How to Obtain a Lost Network Key for a D-Link Wireless Router

by C. Taylor

The D-Link router’s network key secures your wireless network from unauthorized entry. Failure to enter a valid security key denies access to the wireless network and prevents deciphering of network-transmitted data. If you’ve lost your security key, this protection works against you by locking you out of the network. However, establishing a wired connection directly with the router allows you to retrieve or reset the security key. Access to these settings requires a different, administrator’s password that grants access only to the D-Link setup utility. If you’ve also lost this password, your only recourse is resetting the router.

Insert one end of an Ethernet cable into any numbered port on the back of the D-Link router. Plug the other end into the Ethernet port on your computer.

Type "" in your browser's address bar and press "Enter."

Enter your login details to access the administrator's utility. By default, the username is "Admin" and the password should be left blank.

Click the "Setup" tab, then "Wireless Settings" from the left panel.

Click "Manual Wireless Connection Setup" in the center panel. This option does not appear in all D-Link models; instead, you are immediately directed to the manual wireless settings.

Scroll down and look for "Network Key," "Pre-Shared Key" or "Passphrase." Some D-Link routers display the network key in this field, so you can retrieve it. However, some models conceal the network key behind a series of black circles. If that's the case, you need to reset the network key.

Decide on a new passphrase and write it down somewhere secure, such as in an address book. Make this new passphrase as long and complex as possible. WPA and WPA2 security protocols allow eight to 63 alphanumeric characters and symbols.

Highlight all the circles and type the new passphrase.

Click "Save Settings" to apply the new network key.


  • If you have to reset the router, push a paperclip or pen into the rear "Reset" button and hold it for 10 seconds.

Items you will need

  • Ethernet cable

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images