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How do I find the passphrase for my wireless network?

Your passphrase provides security encryption for your wireless network. If you forget it, most operating systems provide a way for you to find it.

  • The passphrase can also be referred to as a password, network security key, pre-shared key, or just key.

This article provides instructions for retrieving your passphrase in the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP does not provide a convenient way to find your passphrase within the operating system.

To find the password for your wireless network using Windows 8:

  1. Launch the Charms bar, and click .
  2. Click . A list of available networks is displayed.
    • If you are connected to a network, the network name is listed under the wireless icon. If not, the word Available is displayed.
  3. Right-click your wireless network, and select View connection properties. The Wireless Networks Properties window opens.
  4. Select the Show characters check box to view your wireless network password in the Network security key field.

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To find the password for your wireless network using Windows 7:

  1. In the system tray, click the wireless Internet icon. A pop-up window opens, displaying available networks.
  2. Click Open Network and Sharing Center.
    • You also can access the Network and Sharing Center by opening the Start menu and selecting Control Panel.
  3. From the left navigation, select Manage wireless networks. The Manage wireless networks window opens.
  4. Right-click your network, and from the pop-up menu, select Properties. The Wireless network properties window opens.
  5. Click the Security tab.
  6. Select Show characters. Your passphrase is displayed in the Network security key text box.

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To find the password for your wireless network using Windows Vista:

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel.
  2. Select Classic View.
  3. Click Open Network and Sharing Center. The Network and Sharing Center opens.
  4. From the left navigation, select Manage network connections. The Network Connections window opens.
  5. Right-click your network, and from the pop-up menu, select Status. The Wireless Network Connections window opens.
  6. Click the Wireless Properties button. The Wireless Network properties window opens.
  7. Click the Security tab.
  8. Select the Show characters check box. Your passphrase is displayed in the Network security key text box.

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With Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard), Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard), and Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger), you can store your passwords in a utility called Keychain. If you forget a password, you can find it using that utility.

To retrieve a passphrase (password) in Keychain:

  1. Double-click the Mac HD icon on your computer.
  2. Open the Applications folder.
  3. Open the Utilities folder.
  4. Open Keychain Access. A list is displayed of the sites, applications, networks, etc., for which you have stored passwords.
  5. Double-click the name on the list representing your wireless network. A window opens for that keychain item.
  6. Click Attributes if it is not selected already. Information about that account is displayed.
  7. Select the Show Password checkbox. A dialog box opens, indicating that Keychain Access wants to use your information and asking if you want to allow it.
  8. Enter the password for your keychain.
  9. Click Allow to view the passphrase.

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Article Number: 7485

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