Mac to open the Keychain Access program. You can simply open the search tool and type “Keychain Access,” then hit enter.
- In the app’s search box, type the name of the network that the iPhone is connected to. This is the one whose password you are looking for.
- In the results, double-click on the network name.
- It will have a field labeled “Show Password” with a checkbox next to it. Check this checkbox.
- You will be prompted to enter your Mac’s password. Enter the one you use to log in to your Mac.
- The wifi network’s password will now appear in the “Show Password” field.
If you don’t know the password of a wifi network and have an iPhone connected to it, there are a couple of methods you can use to retrieve the password. The two we have described above work well, assuming you have either the admin password for the router or a Mac computer with iCloud Keychain.
We hope that one of these methods is helpful to you. As usual, please let us know if you have any questions or comments. We’d love to hear from you.