I've been greeted by this popup this morning:

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Can Avast actually check my WI-FI password for strength? Or is it just "marketing scare" so that I upgrade to the paid version instead of using the free version? If it's a real notification message, how does it do that?


Windows stores the Wi-Fi password in reversible format. A simple Google query for "how does Windows store Wi-Fi passwords" returns this article, which doesn't answer the question at all, but shows that Windows can at least display the original password.

That means that your Anti-Virus Software, which runs with elevated rights, can read out your Wi-Fi password and then run some checks against it.

For example, if your Wi-Fi password were zxcvbnm12345, it may detect the pattern behind and report it as weak.

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  • Yes it is correct, you can manually click the right buttons (Adapters, settings, security, show password, etc) or type netsh wlan show profile key=clear or something like that and you'll get the password for that Wi-Fi network. – Azteca Nov 25 '19 at 1:54

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