How to Recover a Lost Network Key for a Linksys Router

by C. Taylor

The same network key that keeps intruders out of your wireless network also excludes you if you lose the key. However, by establishing an Ethernet connection with the Linksys router, you circumvent the need for the wireless network key and gain access to the network. With network access, you can enter the Linksys setup utility and locate the network security key. However, this utility requires a different password. Things get more complicated if you forget the administrator password, because you then have to reset your router, which erases all your previous settings.

Attach an Ethernet cable between one of the numbered ports on the Linksys router and your computer's Ethernet port.

Enter "" in your browser's address bar.

Enter the login details and click "OK." By default, the username is blank, and the password is "admin."

Click the "Wireless" tab and select the "Wireless Security" sub-tab.

Click the "Manual" radio button in the Configuration View section.

Scroll down and look for "Passphrase," "WPA Shared Key," "Security Key" or "Key." The text in this field is your network key. If you're using WEP security, your network key is the numbered key that corresponds to the value by "TX Key." As an example, if TX Key lists "1," your wireless password is "Key 1."


  • If you need to reset your router, press the "Reset" button with a sharp object, such as a paper clip, and hold for at least 10 seconds. Wireless-B and Wireless-G routers require holding the button for 30 seconds.

Items you will need

  • Ethernet cable

Photo Credits

  • Ethan Miller/Getty Images News/Getty Images