Connect your PC to a wireless network and it usually saves the password, ensuring you won’t have to enter it each time.
But if the password is lost, or maybe you forget it, and it’s not in some convenient place (ie the label on the back of your router), you might want to recover the PC copy.
NirSoft’s WirelessKeyView is a portable tool which instantly recovers and displays all your stored wireless network security keys/ passwords.
Run the program and a table presents detailed information on every item: network name (SSID), key type (WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, WEP if you can find an old enough system), the key in ASCII and hex forms, the adapter name, encryption and connection types.
The table also has a “Last Modified” column, handy for computer forensics. Click the column header to sort by that field and you’ll see when each network record was created or modified. If a laptop accessed a hotel wifi for the first time last week, for instance, you’ll see the precise date here.
Some or all the keys may be saved for easy access later. Select whatever you need, right-click and choose Save to save them as a report, or Copy to copy them to the clipboard.
WirelessKeyView is simple and straightforward, but if you don’t have a copy to hand, it’s also possible to find your key without using any third-party software at all.
To try this out, open an elevated command prompt, type the following command and press Enter.
netsh wlan show profile name=”MY-SSID” key=clear
Replace MY-SSID with your network name. NETSH displays general information about the network, and you should find the security key listed as “Key Content” in the “Security settings” section.
If for some reason you don’t know what the profile name should be, try this command.
netsh wlan show profiles
Every profile stored on the system will be listed.
WirelessKeyView runs on Windows XP or later.