How to View the WiFi Password on macOS: A Comprehensive Guide

A macbook and an ipad side to side red background

Passwords serve as the first line of defense in our digital lives, shielding our most sensitive data from prying eyes. Yet, while it’s essential to keep these codes secure, it’s equally important to have access to them when needed. One such scenario is when we need to retrieve our WiFi password. Picture this: You’ve set up a complex password for your WiFi network to ensure top-notch security. It works perfectly until the day a guest asks for it, and you realize you can’t remember it. However you do remember entering your WiFi password on macOS, but how do you save yourself from embarrassment and view it?

Enter the world of macOS, a system known for its top-tier security measures, which extend even to storing and retrieving WiFi passwords. Although you’ve connected to your WiFi and entered the password before, macOS doesn’t display it straightforwardly for security reasons. Not to worry, though; whether you’re an experienced user or new to the macOS environment, this guide will walk you through how to view your WiFi password on macOS. We’ll explore two methods, one using Keychain Access and another through the Terminal, both of which require admin rights.

The Importance of Passwords

A Key to Our Digital World

Passwords are more than just a combination of characters. They’re the keys to our digital lives. From social media accounts to online banking, passwords keep our private information away from prying eyes. Even something as simple as a WiFi password carries with it a certain level of responsibility.

Balancing Accessibility and Security

While Windows might offer a straightforward way to view WiFi passwords, macOS, with its focus on security, demands admin rights to reveal this information. It’s a delicate balance between making things user-friendly and ensuring that critical information remains protected.

A bunch of keys compiled together

How to View WiFi Password on macOS

Whether you prefer a user interface or the classic Terminal, macOS provides two distinct methods to view your WiFi password:

View WiFi Password – Keychain Access

  1. Open Keychain Access App:

    Navigate to the ‘Utilities‘ folder on your macOS system and open the Keychain Access App.

  2. Select System:

    Look for the column on the left-hand side within the Keychain Access App. Click on ‘System.’ You’ll then see a panel on the right, listing the networks you’re connected to or have connected to previously.

  3. Double-Click Your Network:

    Browse through the list to find your specific WiFi network. Double-click on it. An option labeled ‘Show password‘ will appear; make sure to enable or check this box.

  4. Enter Admin Credentials:

    A prompt will appear, asking for your admin username and password. Enter these credentials carefully. Once entered and authenticated, the WiFi password will become visible next to the ‘Show password‘ option.

By following these four straightforward steps, you can easily view the password for the WiFi network you’re connected to on a macOS system. Remember, you’ll need admin rights to complete this process, as it involves sensitive information.

View WiFi Password – Terminal

  1. Open Terminal: You can find Terminal in the ‘Utilities’ folder or search for it using Spotlight.
  2. Run the Command: Enter the following command, replacing “Name-of-WiFi-network” with your actual WiFi network’s name. Check and follow the code given in the box below.
  3. Enter Admin Credentials: Tap ‘Enter,’ and when prompted, input the admin username and password. You might have to enter it twice.
security find-generic-password -wa Name-of-WiFi-network

If my Wifi network name was “Redjester” I would enter the name in the manner below:

security find-generic-password -wa Redjester
Wifi sign on a device

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A World Without Passwords? Not Yet!

As much as we love the convenience of quick access, the truth is that passwords serve as an essential barrier against potential threats. Apple’s approach to making it a bit challenging to view the WiFi password on macOS may seem inconvenient, but it’s part of a broader focus on security.

Share and Care, But Be Aware!

Next time you’re asked for your WiFi password, rest easy knowing you have the tools to retrieve it on macOS. However, always remember the underlying principle of safeguarding sensitive information. If you need to share your WiFi with someone, consider using the Share WiFi password feature available in iOS 11 or later. Sharing can be caring, but let’s do it with awareness and responsibility in this interconnected digital world. For further support visit the official website of MacOS Support or drop your comment down below.

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