Finding Your Chromebook’s WiFi Password: A Step-by-Step Guide

Illustration of a person looking through a magnifying glass at a Chromebook, with cartoon-style thought bubbles showing WiFi symbols and a padlock being unlocked, set in a cozy home office environment.

Finding Your Chromebook’s WiFi Password: A Step-by-Step Guide

Chromebooks have become increasingly popular for their simplicity, security, and affordability. Whether you’re using a Chromebook for work, school, or personal use, staying connected to the internet is essential. However, there might come a time when you need to retrieve your WiFi password through your Chromebook, perhaps to connect a new device to the network. Traditionally, Chrome OS doesn’t display WiFi passwords directly for security reasons. Nonetheless, there are workarounds and steps you can take to find your WiFi password. This guide provides a comprehensive walkthrough to assist you in finding your Chromebook’s WiFi password.

Accessing Your Chromebook’s WiFi Password through the Terminal

One reliable method to find the WiFi password is by using the Chromebook’s built-in Linux terminal. Before proceeding, ensure that your Chromebook is connected to the WiFi network whose password you’re trying to retrieve. Then, enable Linux (Beta) on your Chromebook if you haven’t already. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Chromebook.
  2. Click on ‘Advanced’ to expand the menu, then select ‘Developers’.
  3. In the ‘Linux development environment (Beta)’ section, click on ‘Turn on’.
  4. Follow the prompts to install Linux. This might take some minutes.

After setting up Linux, follow these steps:

  1. Press the ‘Search’ or ‘Launcher’ key, type ‘Terminal’, and open the Terminal app.
  2. In the Terminal, type the following command and hit enter: sudo cat /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/YourNetworkName.nmconnection (Replace ‘YourNetworkName’ with the actual SSID or name of your WiFi network).
  3. Scroll through the information that appears to find the line starting with ‘psk=’. This line shows your WiFi network’s password.

Note that this method requires a bit of technical know-how, and the layout may vary slightly depending on your Chromebook’s Linux version.

Using a Third-Party App

If the terminal method seems too complex, you can opt for third-party Chrome apps or extensions that manage WiFi passwords. However, as of my knowledge cutoff in April 2023, the Google Chrome Web Store policies have become stricter, limiting apps that can directly read or modify WiFi settings due to security concerns. Before installing any third-party app, ensure it is reputable and read the reviews. Remember that using such apps might pose a security risk to your data.

Contacting Your Internet Service Provider (ISP)

If you’re unable to retrieve the WiFi password through your Chromebook and don’t want to risk using third-party apps, your ISP can help. Most ISPs can provide you with the password if you can verify that you are the account holder. This process can be as simple as logging into your account on the ISP’s website or contacting their customer service.

Resetting Your Router

As a last resort, if you still cannot access your WiFi password, consider resetting your router. This will revert it to its factory settings, and you’ll be able to set a new WiFi password. The downside is that you might need to reconfigure other settings on your router. The reset button is typically found on the back of the router, and you’ll need a pin or a paperclip to press it. After resetting, connect to the router using the default WiFi credentials usually found on the router’s label, and set a new password through the router’s admin page.


Can I view saved WiFi passwords directly in Chrome OS settings?

As of April 2023, Chrome OS does not offer an option to view saved WiFi passwords directly through its settings or network options for security reasons. This is to protect your network information from being easily accessed by someone using your Chromebook.

Is it safe to use third-party apps to find WiFi passwords on my Chromebook?

Using third-party apps to retrieve WiFi passwords can be risky as these applications may have access to sensitive information. Always check the app’s developer, read user reviews, and understand the permissions you’re granting. It’s safest to stick with methods that don’t require downloading additional software if possible.

What if the Linux method doesn’t work on my Chromebook?

If the Linux method fails, ensure you’ve correctly enabled Linux and typed the command accurately, with the correct WiFi network name. If it still doesn’t work, your Chromebook’s version of Linux might not support this function, or the network settings file might not be saved in the expected path. In this case, consider other methods mentioned in this guide or consult with an IT professional.

How can I share my WiFi password from my Chromebook to my phone?

To share your WiFi password from a Chromebook to a phone, you could use the manual method described in this guide to retrieve your password and then manually enter it on your phone. As of the latest updates to Chrome OS and popular mobile operating systems, there’s no direct share WiFi functionality like you might find on some other platforms.

Can resetting my router cause issues with my internet service?

Resetting your router can cause temporary disruptions in your internet connectivity because it erases any custom settings you’ve configured, such as SSID name, password, and any specific configurations needed for your internet service to function correctly. You might need to re-enter these settings after the reset. If your internet service requires specific configurations, it’s recommended to have that information handy or contact your ISP for assistance before performing a reset.

Are there any Chrome OS updates planned to allow viewing of saved WiFi passwords?

Google regularly updates Chrome OS to introduce new features and improve security. While there has been demand for a feature to view saved WiFi passwords directly, any planned updates or feature introductions are subject to Google’s development timeline and priorities. It’s advisable to keep your Chromebook updated and check the official Chromebook help forums or Google’s updates for any announcements related to this feature.

How can I prevent others from accessing my WiFi password through my Chromebook?

To prevent unauthorized access to your WiFi password through your Chromebook, always lock your screen when not in use and set a strong password or PIN for your Chromebook. Additionally, be cautious about giving administrator privileges to apps or extensions and regularly review the permissions granted to them. Enabling guest browsing can also limit access to certain functionalities for temporary users.

Is there a difference in finding the WiFi password on a school or work Chromebook?

Chromebooks managed by a school or workplace have administrative policies that might restrict accessing terminal commands, installing Linux, or using certain third-party apps to find WiFi passwords. In these cases, it’s best to contact your IT department or network administrator for assistance with WiFi passwords.

What are the security risks of exposing my WiFi password?

Exposing your WiFi password can lead to unauthorized access to your network, which might result in bandwidth theft, access to personal information, or misuse of your internet connection for illegal activities. Always ensure your WiFi network is secured with a strong password, regularly change passwords, and only share them with trusted individuals.

Can I use Chrome extensions to manage WiFi settings directly too?

While there may be Chrome extensions that claim to manage WiFi settings, their functionality is often limited by Chrome OS’s security policies. Most Chrome extensions cannot directly interact with network settings due to these restrictions. Hence, their usefulness in managing WiFi settings or retrieving passwords on a Chromebook might be minimal.

Finding your Chromebook’s WiFi password can be a bit tricky due to the operating system’s focus on security and user privacy. However, by following the steps and considerations provided in this guide, you can successfully retrieve your network’s password, keeping in mind the importance of safeguarding your personal and network information throughout the process.


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