How to Retrieve WiFi Password on Windows

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Remembering the WiFi password when on a guest network is never easy. Even worse is when it's no longer posted and someone else is asking you for it. Luckily there's a built in Windows command to recover the password of a given WiFi network.

The Shell Code

Open cmd and execute the following command:

netsh wlan show profile name="David Walsh's Network" key=clear

The result of the command, assuming the network is found, is a long text output with a variety of information about the network. To get the see the password for the network, look under the "Security settings" heading which will look like this:

Security settings
    Authentication         : WPA2-Personal
    Cipher                 : CCMP
    Authentication         : WPA2-Personal
    Cipher                 : GCMP
    Security key           : Present
    Key Content            : **THE_PLAIN_TEXT_PASSWORD**

As with any complicated command line format, it's best to create an alias so that you don't need to remember the full string!

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