Many routers preconfigure a wireless network security key and print the key in the manual or a sticker beneath the router. If you’ve lost these, or someone changed the password, learn how you can relocate them within the router’s administrative utility.
Not all routers display the password in the utility, but most do; for those that don’t, you at least have the option of changing the password.
1. Connect an Ethernet cable from one of the numbered ports on your router to your computer’s Internet or Ethernet port. Alternatively, you can use the existing wireless connection, if you’re able to connect wirelessly.
2. Right-click the Windows icon and select Command Prompt. Alternatively, search for and select Command Prompt from the Windows search screen.
Type ipconfig at the prompt and press Enter. Look for the Default Gateway that displays an address using the format 192.168.0.1. In fact, that, 192.168.1.0 and 192.168.1.1 are three of the most common default gateways.
4. Enter the default gateway address in your browser’s address bar and log in to the administrator utility.
If you haven’t changed the login details, the username and password are quite possibly “admin” or left blank. The default username and password should be listed in the router’s manual or on a sticker beneath the router. If you changed the password and don’t remember it, you’ll need to reset the router by long-pressing the Reset button, but this will erase all your settings and restore defaults.
5. Click Settings, Wireless Settings and then Manual Wireless Network Setup. The latter selection might be unnecessary, because logging into the administrator utility on many routers automatically enters a manual mode. Each router is a little different, so if your router doesn’t look like the image, search for Wireless Settings or Wireless Security.
6. Scroll down and look for Password, Security Key or Pre-Shared Key, which displays your wireless password. You may need to check a Display Password box or that option might be nonexistent. If your router doesn’t have the option to show the password, enter a new password and choose to save the settings; you won’t discover the old password, but at least you’ll know the new one.
Alternatively, if you have a computer that can connect to the router’s wireless network, you can locate the password within Windows 8.1, as described in the article, “Viewing Current Wireless Network Password in Windows 8.1.”
Another option is locating the password on a computer that was previously configured to automatically connect to the network, as described in the article, “Viewing Any Saved Wireless Password in Windows 8.1.”