More often than not, we forget passwords that we infrequently use. One annoying feature of the Android devices is that they won’t be able to show Wi-Fi passwords once connected and hence makes it difficult to reconnect or add a different device on the network. Here are a few simple steps that can save you the frustration and help recover a password on Android devices.
How to show Wi-Fi passwords
Using the Android ES File Explorer
Almost all Android devices come with this application pre-installed which is pretty convenient. This is probably the simplest way to getting your Wi-Fi password for sharing with friends or anything.
- Simply navigate to the app on your phone and open it. If the phone did not come with the app already installed then get on Google Play, download and install a compatible version of the app.
- Scroll down the menu panel and usually close to the bottom there is a Local Storage option and click on that. A dropdown menu should appear, click on the ‘Device’ option and it will open up more options.
- Look for a folder that says ‘System’ and select it for more options. Inside the system folder, there should be a subfolder marked ‘etc.’, click on that.
- Inside the subfolder is the targeted Wi-Fi data folder, open it to view its contents. There is a file inside the Wi-Fi folder named wpa_supplicant.conf file, select to open it.
- On some devices, a popup will appear asking how the user wants to open the selected file. In this instance, the default HTML or TEXT file reader is OK to use.
- Inside the file, there will be details of all the Wi-Fi connections that the device has made including the passkeys or passwords.
This method is an alternative for Android devices that do not display the Wi-Fi details in the ES file explorer. It’s important to point out however that this method is only possible on ‘rooted’ devices which permit admin access and modifications. This is because some manufacturers prefer to prevent tampering with the device setup which is actually a safety feature for the user to protect their device. If the device is rooted, however, admin access is possible.
- Navigate to the ES File Explorer and open the data folder.
- Inside that, find the ‘misc’ folder and inside it, there is a subfolder named Wi-Fi which stores the connectivity data.
- Once again, open the wpa_supplicant.conf file for the Wi-Fi details.
Network Key Apps
There is however a much less complicated way to retrieve Wi-Fi passwords. In this modern-day of technological errors, there’s an app for every action that can be done on a device and password recovery is definitely not an exception. Simply get an app from your trusted online store or share with friends and install it. Most of the apps come with a very user-friendly interface and can recover the passwords with a few keystrokes. Make sure that the app is really from a trusted source and read reviews to get an insight before installation. Also, keep in mind that such apps consume a lot of memory and can actually not be technically legal to use in some areas. Also, most of them only work on rooted devices.
For all methods, the desired network can be searched by name and the details of the security keys. Do not edit any details in the wpa_supplicant.conf file or else there will be problems with connectivity on any other saved networks. Hopefully, the network key would have remained unchanged and hence giving access to the network once again.