How to Retrieve a Wireless Router Password

by David Lipscomb

Your wireless router password is your key to your wireless network. Adding new devices, making important security changes or attempting to repair your Internet connection requires this key. Should you forget or misplace your password, retrieving the password using your router's Web-based set up page gives you back control of your network.

Open your browser and enter "" -- the default address for many routers -- in the browser's address bar. Consult your user guide for the specific address. If you don't know the address or have the manual, click the Windows Start button, then click "Run." Type "cmd" and press "Enter." Type "ipconfig" and find the address listed as the default gateway.

Click on Wireless Network," "Wireless Details" or a similarly labeled button to access your network settings options.

Enter your system password if prompted. Click "Submit" or "Enter" to gain access to your security settings.

Examine the "Wireless Key" or "Wireless Password" field to find your password. Click on the "Show Characters" box to convert from dots or asterisks to display our code if needed.

Examine the label on the base of your router if your internal settings do not allow you to view the password. Take this time to change your password from the default to a new password featuring more letters and numbers, if desired.


  • Change your wireless security from WEP to WPA or WPA2, if your hardware supports it. WEP is the default for most routers, but an experienced network hijacker can easily defeat it.
  • Most routers allow you to reset by pressing and holding a small recessed button for 5 seconds or more, using a paper clip or ballpoint pen. This resets the router to factory defaults, letting you regain access and change the password.


  • Never completely disable your wireless security password feature.

About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

Photo Credits

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