Running below command in as admin from Windows :

C:\Windows\system32>netsh wlan show profile name=MY_WIRELESS_NAME key=clear

Outputs :

Security settings

Authentication         : WPA2-Personal
Cipher                 : CCMP
Security key           : Present
Key Content            : PASSWORD_OF_MY_LAN

Outputs the password of my wireless connection in plaintext in "Key Content" field. Is this is security risk ? Could I access the password of wireless networks as they are visible (untested) ?

  • "Could I access the password of wireless networks as they are visible (untested) ?" Can you make this more clear as to what you are asking?
    – KDEx
    Jul 19, 2015 at 22:02
  • 1
    What type of security risk? Are you concerned about someone shoulder-surfing and seeing your network's password? Jul 20, 2015 at 1:29
  • Just used this method to discover a neighbours wireless key so seems this IS a BIG security risk given I could now connect to and use that person's WiFi connection!
    – stanlea
    Oct 6, 2017 at 21:49
  • I would suggest the risk in this case is that you had unrestricted access to your neighbors computer in the first place and could thus read sensitive information stored on this computer, like the password. If you put money in an envelope and put this envelope into a safe and then give somebody else access to this safe you should not complain that the envelope did not protect against stealing the money. Oct 7, 2017 at 4:52

2 Answers 2


The network you've set up uses pre-shared secret authentication. If you're already on the network, then you know the password so seeing it in plain-text isn't that much of a big deal.

In most enterprise environments, they use 802.1x authentication so there's not much to be worried about.

Could I access the password of wireless networks as they are visible (untested) ?

I assume so, as windows saves password of networks you've successfully connected to. It'd be easy to find out, just type in netsh wlan show profile name=MY_OTHER_WIRELESS_NAME key=clear


It is not a security risk if you are able to read your own WiFi key since whether you are running Windows or UNIX like operating systems, there are many ways, including through a GUI, to get it if you are connected to your hotspot at least once.

If you are worried about security then you can log to your router and change the default password that comes with it (and which every one can find on Internet), enable encryption on it (WPA2) and filter MAC addresses allowed to use your WiFi (since you are running Windows you can find yours by running ipconfig /all so that you won't disable your own MAC address)

Also if you are using your WiFi only for yourself (I mean for you and the people living in your apartment) then you can decrease the signal range of your router by either using a different wireless channel or changing the mode of your router to 802.11g (instead of 802.11n or 802.11b). Last but not the least, disable SSID broadcasting and survey your connectivity logs.

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