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This question already has an answer here:

One of my friend connected me to the wifi in our area . Now my computer automatically connects to that wifi. I don't need to enter the password. I wanted to browse internet using my android phone. Since i don't know the password i can't connect to the wifi network. Is there any file/folder where the password for the wifi is saved on windows-7 pc ?

marked as duplicate by Kevin Panko, music2myear, Excellll, Nifle, Mokubai Oct 19 '14 at 20:24

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In the computer that can connect to the network, type Manage wireless networks into the start menu search. Right click on the properties for the network you want and click Properties. In the security tab you should see an option to Show characters.

This will reveal your WiFi password that computer remembers.

This is the same process as described in the answer for Change the password Windows 7 has stored for a wireless network. Thanks @iglvzx for pointing this out.

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    This only works if you are currently connected to the network. If you need to access a password for a non-connected wifi, see other solutions like the one suggested by elvin aslanov – Bruce Barnett Jan 23 '15 at 16:04
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You can retrieve a hex encoded version (which works if you input it into the usual places) with Nirsoft's Wireless Key View. The documentation for this states that the keys are stored either in the registry or the filesystem as follows

Windows XP: The wireless keys are stored in the Registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WZCSVC\Parameters\Interfaces[Interface Guid].

Windows Vista: The wireless keys are stored in the file system, under c:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Wlansvc\Profiles\Interfaces[Interface Guid]. The encrypted keys are stored in .xml file

The location for 7 and vista should be the same.

  • +1 Nice! Ought to script something to extract these whenever I reformat. – jay May 15 '12 at 5:13
  • that is nice !. – steve May 15 '12 at 5:15
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    Well, its supposedly encrypted, but the one you have highlighted should work. Personally, since that tool will get the password, comparing it with the xml file should work out where exactly it is – Journeyman Geek May 15 '12 at 5:45
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    How we decrypt that password?? – Usman Jan 16 '15 at 12:02
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    Here's the actual way to get it. On an elevated (run as administrator) command prompt type this: netsh wlan show profile name="<NETWORK SSID>" key=clear. That gives you the decrypted password. – Gabriel Magana Feb 1 '16 at 17:58
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you can also export and store it in your own interface configuration file

netsh wlan export profile interface=wi-fi key=clear folder=c:\

it will generate an .xml file (named in a interface-essid format) in the folder specified (c:\) with the plaintext password (clear) inside of its keymaterial tag

then you can also easily import (netsh wlan add profile interface=filename=c:\interface-essid.xml) the configuration file where the essid and key are stored

it works on windows 8.1 as the interface is called wi-fi there (ncpa.cpl)

in windows 7 its name is wireless network interface

Alternatively you can export the profile of all profiles without knowing their name by using the wildcard * as interface name:

netsh wlan export profile interface=* key=clear folder=c:\

A different .xml file will be generated for each interface

  • This worked perfectly, as long as you can open a shell as administrator. It also gets all of the passwords for all of the remembered wifi accounts, and not just the one that you are currently connected to. – Bruce Barnett Jan 23 '15 at 16:02
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    This should be the accepted answer right here, nice job. Shows the clear-text password for every wi-fi connection on the PC. – Speednet Sep 23 '15 at 13:25

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