How to Find My WPA2 Passphrase

by Mark RobinsonUpdated September 28, 2017
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Your WPA2 passphrase is important for staying connected to your secure wireless network while preventing others from gaining unauthorized access. This passphrase is created when you select the “WPA2” wireless security mode on your wireless router. If you lose your WPA2 passphrase, you will be locked out of your network until the passphrase is found or the router itself is restored to its factory settings. With most routers, you may be able to view your passphrase within the setup pages.

Connect an Ethernet cable to one of the four “Local Area Network” ports at the back of the router. Connect the other end of the Ethernet cable to the “Ethernet” port on your computer.

Locate your router’s IP address and use it to access your router’s setup page. Enter your router’s administrative username and password when prompted.

Navigate to the router’s “Wireless” page and click on the “Security” tab. Locate the “Passphrase” text field underneath the “Security Mode” menu. If the passphrase is obscured, click “Show Passphrase.” Write the passphrase down on a piece of paper for future reference.


The IP address of your router can be found on the model name label underneath the router or within the router’s user manual. The default administrative username and password can be found in the same location, unless it was changed by the user.

If you cannot log in with your current username and password, press and hold the “Reset” button for 10 to 30 seconds to return the router to its factory settings. Log into the router’s configuration page with the default username and password. You will have to recreate your WPA2 passphrase and restore other router settings afterwards.


  • “WRT160N Wireless-N Broadband Router User Guide”; Cisco Systems; 2007

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Mark Robinson is a freelance graphic designer and writer. Since 2008 he has contributed to various online publications, specializing in topics concerning automotive repair, graphic design and computer technology. Robinson holds a Bachelor of Science in graphic design from Alabama A&M University.

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