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How to view the WiFi password on macOS

Passwords are sensitive information and they should be kept safe. This holds true regardless of what a password is for. No password should simply be visible on a device, and that holds true for a WiFi network’s password. If you’re connected a WiFi network, you already have the password for it but if you later need to look it up again, you’ll find that not all devices are forthcoming with that information. Windows 10 makes it really easy to look up the WiFi password but, if you want to view the WiFi password on macOS, you will need admin rights.

View WiFi password on macOS

There are two ways to view the WiFi password on macOS. The first is via Keychain Access, and the second is via the Terminal. In both cases, you will need admin rights. The only difference between the two is that one gives you a UI to work with while the other requires a command to do the job.

View WiFi password – Keychain Access

Open the Keychain Access app and select System in the column on the left. The pane on the right will list the networks that you’re connected to or have connected to, in the past. Double-click your WiFi network, and enable the ‘Show password’ option.

At this point, you will be asked to enter your admin username and password. Enter it, and the field next to the ‘Show password’ option will reveal the password of the WiFi network.

View WiFi password – Terminal

Open Terminal and run the following command.

security find-generic-password -wa Name-of-WiFi-network

Make sure you replace “Name-of-WiFi-network” with the name of the WiFi network you want to look up the password for.

Example

security find-generic-password -wa Isengard

Tap Enter and when prompted to, enter the admin username and password. You may have to enter it twice, once in the Terminal, and once in an on-screen prompt.

Apple does not make it easy to view the WiFi password on macOS. On iOS, you simply cannot view it unless you’re willing to jailbreak your device to get the job done. If you need to help someone connect to the same WiFi network that you’re connected to, you can use the Share WiFi password feature that was added in iOS 11. That really is the closest you’ll ever get to a stock WiFi sharing feature.

Android phones used to have an option to view the WiFi password but as of Android 9, the option no longer exists. It has been removed as a security measure though there are plenty of devices running older versions of Android that still let you view the WiFi password without rooting your device.

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