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How to easily share Wi-Fi passwords on Android and iPhones

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Do you want to display the Wi-Fi password on iPhones or Android? Then you will find several ways to read out the network security key below. Alternatively, you can also share the password directly from one smartphone to the next.

If you have visitors or want to log into an unknown network yourself, you no longer have to type out a long numerical code. Both iOS and Android offer the option of conveniently displaying and sharing Wi-Fi passwords. However, you cannot always display the Wi-Fi password in plain text without additional apps. It's best to jump directly to the right paragraph.

Although we try to keep our instructions as general as possible, there are always manufacturers and models on which the following instructions do not work. But you will surely find help in the NextPit forum or in the comments below this article!

Read or share Wi-Fi passwords without additional apps

Since Android 10, it is very easy to read out the Wi-Fi password on some devices or to share it via a QR code. Among others, this is possible on Google's own Pixel devices, and manufacturers like Samsung and Xiaomi have also implemented it in roughly the same place. Just follow the instructions below:

Wi-fi password
Sharing WLAN passwords is easier since Android 10 / © NextPit
  1. Go to the Wi-Fi settings of your phone.
  2. Select the connected Wi-Fi network (or tap on the gear icon, depending on your device).
  3. Tap on Share or QR-code here and confirm your identity via a password or fingerprint.
  4. You will now see a QR code that you can scan on another phone.
  5. If you only want to read out the number, you will also see the complete network security key directly on some models and can write it down or type it in.

Many native camera apps support QR code scanning and you can usually establish a connection directly. If this is not possible, you can also download a barcode scanner from the Google Play Store. These offer an additional trick for you as we show below!

Revealing the Wi-Fi password with an app

You can find countless apps in the Google Play Store that promise to read out Wi-Fi passwords in no time. In a nutshell, I advise you to use most of these apps: Be careful! You will find a lot of spam apps and probably malware as well. It is much more clever to use the trick from the previous chapter.

Reading WLAN QR codes with a barcode app

The QR codes that Android creates for sharing Wi-Fi networks already contain the password key and can thus be easily decrypted. There are many barcode scanners available, but I recommend the app "QR & Barcode Scanner", as it has many good reviews and has also been tested by Google's Play Protect.

Wi-Fi password reveal using a third-party app
The QR & Barcode Scanner app not only reveals shared Wi-Fi passwords but also keeps them on a history page. Be careful! / © NextPit
  1. Simply read the QR code generated by Android with the barcode scanner.
  2. After scanning, the password is displayed in plain text on the app.
    1. You can copy or share the password using the buttons on the screen.
    2. Additionally, the History section displays previously scanned codes.

If you don't have a second cell phone at hand, this is of course no problem. You can also create a screenshot of the QR code and then scan it as a picture in the barcode scanner app. If you can't create a QR code, you'll have to use heavier weapons.

Show the Wi-Fi password via an app (only with root)

Even though I warned you about Wi-Fi revealing apps at the beginning, there are also some white sheep among the flock of spam and malware apps. However, the problem here is that they require root privileges to use. Although it is not too difficult to obtain root rights on your Android phone, this maneuver is not completely harmless.

If you have already rooted your Android smartphone anyway, or if you like the thrill, you can install the app "WiFi Passwords" or "WiFi Key Recovery" afterward. The latter has the advantage that you can also read out stored Wi-Fi passwords, again, provided you have root rights.

WiFi Password Viewer app
The Wifi Password Viewer shows stored Wi-Fi passwords and even allows you to create backups. / © NextPit

Now we have exhausted all possibilities for most Android versions currently in use. However, you may still remember that Wi-Fi passwords used to be available as plain text from the system files. What was that again?

Can Wi-Fi passwords be read from system files?

Even though Google connects Wi-Fi passwords to your Google account in Android and stores them in cloud storage nowadays, they were still stored on the device until Android 4.4.2. Since the whole thing was stored unencrypted as plain text, you could simply go into the right files with file managers and read out the data. The file path was:

  • /data/misc/wifi/wpa_supplicant.conf/

If you still use an old Android phone or want to read a password from a phone in your drawer, you can give it a try. Just navigate to the corresponding folder and finally to the corresponding file in a file manager and look for the password there.

Share Wi-Fi passwords on iPhones and iPads

Devices with the same Apple ID

In contrast to some Android versions, there is no way to display the Wi-Fi password on iOS without an additional device or jailbreak. However, you are lucky if you use an iMac or a MacBook. Since iOS stores the security keys of known networks in the Keychain app, you can easily view them under MacOS. The best way to do this is to type "keychain management" in the Spotlight search.

Since the Wi-Fi passwords on the iPhone are stored in the Apple ID, they are automatically available to you on all other Apple devices. So simply select a wireless network on your iPad that is set up on a device with the same Apple ID.

Devices with different Apple IDs

Does a friend want to log into your Wi-Fi and you can't remember the security key? Then you don't have to read out the password to grant him access to the Internet.

You can easily share the Wi-Fi password. All the other device has to do is try to dial into the corresponding network. If you are within Bluetooth or Wi-Fi range, a notification appears on your phone where you can tap Share.

Wi-fi password
Sharing Wi-Fi passwords with nearby friends is easy on iPhones / © Apple

The last possibility to read out Wi-Fi passwords on your iPhone is to jailbreak your iPhone. However, this is a more complicated procedure and since you might lose the warranty of your Apple device, we do not describe it here. It might be better to reset the router where you forgot the Wi-Fi password.

Do you have any other options—except for reading from the router's back—for reading the Wi-Fi passwords on Android or iOS? Maybe you have a secret app tip that makes the whole thing work without root. Let me know in the comments and I'll include it below!


This article was revised on January 2023 with updated instructions on iPhone and Android. The comments were not deleted and may appear out of context.

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Go to comment (15)
Benjamin Lucks

Benjamin Lucks
Product Reviewer

Benjamin works as a freelance journalist and is always on the lookout for special features that make new cell phones, headphones and gadgets interesting for the reader. If he doesn't succeed, he comforts himself by writing short stories and using his digital camera.

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15 comments
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  • 4
    Sh4un Jan 24, 2020 Link to comment

    I would suggest editing the screenshot to hide part of the qr code, because it contains the password


  • Tom Scarvo 2
    Tom Scarvo Aug 13, 2019 Link to comment

    Thanks for your sharing, I will use my sister phone to try :)))


  • 6
    mahikhan Aug 6, 2019 Link to comment

    looking more


  • 6
    mahikhan Aug 6, 2019 Link to comment

    amazing thnkro


  • 6
    mahikhan Aug 6, 2019 Link to comment

    yes


  • Elvis Popovic 1
    Elvis Popovic May 28, 2019 Link to comment

    This is insane. Every computer and particular OS can show all Wi-Fi passwords except Google's rubbish called Android... Security reasons I guess…
    Rooting phone, you terminate warranty and stuff...


  • Mukesh Saini 1
    Mukesh Saini May 10, 2019 Link to comment

    This is amazing


  • 2
    Md Rubel Sep 11, 2018 Link to comment

    Thanks For Sharing Such beautiful information with us. i hope you will
    share some more information about this post. please keep sharing!


  • Federico Munerotto 1
    Federico Munerotto Jul 1, 2018 Link to comment

    I lost a day in rooting my Samsung S5 (LineagOS) but finally I recovered the lost password reading the file .conf: thanks.


  • 1
    Mark Snider Jun 1, 2018 Link to comment

    Bad information. Doesn't work. Neither do any of the apps. And yes my OP2 is rooted.


  • 27
    Sorin Jan 6, 2018 Link to comment

    I would have liked to have a method without root.


  • 1
    Mike Pelham Jul 10, 2017 Link to comment

    the password I see is a long encrypted text - however my phone does a have a problem with saving wifi passwords so this could explain that but not how it gets this way. I'm running Android 6.0.1


    • 1
      Michael Myers Apr 18, 2019 Link to comment

      Same problem, why do the passwords appear in a long sequence of text? That's obviously not the password


  • Tech2Post 4
    Tech2Post Apr 17, 2017 Link to comment

    can you make it possible for non root users??

    Sorin


    • Brittany McGhee 21
      Brittany McGhee Apr 18, 2017 Link to comment

      Unfortunately, we're not aware of a method that doesn't require root.

      Sorin

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