How to View/recover saved WiFi passwords in Android phones?

How to retrieve/backup saved passwords in Android phones?
Unlike a Windows PC, you can’t see saved/pre-entered WiFi passwords in Android phones. When a saved WiFi network settings are accessed, the password field either shows a series of asterisks (******) or the text “unchanged”. Here you can enter the new password but can’t see the old, saved one. Actually in Android, WiFi SSIDs and their corresponding entered passwords are saved locally (in phone memory) in a configuration file. But being a system file (in a system folder) you can’t access it having root access – by default Android system folders are hidden (for security reasons) and without rooting the device no file manager can show them. Irritating, isn’t it? Fortunately there is an easy way out for this situation.

If you have a rooted Android phone/tablet, it’s very easy to retrieve saved Wi-Fi password(s) – there are two methods for this

1. Install a good file manager (I recommend free Root Browser app) from Play Store and open it

Go to /data/misc/wifi – in this folder locate a file named wpa_supplicant.conf (for WPA-secured WiFi networks) or wep_supplicant.conf (for WEP-secured WiFi’s) – open this file using any text viewer – there will be some text in this file as shown below

wpa_android_password

wpa_supplicant.conf

all saved WiFi networks are listed in this file including their SSID’s and passwords and that’s what you were looking for

2. WiFi Pass Recovery and Backup – is a useful, free (ad-supported) app which does all the above (and more) for you. Phone must be rooted to use this app – install it from Play Store and it will retrieve and show you all the saved WiFi passwords plus you can also take a backup of this data (to restore later if required). Besides there is also an option to reset WiFi settings – sometimes useful if WiFi is not working properly.

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3 Responses to How to View/recover saved WiFi passwords in Android phones?

  1. Shishir May 7, 2015 at 3:38 AM #

    I tried with both the above mentioned process on my note 3 but it shows a random alphanumeric character instead of my saved password…am I doing something wrong can you help me……hope for the reply…..

  2. DP October 26, 2016 at 6:30 PM #

    As an update, now you can also retrieve the config file, without root, using the Android SDK, performing an ADB Pull from a PC. This is helpful if your phone is not rootable or you do not want to root it. It might not be in /data/misc/wifi/ anymore depending on the particular ROMs, or called exactly wpa_supplicant.conf. However it’s going to be somewhere in /data/ and would be a text file searchable using text file mining utilities like Grep or Findstr once the /data/ directory is pulled.

    • Shoaib October 27, 2016 at 1:35 PM #

      Thanks for the update dear!

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