Do you ever find yourself wanting to connect a new device to your WiFi network but can’t remember the password? Or maybe you set up the WiFi on your Chromebook a while ago and have since forgotten the password. Whatever the reason, there are a few different ways to view your saved WiFi passwords on a Chromebook without having to enable Developer Mode.
In this comprehensive guide, we will cover several methods to see your WiFi password on a Chromebook, even if Developer Mode is not enabled. We’ll also discuss why you may need to view your passwords and provide some tips and recommendations. Whether you’re a Chromebook novice or a power user, this guide has all the details you need to find your saved WiFi passwords. Let’s dive in!
- The ChromeOS settings menu provides an easy way to view your current WiFi password without Developer Mode.
- Third-party apps like WiFi Password Show can display passwords for saved networks on your Chromebook.
- Using Chrome’s sync internals, you can find and decode your WiFi passphrase if you enable syncing.
- Knowing your WiFi password allows you to connect other devices without having to re-enter a long, complex password.
- While Developer Mode does provide more options, these methods avoid having to put your Chromebook into Developer Mode.
Method 1: Use the ChromeOS Settings Menu
The quickest and easiest way to view your current WiFi password on a Chromebook is directly through the ChromeOS settings menu. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Click the status area in the bottom right corner of your screen (where your account profile picture appears).
- Select Settings from the menu.
- In the left sidebar, click Advanced.
- Under Network, select WiFi.
- For the WiFi network you’re currently connected to, click the down arrow.
- Select View password.
A small popup will appear displaying your WiFi name, security type, and password!
Pretty simple right? This method allows you to view and copy the password for the WiFi network you’re currently connected to. No Developer Mode required!
Some things to note:
- If you click “Hide password” the characters will be masked, but you can click again to reveal it.
- For security, your WiFi password will be hidden after a short timeout.
- This only shows the password for the currently connected network.
If you want to see the passwords for all your saved WiFi networks, you’ll need to use a different method covered later in this guide. But for quickly checking your current WiFi password, the settings menu is the fastest way on your Chromebook.
Method 2: Use a Third-Party App
While the ChromeOS settings menu shows your current WiFi password, you may want to view passwords for other saved networks. That’s where third-party apps come in handy!
Here are some top options for apps that allow you to see your full list of saved WiFi passwords on a Chromebook:
WiFi Password Show
Passwarden is a simple Chrome extension that displays all your saved WiFi passwords.
To use it:
- Install Passwarden from the Chrome Web Store.
- Once installed, click the WiFi icon in your Chrome extensions bar.
- A popup will appear listing the name, security type, and password for each saved network on your Chromebook.
The major benefit of this extension is how straight-forward it is. Just one click shows you all your network passwords. There are no complicated settings or configuration required.
However, be aware that WiFi Password Show does require the “Read and change all your data on the websites you visit” permission in order to access saved passwords. While the app has many users, always exercise caution granting broad data access to an extension.
Another option is ChromePass, an open source extension for viewing WiFi passwords.
ChromePass works similarly:
- Install the ChromePass app.
- Click the key icon to view your saved networks and passwords.
ChromePass provides a few useful advanced features as well, including the ability to export your passwords and remove saved networks.
The biggest advantage of ChromePass is that it only requires “Read your data on your Chrome synced devices” permission rather than full data access. It also does not transmit any of your personal data externally.
However, the interface and password display is not as clean and simple as WiFi Password Show. But ChromePass is an excellent open source option if you’re concerned about over-permissions and data privacy.
Should You Use a Third-Party App?
These apps provide an easy way to view your full list of saved WiFi passwords on a Chromebook, without having to enter Developer Mode. But are they safe to use?
The biggest risk is the permission to “Read and change all your data on the websites you visit”. This provides very broad access to things like browsing history, bookmarks, and saved passwords.
Only install extensions you trust, and that come from reputable developers with many users. Check reviews and look for transparency about how the app handles your data.
Also close out of the extension when you’re done using it, and consider uninstalling if you won’t need it again for awhile. This reduces the background access these apps have to your data.
While handing over your browsing data always carries some risk, a highly-rated WiFi password viewer is generally safe to use for occasionally looking up a password. Just be smart about which apps you install!
Method 3: Use Chrome Sync Internals
This method is a bit more technical, but utilizes Chrome’s own sync features to view your network passwords.
When you enable syncing in Chrome, your Chrome data like bookmarks, history, and WiFi passwords can be accessed across devices logged into your Google account.
That synced data is encrypted, but it’s possible to pull down the encoded passphrase information and decrypt it. Let’s look at the steps:
- Make sure Chrome syncing is fully enabled on your Chromebook, storing your WiFi passwords.
- Install an extension like Get cookies.txt LOCALLY that can export Chrome data files.
- Use the extension to export a copy of this file:
- Open the downloaded
Web Datafile in a text editor.
- Search for records containing
- You’ll see your WiFi SSID and an encrypted passphrase for each network. It will look something like this:
- To decrypt the passphrase, use a site like Base64 Decode and Encode.
- Paste your encrypted passphrase into the decoder.
- The decoded output reveals your WiFi password in plain text!
This method takes more effort than a simple password viewer extension. But the major benefit is it relies entirely on Chrome’s own sync features, without any third-party apps.
The downside is you have to enable Chrome syncing to access the stored credentials. So this method really only works if you’re already syncing your Chrome data.
Also take care not to expose the decoded passphrase information anywhere public. And make sure to delete any files containing your WiFi password when finished.
With some careful work, leveraging Chrome’s sync is a reasonably safe way to find your saved wireless network passwords.
Why You May Need to See Your WiFi Password
Being able to view your Chromebook’s WiFi password without Developer Mode is useful in many real-world situations. Here are some examples:
- Setup a new device – Perhaps the most common scenario is needing to connect a new phone, tablet, computer, or smart home gadget to your existing wireless network. Rather than re-typing a long, complex password, you can simply view the password on your Chromebook and copy it over.
- Troubleshooting connectivity – If you’re suddenly unable to connect to your WiFi on other devices, checking the password can help rule out an incorrect or mistyped passphrase as the issue.
- Share temporarily with guests – When visitors come over, easily share your WiFi password so they can get online, without having to change the password later.
- Remind yourself – If it’s been awhile since you set up your home WiFi, you may not remember the original passphrase you configured. Viewing the password on your Chromebook is an easy way to remind yourself.
- Confirm unsafe networks – If you connect to a public WiFi hotspot, you can verify the password displayed matches the info provided to ensure it’s legitimate.
Being able to see your current or saved wireless network keys provides convenience, problem-solving, and security benefits. So while not required day-to-day, it’s handy to know you can easily view this info on Chrome OS if the need arises.
Putting It All Together
In summary, here are the key options covered to view your WiFi passwords on a Chromebook without Developer Mode:
- ChromeOS Settings – Fastest way to view the current WiFi password you’re connected to.
- Apps and Extensions – Such as WiFi Password Show, ChromePass, and others to easily see your full list of saved wireless network passwords.
- Chrome Sync – More complex but leverages Chrome’s own sync features to decode your passphrase.
For most people, the ChromeOS settings or a highly-rated password viewer app will provide an easy and risk-free way to view your wireless credentials when needed.
If going the extension route, be selective in which apps you install and understand the permissions they request before usage. While handing over browsing data always requires some trust, reputable apps limited to password access are generally secure.
Developer Mode certainly provides more customization options for your Chromebook. But by using these methods instead, you can access your WiFi passwords without having to put your device into Developer Mode.
The Important Role of WiFi Security
Throughout this guide, we’ve focused on how to view your WiFi password on a Chromebook. However, it’s important to also discuss WiFi security best practices around password creation and storage.
When setting up a new wireless network, don’t make the mistake of using a weak password that is short or easy to guess. Always create a strong, random password with a mix of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and special characters.
Ideally, a WiFi password should:
- Be at least 15 characters long
- Contain random letters, numbers, and symbols
- Not contain dictionary words or personal info
- Be completely unique and not reused anywhere else
A strong WiFi password makes it extremely difficult for others to crack or guess your passphrase and access your wireless network. Weak passwords put your network and devices at risk.
It’s also crucial to keep your WiFi passwords protected and not shared widely. Never post a photo showing your WiFi ssid and password! Treat your wireless network credentials with the same care as other important passwords.
While the methods discussed here allow you to recover your WiFi password if needed, you should still make every effort to keep your wireless network information private and handled securely.
Limitations and Risks
Despite the convenience of these techniques, it’s worth noting some limitations and potential downsides:
- They only reveal passwords for networks saved locally on your Chromebook. If you haven’t joined a network before or don’t have it configured as a saved network, these methods won’t help.
- Always exercise caution with third-party apps. Only install reputable password viewers and pay attention to the permissions requested.
- There is some small security risk in handling WiFi passwords. Be careful not to share or expose passwords after viewing them.
- Your network credentials could be compromised if your device is hacked or infected with malware. Keep your Chromebook secure and up-to-date.
- These techniques rely on your device having the passwords stored. If you do a factory reset or powerwash without a backup, your WiFi passwords could be lost.
While very useful in many cases, also be aware of these limitations before viewing your WiFi information. Like any security workaround, conveniences often come with some level of risk.
To recap, here are my top recommendations on viewing WiFi passwords on a Chromebook:
- Use the ChromeOS settings to view your current connected WiFi password. Super simple!
- Consider a highly-rated extension like WiFi Password Show to easily see all saved networks.
- Only install apps you trust and read reviews before granting permissions.
- If syncing Chrome data, leverage the sync internals to securely find passwords.
- Understand the risks, and keep viewed passwords protected afterward.
- Never use weak WiFi passwords or share them publicly. Treat wireless credentials as sensitive.
I hope this guide has provided everything you need to successfully view your WiFi passwords on ChromeOS, even without Developer Mode enabled. Saving that complex passphrase when configuring new devices just got a whole lot easier!
Did you find these methods useful? Or do you have any other tips for viewing saved Chromebook passwords? Let me know in the comments!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I find saved WiFi passwords on a Chromebook without Developer Mode?
A: Use the ChromeOS Settings menu or a third-party app to view saved passwords, or use the sync internals to decode the base64 encoded passphrase.
Q: Can I view saved passwords on a Chromebook without enabling Developer Mode?
A: Yes, there are several methods to view saved passwords on a Chromebook without enabling Developer Mode.
Q: What is Developer Mode on a Chromebook?
A: Developer Mode is designed for advanced users who need to install custom firmware or debug their Chromebook.
Q: What are the risks of enabling Developer Mode on a Chromebook?
A: Enabling Developer Mode requires you to wipe all your data, opens your device to malware and other security threats, and you’ll no longer receive automatic ChromeOS updates.
Q: What is the ChromeOS Settings menu?
A: The ChromeOS Settings menu is a built-in feature of Chromebooks that allows you to customize various settings, including WiFi and network settings.
Q: Can I use a third-party app to view saved passwords on a Chromebook?
A: Yes, there are several third-party apps available on the Chrome Web Store that allow you to view saved passwords.
Q: What are the sync internals?
A: The sync internals are a built-in feature of Chromebooks that allow you to view and manage your synced data, including saved passwords.
Q: What is a base64 encoded passphrase?
A: A base64 encoded passphrase is a string of characters that has been encoded using the base64 algorithm.
Q: How do I decode a base64 encoded passphrase?
A: You can use a third-party website or tool to decode a base64 encoded passphrase.
Q: Can I view saved passwords for networks that I’m not currently connected to?
A: Yes, you can use the same methods to view saved passwords for networks that you’re not currently connected to.