I've Forgotten My Own WiFi Password

First, let’s get this out of the way: :smack:

Anyway, I have forgotten my WiFi password, and I kinda need it now that I have a smart phone. My desktop and Mrs. Homie’s laptop are automatically logged in, so I haven’t had occasion to input it since I bought the router. I’ve tried the factory default password, as well as every password I’ve ever used since Al Gore invented the internet, and I’m coming up bubkus.

Do I need to uninstall and re-install the router? Buy a new one? Or is there a fix that doesn’t involve some form of scorched earth?


I’ve done this several times. Don’t panic! You’ve got your towel, right?

Windows 7:
Start | Control Panel | Network & Intranet | Network & Sharing Center
It should show you the network and a hidden password. Click the network you want, rightclick for Properties, Security tab. Check the box to show the password.

I think that’s pretty close - I’m not on my home computer where I’ve done this repeatedly.

Older versions, I’ve used this program:

You should also be able to connect a computer to the router using an ethernet cable, and then go into the router settings and reset or change the WiFi password.

And if you don’t remember the password to the router itself, there should be a hardware reset switch on it which will restore the factory defaults.

Which will also wipe out the passwords and you will have to reset everything back up. Not a crisis, but an additional few steps

To complement the other suggestions: if you have a Mac, you can open up the application “Keychain Access” and search for your network name. That will bring up the entry with your wireless password in it, and an option to “show password.” If you enter your computer’s password, you’ll be able to retrieve your WiFi password.

Depending what kind of router you have the WEP key (if that’s what you’re using) might be on a sticker on the bottom.

Resetting the router (press and hold the reset button per the manual) and re-entering a new password on all three machines should take you all of about 5 minutes total.

You need to have one machine physically connected to the router with an ethernet cable (even if temporarily) to do this.

Forgetting your wifi/router password is not a problem. Forgetting your ISP password is much worse.

Yes, but the OP will need the gate (or whatever it’s called) address, wont he?

Also, you don’t need an ethernet connection. If one of your computers is already hooked up to wifi, you can use that one.

You mean the address to access the internal config setup page for the router? All he needs is the default factory address and passwords and they are usually printed on the back or underside of the router. If not a minutes googling will usually pull it up.

Once he resets the router the wifi connection will be lost. You could pick up the signal and use the factory default address but it’s usually much easier and more secure to use a wired scenario for inital setup.

Before resetting, make sure you have your ISP password (if it’s Adsl)

Yes, but I disagree that he needs to reset the router. On my Netgear, all I have to do is pull the page up and my password is right there.


I think we are talking about the same thing.

All I know is in my adress bar I type in some crazy adress. Smething like: and it pulls up all my info. I can see my password, change channels, change the name of my network id, ect…

Double agree. I doubt there is a router in the world that needs to be reset in order to just change the wifi password. And if you reset it, then you have to redo all those other settings that you have probably forgotten: PPPoE, DHCP, PPTP, L2TP, Dynamic IP, Static IP, WEP, WPA, WPA2, 802.11 mode? What are those again? And if it’s PPPoE what is the ISP password again?

I’ve used http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/wireless_key.html also.

Works just fine.

WTF typos for the win!!

typical linksys/cisco home user router or (older models)

typical netgear

typical comcast provided routers

typical AT&T provided routers and modems

My location should now make more sense to some folks

I have the same problem and have an xp laptop & 2 Windows7 laptop, one of which is new and without the WiFi connection. I’ve been trying to retrieve the password via the W7 laptop per the above posts but when it gives me a new password for the home network it will not accept the “security key” on thenew laptop.

So I booted the xp unit and tried to access the nirsoft program. After downloading unwanted abiword program and 7zip program (needed or not?), and another one, my Norton 360 blocked the nirsoft download as it said it has a Trojan worm.

I’ll check this tomorrow evening for any more ideas.