Easy methods to See Wi-Fi Passwords on a Mac

Can't remember a WiFi password that you need on another device? We'll show you how to view the saved Wi-Fi passwords on macOS.

Having trouble getting your WiFi password? If you are using it on your Mac, then there is nothing to worry about. macOS actually stores passwords for any Wi-Fi networks you connect to, and it's pretty easy to get your saved Wi-Fi passwords.

See Wi-Fi Passwords on a Mac

This guide will show you how to view your WiFi password on your Mac using Keychain Access and the Terminal.

1. View Wi-Fi passwords on your Mac using Keychain Access

If you didn't already know, Keychain Access is a built-in utility on your Mac that stores your personal information such as credit card details, website usernames and passwords, and your WiFi passwords.

For every Wi-Fi network you are connected to with your Mac, Keychain Access should have that network's password stored in it. Because of this, you don't have to enter the password every time you connect to the same wireless network.

You can access this saved password by following the steps below:

  1. Search for Keychain Access Use Launchpad or Spotlight and start the utility.

  2. Choose All elements of the category Sidebar on the left.

  3. Put your cursor in the search box above, enter the name of your Wi-Fi network and press Enter.

  4. Double-click your Wi-Fi network in the list. A dialog box will open.

    Access your Wi-Fi network in Keychain Access

  5. Check the box Show password to view your Wi-Fi password.

  6. Keychain Access will ask you to enter your Mac's user account information. Enter the required details and click OK.

  7. Your WiFi password is displayed in the field next to Show password.

    Find a Wi-Fi password on a Mac

If Keychain Access won't open or you are experiencing other issues, you'll need to fix them first before you try to find your WiFi passwords.

Mac keychain problems

2. How to find your Wi-Fi password on Mac using Terminal

You can use your Mac's Terminal to perform many tasks. One of them is to help you get your Wi-Fi passwords. There is a command that you can use to do this. All you need to know is the name of your Wi-Fi network.

Have the details for your macOS administrator account ready as you will need to enter them before you can access your saved WiFi password.

To use the terminal to view Wi-Fi passwords on a Mac, do the following:

  1. Open Terminal on your Mac.

  2. Enter and replace the following command MY NETWORK with the name of your Wi-Fi network and press Enter.
    Security find-generic-password -ga "MYNETWORK" | grep "Password:"

    View a Wi-Fi password from a Mac's terminal

  3. You will be asked to ask for your administrator logins. Unlike the usual prompts you see on macOS, in this case your username is not entered by default. So enter both your username and password in the fields provided and click enable.

  4. The terminal displays the password for the Wi-Fi network 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 exchange Wi-Fi passwords between two iPhones without revealing the Wi-Fi password.

So that your Mac shows all of your WiFi passwords

Regardless of the Wi-Fi network, you'll have that network's password saved on your computer if you've ever connected your Mac to it. You can either use Terminal or Keychain Access to get access to all of your saved WiFi passwords.

If you know the name of the Wi-Fi network, use the terminal method. The password is displayed immediately. If you're not sure what the network name is, use Keychain Access to list all of your saved Wi-Fi networks.

Sometimes your Mac won't connect to a Wi-Fi network even if you enter the correct password. This can have various reasons. In this case, you need to investigate whether the problem is with your Mac, your network, or both.

MacBook WiFi problems

Mac won't connect to Wi-Fi? 9 steps to get back online

Connecting your Mac to a Wi-Fi network should be easy. You click the WiFi icon, select the network you want to join, and enter the network's password if necessary.

About the author

Mahesh Makvana
(54 articles published)

Mahesh is a tech writer at MakeUseOf. He has been writing technical guides for about 8 years and has covered many subjects. He loves teaching people how to get the most out of their devices.

More from Mahesh Makvana

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