Your iPhone goes with you pretty much everywhere you go, and unless you have unlimited data on your cellular plan, you've probably connected to dozens of Wi-Fi hotspots over the years. Wi-Fi passwords are saved to your iPhone so you can auto-connect to the router or personal hotspot again, but finding the plain text password for a network isn't an easy task.
While iOS remembers Wi-Fi passwords for all the wireless access points you successfully connect to, there is no obvious way to retrieve the network's unobfuscated password. Your iPhone will let you share a saved hotspot's password to another device attempting to connect to the network in question, but only with other Apple devices running the latest version of iOS, iPadOS, or macOS.
You can prepare ahead of time by recording the plain text password of Wi-Fi networks you join so that you can quickly view or share it at a later time, but what if you want to see the password for one that's already saved in your My Networks list in Settings –> Wi-Fi? It's not as easy as on Android, but it's doable.
If you go to Settings –> Passwords on your iPhone, you won't see any saved Wi-Fi passwords. You can manually add a new network as a "site" to record its credentials, but you have to do that every time you join a new network for it to be really useful. Instead, look to your Mac.
A tool in the "Utilities" applications folder on macOS called "Keychain Access" houses all of your stored Wi-Fi network credentials. Open the app, then ensure "iCloud" is selected in the sidebar under Default Keychains. If you connected your Mac to the network, it might not have saved to iCloud, so you could also try "System" under System Keychains.
From the tabs, choose "Passwords" to weed out secure notes, certificates, and other data, then sort the results by "Kind" and look for the Wi-Fi network tagged "AirPort network password." You could also use the search bar to find the hotspot by name.
Select the network you need, then hit Return (or Enter) on your keyboard or double-left-click the network with your mouse. From the pop-up, check the box next to "Show password."
Next, enter your keychain password to unhide the plain text password. Your keychain password is most likely the same password as the one you use for your macOS user account.
The password for the Wi-Fi network should reveal itself when you authenticate the request, and you can copy and paste it from there.
Suppose you want to immediately copy the password to your clipboard so you can paste it in a text message, email, or whatever. You can simply select the network from the list in Keychain Access, then use the Shift-Command-C keyboard shortcut or go to Edit –> Copy Password to Clipboard in the menu bar to copy it.
If you checked Keychain Access but couldn't find the Wi-Fi password you need, you may not be syncing Wi-Fi passwords with iCloud. You'll want to enable it for all your iCloud-connected Apple devices for the smoothest experience.
Go to Settings –> [Your Name] –> iCloud –> Keychain on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and make sure "iCloud Keychain" is switched on. From then on, all the passwords you enter and save for Wi-Fi hotspots on the devices will sync to all of your other Apple devices.
On macOS, go to System Preferences –> Apple ID –> iCloud, then make sure "Keychain" is checked from the list.
Using iCloud Keychain is the most convenient option to retrieve plain text passwords for saved Wi-Fi networks on your iPhone — even though you need to use a computer. However, if it's your own Wi-Fi network you're trying to find the password for, you can use the app for your wireless router.
For example, I have an AmpliFi Mesh Wi-Fi System, and I can go to wireless settings for the router in the AmpliFi app and toggle on "Show Password" to reveal it.
If you don't have an app for your wireless router, you can go to Settings –> Wi-Fi, tap the (i) button next to your network's name, long-press the "Router" line, and hit "Copy." Note that this only works when you're currently connected to the network your trying to get the router IP address for.
Then, navigate to the copied IP address in Safari or another web browser and follow the prompts to log in to your router with your account credentials. If you never reset your router's default username and password, you can try some of the default combinations for your model from Routers Login's list of default passwords.
When signed in to your Wi-Fi router, you should be able to navigate to the wireless settings to view your network's current password.
If you do not own the Wi-Fi network you need to locate the plain text password for, there's not much you can do if the iCloud Keychain method didn't work aside from asking the hotspot's owner for the password. That is unless you're a hacker.
While likely illegal, you could gain access to a Wi-Fi network's credentials using white-hat tools like Wifiphisher, Bettercap, Wifite2, Hashcat, Airgeddon, Besside-ng, Fluxion, USB dead drops, and even birthday cards. Of course, you'll also need a computer for most of these hacking tools.
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