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How to view saved Wi-Fi passwords on Mac

How to view saved Wi-Fi passwords on Mac

Hello, what is the Wi-Fi password?

A question that you may ask yourself several times at home. Chances are you’ve forgotten the Wi-Fi password, because people don’t usually care, because Wi-Fi is already saved on our phone, PC, or Mac. To find it, you can either follow the usual route to retrieve it from the router settings, but I still have a better solution to offer.


You can also view Wi-Fi passwords saved on Mac. There are several ways to find Wi-Fi passwords on Mac, the iCloud keychain and the macOS terminal. The first can only be used when you know the exact Wi-Fi name.

In this article, we are going to talk about these two ways to find saved Wi-Fi passwords on Mac. They are not as simple as you think. Let’s start by following the steps below.

View saved Wi-Fi passwords from the keychain

Wait, what exactly is the keychain? The Mac Keychain is a useful tool built into macOS. It saves all local passwords with the network name and works as a must-have password manager that works both offline and online. The keychain supports iCloud which synchronizes connection data saved from the Safari browser on Apple devices.

The keychain also allows you to add secure, certified notes and other sensitive information. But we are not here to talk about it. Let’s see how to extract the saved Wi-Fi passwords from it. Follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open Spotlight search using the search menu in the upper right corner or use the Command + Space keyboard shortcut.

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2nd step: Type Keychain Access and press the back button. You can also go to Launchpad> Other folder> Keychain access to open the application.


Step 3: Select the system from the keychain menu in the left sidebar.

Step 4: Now go to the bottom menu bar and select the passwords in the category section.


Step 5: On the right side you will see all the Wi-Fi system settings saved on the device.

Step 6: Double-click the Wi-Fi name to open the dialog.

Step 7: Select the Show password option at the bottom and it will ask you to authenticate the device using fingerprint or password.


Step 8: As you access system information, it will ask you to verify yourself with your user name and password.


Step 9: If you are unsure of your username, move to the upper left corner and tap the little Apple logo.


Step 10: Here you will see your username in the menu. Use it and add a password in the keychain. Here is! The system will show you the current password.


You can also tap the small key icon, and this will open the password assistance menu. You can use the suggested password and press Save changes. It will save the Wi-Fi network password. If another administrator controls the Wi-Fi network, you cannot change the passwords.

Use the macOS terminal

The terminal is a built-in application that lets you control Mac using command prompts. The method mentioned below is suitable for those who do not wish to go through several steps above and want a direct solution. There is only one outlet here. You must know the exact name of the Wi-Fi network to highlight the password in Terminal.

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Step 1: Open Terminal using Spotlight search (keyboard shortcut Command + Space) or by accessing Launchpad> Other> Terminal.


2nd step: Type the following command

security find-generic-password -ga WIFI NAME | grep “password:”

Replace the WIFI NAME with the exact name of your network for which you want the password.

Step 3: Press the back button, and it will ask you to authenticate using the username and password.


Step 4: Add the information and click OK. It will show you the Wi-Fi password for the mentioned network.

Did you enjoy using Terminal to find out more details on your Mac? Read our compilation of the 11 best terminal control tips for macOS.

Closing thoughts

You can easily avoid the above mentioned scenario if you invest in a decent password manager. You can save the connection information of each Wi-Fi network in a password manager and recover the information with a single authentication if necessary.

As for the Apple ecosystem, I would recommend using the iCloud keychain, which is a solid product for Apple users, and it should be the subject of a major overhaul in the iOS 14 update. For its alternatives, I would advise you to go with the likes of Enpass, 1Password, LastPass or Dashlane. These are all cross-platform solutions, which means you can access them on all platforms, including Android and Windows.

Get Wi-Fi passwords on Mac

As you can see in the guide above, it’s pretty easy to get a Wi-Fi password saved on Mac. For occasional users, I would recommend using the keychain. Experienced users can opt for a method of finding things via Terminal.

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Then:

The iCloud keychain has synchronization issues? Read the post below to find the fix.

Last updated on April 22, 2020

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