I love working from cafes, especially the ones with free Wi-Fi. Nothing better than working with a bit of white noise around and writing with a hot cup of coffee by my side. That’s the reason I have saved Wi-Fi passwords of many cafes in my locality. However, sometimes you don’t go to these places alone and are accompanied by your friends who might as well need the Wi-Fi access. If you have your laptop with you then it’s not that difficult to make it show the passwords. But on a phone, it isn’t that straightforward. And the chances of our phones being with us than our laptops is significantly more.
Asking the baristas is always an option, but why bother them when you can retrieve it from your phone itself. Plus this is a useful method to know because it can come in handy in many other situations when you desperately need the Wi-Fi password of a network you previously connected to on the phone.
Before we get started, it’s important to make it clear that the process only works on rooted and jailbroken Android and iOS devices respectively (the part about this not being straightforward on phones). If it doesn’t, type “root devicename” in the search bar above to gain root access on your device using one of our own guides, or you may simply take a look at our comprehensive compilation of Android root guides to see if your device is listed there or not, and if it is, how to gain root access on it.
- Navigate to the root directory /data/misc/wifi. If your file explorer opens the SD card (/mnt/sdcard) directory by default, press back twice to open the root directory, then navigate to the mentioned path.
- Open the document wpa_supplicant.conf. If you’re using Root Explorer, simply tap the file to open it in a text viewer or hold it (long tap) to open its context menu and select View as text to do the same.
- From within said file, you can view all your saved Wi-Fi access points along with their passwords. Look under the SSID (Access Point Name) of the Wi-Fi network whose password you need to view. The password is written within quotes in the line that says psk=”password”
Please make sure that you don’t edit the file or you might start having problems with your Wi-Fi connectivity. There are a certain number of apps listed in the Play Store for the task but it’s better to use this manual method to get the passwords than to install that adware crap.
As evident by the screenshot above, once you open said conf file, you’ll be able to sneak peek into almost every access point that ever got registered with your Android. All you need to do is lookup for the required access point, note down the password displayed under it, key it in the password field, and you’re good to go. The above method has successfully been tested on HTC Desire Z (running CM7).
So that was how you can get the saved Wi-Fi passwords on your iOS and Android devices. If you know of a better way to get the task done, please don’t forget to share it with us in the comments.