Quickest way to find saved wifi passwords in a mac machine (within 30 seconds)

I recently borrowed a friend’s MacBook Air laptop, and he challenged me to find a certain wifi password that was already connected to the laptop in past without threatening him 😂 or scanning the QR code for that wifi, etc... I’ve found the quickest and simplest way to accomplish this after doing some study on this. Here is the solution :

  • Press the following keys to launch Spotlight Search. Type “terminal” into the search box and hit Enter.
command + spacebar
command + spacebar key combination
  • Now the terminal will be displayed, it will look like this.
  • Now type the following command and hit Enter.
security find-generic-password -wa "wifi_name"
  • Replace wifi_name with the name of the wifi network for which you’re looking for the password. (type the wifi name within double quotes)
  • The following prompt will appear if the laptop has access to that wifi’s data.
  • In order to complete the command successfully, I needed the admin username and password at this point (If you are familiar with them, enter them right away).
  • TADA !! Now you will have the wifi password in your terminal window.
Command completion successful.

This is how I won the challenge.


Check out the above post for video tutorial.



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Ashwin B

I love the internet, technology and building beautiful things