The blog of Windows Wally, a Windows Support Technician helping common people solve frustrating computer problems.



How To Recover A Lost WiFi Password

Reader Question:
“Hi Wally, I think my wifi has been hacked. I can’t use my wifi password. There is a chance that someone has changed it, but so far I can’t figure out whats happening. Can you please tell me how to fix this? Thank you” – Amber A., USA

Before addressing any computer issue, I always recommend scanning and repairing any underlying problems affecting your PC health and performance:

  • Step 1 : Download PC Repair & Optimizer Tool (WinThruster for Win7, XP, Vista – Microsoft Gold Certified).
  • Step 2 : Click “Start Scan” to find Windows registry issues that could be causing PC problems.
  • Step 3 : Click “Repair All” to fix all issues.

Setting up weekly (or daily) automatic scans will help prevent system problems and keep your PC running fast and trouble-free.

Wally’s Answer: Many people face this problem at some point. Especially if they share a WiFi connection with a lot of people or if more than one person has the administrator password to the router. Luckily, getting back your WiFi password isn’t that difficult.

Problem

The user can’t connect to their WiFi internet (router device).

Solution

Here are some things that you can do to change your WiFi password.

Read The Text on The Internet Router

Find your internet router, and read the text on it. You should be able to find the name of the company who made the router. It is easy to identify a WiFi router. It may have one or more antennae on it. It looks a bit different from a modem. Here’s what your router may look like:

Wifi Password - Example - Windows Wally

Wifi Password - Example - 2 - Windows Wally

There is also a possibility that you’re using a 3G/4G Wingle or MiFi device which looks like this:

Wifi Password - Example - MiFi - Windows Wally

Find The Default IP Address and Admin Password

You can find the default IP and password for the router by looking for your router’s manual. You can find the manual online if you don’t remember where it is anymore. You can also find it by searching for your WiFi router’s manufacturer and model number online.

Wifi Password - Example - Wifi Router Default IP address - Windows Wally

Access The Router’s Settings

You will need to access the router’s settings to change the WiFi password. Ideally, your laptop or computer should be connected to the WiFi router by an Ethernet cable. An Ethernet cable (connector) connects in to an Ethernet port like this:

Wifi Password - Example - Ethernet Cable and Ethernet Port - Windows Wally

Once connected to the router via the Ethernet cable, open a web browser and type in the IP address of your router (e.g. 192.168.0.1), now press Enter.

You should see some settings. It is basically a website that is running inside your WiFi router. From here, you will need to look for the settings to change the WiFi password. These settings will be in different places depending on the WiFi router and the number of features it has. If you can’t find where the settings are, you can consult your WiFi router’s manual or look online for help. It should be under Security, and labeled as Wireless Password. Words like WPA PSK might also show up.

WiFi Password - Tenda - Wifi settings - Windows Wally

(click image to enlarge)

What If I still Can’t Get Into My WiFi Router?

There is a chance that someone has changed the Admin password for security purposes. Look at the WiFi router. There should be a reset button on the router. Pressing and holding this switch for 20 to 30 seconds should reset all settings. Consult the manual of the WiFi router for the exact location and instructions for the reset button on your WiFi router.

If you decided to reset the WiFi router this way, then make sure to change the Admin or WiFi password to keep your WiFi network safe.

Image: [CC BY 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Image 2: [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Image 3: [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Image 4: [CC BY 3.0 SA] via Wikimedia Commons

Is Your PC Healthy?

I always recommend to my readers to regularly use a trusted registry cleaner and optimizer such as WinThruster or CCleaner. Many problems that you encounter can be attributed to a corrupt and bloated registry.

Happy Computing! :)

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About the Author

Windows Wally is a helpful guy. It’s just in his nature. It’s why he started a blog in the first place. He heard over and over how hard it was to find simple, plain-English solutions to Windows troubleshooting problems on the Internet. Enter: Windows Wally. Ask away, and he will answer.