Are you having trouble recalling your Wi-Fi password? If you’re using it on your Mac, there is no need to worry. macOS actually saves passwords for all of the Wi-Fi networks that you connect it to, and it’s fairly easy to retrieve your saved Wi-Fi passwords.
This guide covers how to see your Wi-Fi password on your Mac using both Keychain Access and the Terminal.
1. How to See Wi-Fi Passwords on Your Mac Using Keychain Access
If you don’t already know, Keychain Access is a built-in utility on your Mac that saves your personal information, like your credit card details, username and passwords for websites, and your Wi-Fi passwords.
For any Wi-Fi network you’ve connected to with your Mac, Keychain Access should have that network’s password saved in it. This is why you don’t need to enter the password every time you connect to the same wireless network.
You can access that saved password by following these steps:
- Search for Keychain Access using Launchpad or Spotlight and launch the utility.
- Select All Items from the Category sidebar on the left.
- Put your cursor in the search box at the top, type the name of your Wi-Fi network, and hit Enter.
- Double-click your Wi-Fi network in the list and a dialog box will open.
- Tick the box that says Show password to show your Wi-Fi password.
- Keychain Access will ask you to enter your Mac’s user account details. Type the required details and click OK.
- Your Wi-Fi password will appear in the box next to Show password.
If Keychain Access doesn’t open or has other issues, you’ll need to fix those issues first before you try and find your Wi-Fi passwords.
2. How to Find Your Wi-Fi Password on a Mac Using the Terminal
The Terminal on your Mac lets you perform many tasks; one of these is to help you retrieve your Wi-Fi passwords. There’s a command that lets you do this, and all you need to know is the name of your Wi-Fi network.
Keep the details for your macOS admin account ready, as you will need to enter those before accessing your saved Wi-Fi password.
Follow these steps to use the Terminal to see Wi-Fi passwords on a Mac:
- Open the Terminal on your Mac.
- Type the following command, replace MYNETWORK with the name of your Wi-Fi network, and hit Enter.
security find-generic-password -ga "MYNETWORK" | grep “password:”
- You will see a prompt asking for your administrator logins. Unlike the usual prompts you see on macOS, this one won’t have your username filled in by default. So type both your username and password in the given fields and click Allow.
- The Terminal will display the password for the Wi-Fi network you specified in the command.
If you have an iPhone connected to your Wi-Fi network, and you want to connect another iPhone to the same network, you can actually share Wi-Fi passwords between two iPhones without having to reveal the Wi-Fi password.
Getting Your Mac to Reveal All Your Wi-Fi Passwords
No matter the Wi-Fi network, if you’ve ever connected your Mac to it, you have that network’s password saved on your machine. You can use either the Terminal or Keychain Access to get access to all your saved Wi-Fi passwords.
If you know the Wi-Fi network name, use the Terminal method and it will instantly display the password. If you aren’t sure what the network name is, use Keychain Access and it’ll list out all your saved Wi-Fi networks.
Sometimes, your Mac won’t connect to a Wi-Fi network despite entering the correct password. This can happen due to a variety of reasons. If this happens to you, you’ll need to investigate and find out if the problem is with your Mac, your network, or both.