Wi-fi Passcode

woman-shushing-with-smartphone-image-from-shutterstockWi-fi Passcode: a reader asks…

Hi Chris, I have a problem. My computer automatically connects to my home Wi-fi network, but I have no idea what the security passcode is. So I can’t connect any other computers or smartphones or tablets to it. I don’t remember how I set it up in the first place, so I can’t just do that again. Can you help? I have a Windows 10 laptop and an iPhone 6s.

router-wi-fi-passcode-stickerHere are two ways you can find out the passcode to your Wi-fi network. First, you can look on your home router to see if there’s a sticker. Look for the passcode that goes with the SSID – name of your Wi-fi network. I should note that the passcode is case-specific, lower-case letters are different than upper-case letters. These stickers are usually on equipment that’s been provided by your Internet Service Provider – Verizon, Cox, Comcast, etc. If you’re using a 3rd party router, some of the newest ones now have a sticker on them with the passcode printed, but most of these routers (Cisco/Linksys, Netgear, DLink, etc.) don’t – the passcode is set by using the control panel software for the device.


If you can’t find that router or if it doesn’t have a sticker with that information on it, here’s a second way that works with Windows 10. On your laptop (that’s already connected to the Wi-fi network):

  1. windows-7-wifi-passcode-show-screenshotOpen the Network & Sharing Center (right-click on the Wi-fi icon in the System Notification area at the bottom-right of your screen, then left-click the menu item ‘Open Network & Sharing Center’)
  2. Now click on the Wireless Network name (that’s a link on the right side, where it says “Access Type: Internet” and underneath, “Connections”). That opens a Wi-fi Status window. Click the Wireless Properties button which opens another window with two tabs.
  3. Click the Security tab, then click the ‘Show characters’ checkbox. You can now read the passcode.

I should note that for those using Macs, there’sa a similar way to see the passcode of whatever Wi-fi network you’re already connected to (using the Keychain Access app). But for security reasons, Apple won’t let you view saved passcodes on your iPhone.



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