We have this issue hit our support box every now and then…you just received your new Wi-Fi USB adapter, but you don’t remember what your network encryption password/passkey is. Your internal Wi-Fi card saved the password to the computer, so you have not had been prompted to enter it in a long time. How to recover the password? Of course you could reset it at the router level, but this means you have to go through what may be complicated router login steps, and then of course you have to change the password on all your other devices in the house once reset.
If you have Windows 7, there’s a simple way to recover your password on a computer that’s already connected to your network:
- Click the Start logo and go to ‘Control Panel’
- Click on ‘Network and Internet’ and then open the ‘Network and Sharing Center’ (if you have small or large icon view, you will be able to open the Network and Sharing Center directly from the Control Panel)
- On the left, click ‘Change Adapter Settings’
- Make sure you are connected to the Wi-Fi network, then locate the icon for your internal wireless card, click once to highlight, then right-click and select ‘Status’
- Half way down the Status window click the ‘Wireless Properties’ button
- In the window that opens, click the ‘Security’ tab
- Check the ‘show characters’ box, and look above in the ‘Network Security’ field for your password or passkey
That’s it. You’ve recovered your network key.