We all come through this situation when a friend visits you and ask for the WiFi password or even you got a new laptop and needs to connect it with the WiFi. So you try to retrieve your WiFi password from your android and it seems it’s not that simple as you expect it to be.
So another problem with this is you may search google for this and keeps reading solutions and solutions, and Surprisingly they seem to be providing conflicting information about the same problem. Some say you definitely need Root and some say, you can view saved WiFi password even without root.
So in this article, we are going to make this topic finished once and for all. You know all you need to know about viewing WiFi passwords in Android after reading this. However, if you are in a hurry and really do not have the time to read the full article, You can directly jump into the solution you need according to your requirement root or not from below.
Retrieving the saved WiFi passwords is not a hard task in a PC, maybe you need to run a command or two depending on the operating system. However, if you google the problem there is a straight forward answer and no uncertainty.
The situation is different for the Android devices, To view saved wifi passwords we need Root permissions If not still there is a workaround but it can not be guaranteed for results.
So let’s take a brief look at what is the root and why we need root and then move for the actual methods for retrieving WiFi passwords.
What is Root – Why we need Root
So if you are familiar with Windows or Linux PC operating systems, you know that there are few types of user accounts, in windows Administrator and user accounts, and in Linux, there is root user or otherwise Superuser and user accounts.
Most of the time if you are only using your PC and not any other shared computer resource you may not be much aware of the above accounts as you always got an Administrator account in it.
So this is the point, either Administrator on Windows or Superuser on Linux gets all the privileges within the computer, meanwhile, user accounts have some limited capabilities. I’m not going to dive deeper into those privileges here.
By default, Android offers a user account for you which has limited privileges, so you can only, work on your workspace and ultimately you do not privilege permissions to access system files in your android mobile.
So, what is rooting? Rooting is the process we used to grant root permissions(Superuser permissions) for an ordinary android user account.
So, why we need root? wifi passwords are saved within system files in your device, in order to read them, you must have permission to access them, no matter whether you try it to do it yourself or via an App.
How to view saved WiFi passwords on Android – With Root
If your device is rooted you can easily access WiFi passwords saved in your device. If you wish to view them manually you can use a root file explorer like ES file explorer and view the WiFi password file in your device.
The file used to save WiFi passwords changed according to the android version of your device if your device running in an Android version below android oreo, WiFi passwords are saved in a file named wpa_supplicant.conf and can be found on the path /data/misc/wifi/wpa_supplicant.conf and in devices on or above Android oreo WifiConfigStore.xml is used to save WiFi passwords and it can be found here /data/misc/wifi/WifiConfigStore.xml
If you not much familiar with working with system files I do not recommend the above method as it can cause irreversible damage to your device. As an alternative, you can use an app like Show WiFi Password which safely read and present WiFi passwords for you.
Show WiFi password works with all Android versions, which are at use today. And also have some more useful options you may love.
How to view saved WiFi passwords on Android – Without Root
So can we retrieve saved WiFi passwords from your device? the simple answer is no we cannot. But there is a famous workaround most people use to hack around this.
This workaround is not 100% guaranteed and it can only be used to view the password of currently connected WiFi network. with having above in mind lets get on to it, if you feel it worth your time.
Even though we can not access saved passwords without root permission in our android devices, the android system can not restrict us from accessing it from our WiFi router. So here we are going to access the gateway (commonly called router setup page ) and read the password there.
Router gateway is the interface provided for you to tweak settings in your WiFI router. So the same thing can be used to view or change your WiFi password (WiFi preshared key).
You can access the router gateway with an internet browser, you simply have to type the IP address on the URL bar in your browser and visit it. That IP is 22.214.171.124 or 126.96.36.199 in most cases. And also have a possibility to be something else, this is printed on your router if above IP addresses do not work you can try that.
Then the next step is logging in to the gateway with the username and password. As most of the users do not change the default username and password on the router most probably it may be the default username and password which is admin and admin in most cases and this information is also printed on the router.
Now go to Wireless –> Wireless Security and here you have your password. As you may already have guessed this process is a little painful workaround if you going to do all it yourself. And Show WiFi password app can come handy here. It retrieves the router gateway from your browser and loads it for you and also guess the most probable default username and password for your router according to its brand. Which makes your work so much easier. Give it a try from here.
How to view saved WiFi passwords on Android Using a computer with ADB
This method is a little bit techier than previous too this is most probably another way to view file with WiFi passwords if you have the root access and this may work to no-root users also.
Even- with this method root permissions are needed to work properly. So what is “May work to No-Root users”? I saw some people claim that this method works for even without root. However, I do not have personally experienced that happens nor believe this can happens in an Android Production build device.
ADB is the short form for Android Debug Bridge, This is a tool heavily used by Android developers. They use it to perform various operations in developing and testing android apps and also android OS itself.
What we are going to do here is really simple compared to the most common use cases of this tool. So anyone of you can easily follow this guide if you like to try this.
What we going to do here is pull out the file which contains the WiFi passwords from your android device and copy it to your computer using the ADB. And then you can view it from your computer.
So these are the steps, to perform this.
- Install ADB on your computer. Follow this guide for installation if you need help.
- Enable USB debugging in your android device, follow this guide and connect to this device.
- Run CMD or Terminal according to your operating system
- Run the commands
adb devicesto check whether ADB is working and it should list your connected Android devices if it correctly works
- Then run this command
adb rootto grant root permission for your ADB shell.
- Now finally if your Android device is android oreo or above run
adb pull /data/misc/wifi/wpa_supplicant.conf c:/wpa_supplicant.confor if your device uses a version below oreo then run
adb pull /data/misc/wifi/WifiConfigStore.xml c:/WifiConfigStore.xmlto pull out the file containing the wifi passwords and copy them to your computer.
c:/wpa_supplicant.conf is the destination path of the file you can replace it with whatever you want.
Most common problems on these
Isn’t there any app works for No-Root devices?
No, the problem is with the android system security, It does not allow to access system file to the user or an app to access system files without root permissions.
Even Show WiFi Password app just helps you to access the router gateway and guessing the default username and password. Any app can not bypass the android system security.
When viewing WiFi passwords with Root permission with Show WiFi Password app from any other Method long sequence of numbers and letters(Hash code) is shown instead of real passwords, Why and How to solve?
This is a known issue, In some android devices, an extra layer of encryption is used it causes this. This is most common with Samsung devices. And this can be solved with the following workaround
- Get a root file explorer like ES file explorer from Play Store
- And to
- And open the file
- And find out the line
- Finally, change it to
Note:- Do not edit anything else on this file. It can brick your device. And editing this line also has a risk of losing your saved WiFi network data for the first time.
And that’s all about WiFi password on your android device, do not forget to make some note in the comment section do these methods work for you?
Show WiFi Password app has reviewed by,