How can a home network password be recovered?

Suppose you’ve got a wireless network set up in your house, and it’s got a password. Suppose someone wants to access that network through their laptop. Suppose you can’t remember what the password was.

Is there some way to recover it?

Just reset the router and re-configure it.

ETA: If you have ever connected to the network with a Mac, you can find the network password in it’s Keychain (protected by the user’s password, which you hopefully remember).

When I set mine up a .txt file containing the password was saved to my desktop.

Go into the Wireless configuration on whatever device is acting as your Wireless Access Point. This is usually the USB or Broadband “modem”, or a router plugged into the modem. All of the ones I’ve worked with will display the wireless network key or pass-phrase.

You can usually access the configuration program by typing the IP address of the device in your browser. For example, this would normally be something like, or

You will need the user id and password to the device, of course.

huh. I found myself in this exact purely hypothetical situation just last week. SDMB is seriousry a great place. Thanks!

Beowulff got it in one, you need to do a hard reset on the router and reconfigure it from scratch. This is done by poking a small paperclip or something of similar size into a small hole in the back of the router. Be sure to have internet passwords if you are using a PPPOE high speed provider like AT&T.

Thanks for the help everyone. This one did it. I had no idea the password would just be plainly displayed in the network configuration screen like that. But there it was. :smiley:

Bah. The laptop now connects to the network, and will successfully do things like Instant Messaging, but once you try to load up a webpage, for some reason, the connection is dropped and the laptop can’t re-connect (saying it gets no response from the wireless network) for several minutes.

I suggest writing down the new password on the router itself (or on a piece of tape on it), this way if guests want to use it you will know where it is.

Most routers also have a default password, probably on a sticker on the device itself.

Engrish much? :slight_smile: