Windows 10 How to Forget a WiFi Network and Delete Wireless Network Profiles

We’ve all been there. A friend comes over, begging access to your WiFi network, but you realize you forgot your network security key. Often, the router is buried in a corner or in another room and you don’t have the energy to move. To indulge your laziness, we’re going to show you how to find the WiFi password in Windows 10.

What is a network security key for WiFi?

Your Windows 10 device may display a message telling you to “Enter the network security key”. This can cause some confusion, but it’s worth noting that the network security key, WiFi key, and WiFi password are interchangeable terms.

A WiFi password or network security key is usually WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) phrase that you chose at an earlier date. A password may have also shipped with your router, but for security reasons, it’s highly recommended you swap that out for a unique, personal one.

How to view saved WFi passwords in Windows 10

You can find the WiFi password in Windows 10 via a variety of methods without needing additional authentication. We’re going to show you how to do so via PowerShell, command prompt, the control panel, and a third-party Wi-Fi password revealer. Let’s get started:

How to Find WiFi Password in Windows via PowerShell

One of the fastest and most foolproof ways to view saved Wi-Fi passwords in Windows 10 is through a PowerShell command. It’s a long one, but you can simply paste it into the command line and press Enter.

  1. Open PowerShell as Admin


    Press “Windows + X”, then click “Windows PowerShell (Admin)”

    Windows 10 - Open PowerShell

  2. Run the WiFi password revealer command


    In PowerShell, enter the following by copying it and then right-clicking in the PowerShell window. Then press “Enter”:

    (netsh wlan show profiles) | Select-String "\:(.+)$" | %{$name=$_.Matches.Groups[1].Value.Trim(); $_} | %{(netsh wlan show profile name="$name" key=clear)} | Select-String "Key Content\W+\:(.+)$" | %{$pass=$_.Matches.Groups[1].Value.Trim(); $_} | %{[PSCustomObject]@{ PROFILE_NAME=$name;PASSWORD=$pass }} | Format-Table -Wrap

    PowerShell will output a list of network IDs and their saved passwords. Look for your network name and note the password down for later use.

    Windows 10 - PowerShell - Show WiFI-Passwords

How to Find Network Security Key via Windows 10 Command Prompt

If you don’t have access to PowerShell or your network didn’t show up in it, you can try Command Prompt instead. The commands here are also memorable, which is always useful for the future. 

  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator


    Press “Windows” and type “cmd”. Right-click “Command Prompt” and choose “Run as administrator”.

    Windows 10 - open CMD admin

  2. Run the netsh command


    Paste the following into command prompt and press “Enter”:

    netsh wlan show profiles

    Note down the user profile name of your Wi-Fi network for use in the next step.

    Windows 10 - CMD admin - netsh wlan show profiles

  3. Run the key command to find the WiFi password in Windows 10


    Now that you know the network ID, you can type the following to return its password:

    netsh wlan show profile name="NetworkName" key=clear

    Replace NetworkName with your SSID and press “Enter”.

    Windows 10 - CMD admin - netsh wlan show profile name key

  4. Note down the Windows 10 network security key


    Scroll down the page until you find “Security settings”, then look for the “Key content” field. Your network password should be displayed there.

    Windows 10 - CMD admin - netsh wlan show wifi password

Find WiFi Password in Windows 10 via Settings

For a more user-friendly route, you can use the Settings app to view the WiFi key in Windows 10.

  1. Open settings


    Press “Windows + X”, then click “Network Connections” to open network settings.

    Windows 10 - Open Network Connections

  2. Click “Wi-Fi”, then “Network and Sharing Center”


    Windows 10 - Wifi

  3. Click your Wi-Fi network under the “Connections” tab


    Windows 10 - Network and Sharing Center

  4. Click “Wireless Properties”


    Windows 10 - Wi-Fi Status

  5. Use the WiFi password revealer


    Switch to the “Security” tab, then tick the “Show characters” button under “Network security key”. Copy the key down for later use and press “OK”.

    Windows 10 - Wi-Fi Status - Wireless Properties - Network Security Key

How to Find The Network Key with the WirelessKeyView App

If the above methods aren’t doing it for you, one option is a free third-party tool, Wirelesskeyview.

  1. Go to the WirelessKeyView webpage


    Go to the Nirsoft website and scroll down until you see the feedback section.

    Webbrowser - Nirsoft Website

  2. Note down the Zip password and click “Download WirelessKeyView for x64”


    Webbrowser - Download WirelessKeyView and note Password

  3. Extract the WirelessKeyView zip files


    In your downloads folder, right-click the .zip file you just downloaded and choose “Extract All”.

    Webbrowser - Extract WirelessKeyView

  4. Enter the zip password


    At the time of writing, the zip password was WKey4567#. Enter it in the “Password:” field and press “OK”.

    Webbrowser - Extract WirelessKeyView - Enter Password

  5. Run the WiFi password revealer


    It will be called “WirelessKeyView.exe”.

    Webbrowser - Run WirelessKeyView

  6. Click “More info” to the warning dialog


    Webbrowser - Run WirelessKeyView - Windows Defender Confirmation

  7. Click “Run anyway”


    Webbrowser - Run WirelessKeyView - Windows Defender Confirmation - Run anyway

  8. View saved Wi-Fi passwords in Windows 10


    WirelessKeyView often spits out a more complete list of Wi-Fipasswords than Windows 10’s default tools. Search for your network name in the left-hand column, and its password under the “Key (Ascii)” column.

    Webbrowser - Run WirelessKeyView - Wi-Fi Passwords

If you found this tutorial useful, you may also want to check out our guides on how to remove a PDF password and password protecting a folder.