Windows automatically creates a profile for each WiFi you connect to access the internet in order to make it easy to connect to them some other time on your computer. However, what happens if you format your computer and all the data is lost or if you switch to a new computer and need the WiFi profiles saved on your old machine? For the reasons mentioned above, knowing how to back up and transfer passwords from one PC to another is very useful and can be helpful in case you find yourself in any of those situations. In this post, we’ll go through several techniques for simply creating WiFi password backups and transferring them from one machine to another.
Can I move saved Wi-Fi passwords from one Windows computer to another?
Yes, it is possible to transfer saved WiFi passwords from one computer to another by creating a backup of the WiFi profile with Command Prompt or a third-party app and then moving it to the new computer.
How to Back Up and Transfer Wi-Fi Passwords from one PC to another
If you want to back up WiFi Passwords and transfer them from one computer to another, these are different methods to do so:
- Backup and Restore WiFi Password Using Command Prompt
- Use Your Microsoft Account to Sync Passwords
- Use a third-party app
1] Backup and Restore WiFi Password Using Command Prompt
You can create a backup for your WiFi passwords on Windows computers and also restore it into another computer using the Command Prompt. This method is pretty effortless, and all you have to do is follow the steps below:
- Right-click on a blank space on your desktop screen, select New, and tap on Folder.
- Rename the new folder created as WiFi Password Backup.
- Right-click the folder and select Copy as path from the drop-down menu.
- Now go to Windows Search, type cmd, and select Run as administrator on the right pane.
- After it launches, copy and paste the command below into Command Prompt.
netsh wlan export profile key=clear folder=<folder path>
- The <folder path> part of the command should be replaced by the path you copied earlier. You can paste right after the clear folder= part of the command.Hence in my case, I have something like this:
netsh wlan export profile key=clear folder="C:\Users\Delodun\Dropbox\PC\Desktop\WiFi Password Backup"
- After entering the command properly, press Enter to run it.
- Now, open the WiFi Password Backup folder we created earlier, and you will see an .xml file created for each of the WiFi profiles you have on your computer.
- You can copy these files into USB to create a password and open them using a browser. If you decide to open one of the files, you will find the WiFi password for the profile in between the KeyMaterial section.
Also, you can transfer the profiles you’ve backed up into the USB to another computer by following the steps below:
- Connect the USB to the new computer and copy the WiFi Password Backup folder.
- On the Windows Search Box, type cmd and select Run as administrator.
- Copy and paste the command below into Command Prompt; however, don’t press Enter yet.
netsh wlan add profile filename="PATH" user=current
- Go to the WiFi Password Backup folder you just moved to the computer, open it, right-click on one of the XML files and tap on Copy as path.
- Now, return to Command Prompt windows and replace “PATH” with the path you just copied by pasting it on that part. In my case, I have something like this:
netsh wlan add profile filename="C:\Users\Delodun\Dropbox\PC\Desktop\WiFi Password Backup\Wi-Fi-OPOLO INNOVATION HUB OAU.xml" user=current
- Hit Enter for the command to run and save the profile into the new computer.
For this method, you will have to run the command for each XML file one by one to transfer all the WiFi profiles.
2] Use Your Microsoft Account to Sync Passwords
In case you don’t want to use the method above to transfer your WiFi password from one computer, you can also sync them using your Microsoft Account. This will save all WiFi password profiles across all the devices connected to your Microsoft account. Hence this method will be recommended if you want to share WiFi passwords to a personal computer.
Here are steps to use this method:
- Press Windows + I to open Settings on your computer.
- On the Settings page, click on Accounts and select Windows backup.
- Now make sure the slider in front of Remember my preferences is toggled on. Also, click on the arrow beside the slider and check the box for the Passwords and Other Windows settings options.
You can enable this function on Windows 11/10 by:
- Open Settings on the computer.
- In the Search box, type Sync your Settings and open it.
- On the resulting page, choose to sync Passwords, Windows Settings, and other things.
3] Use a third-party app
There are also several third-party applications you can use to back up and transfer WiFi passwords from one computer to another, and the one we will recommend in this article is NetSetMan. This freeware is very easy to use and saves you from the long process of running commands to back up and transfer WiFi passwords. Also, you can decide to either install the program on your computer or use it as a portable app that has to be run as an administrator.
Below are the steps to use NetSetMan to transfer WiFi passwords:
- Download and install NetSetMan
- Launch the application and click on the WiFi tab.
- Tap on Profiles at the top of the WiFi Networks box to show WiFi Profiles saved on your computer.
- Now, click on the WiFi profile you want to transfer, select Export and choose either to save it as Encrypted or Plaintext.
- On the resulting page, select the folder you want to save the XML file into and click on Save afterward.
- You can now copy the XML file to a USB to move it into the computer you want to transfer your WiFi passwords.
- Once you’ve moved the XML file, install NetSetMan on the new computer and launch it.
- Go to the Profiles section of the app as described above and select Import.
- Then select the XML file you just moved and click Open.
This process will create the WiFi profile with the XML file on your computer so you can connect to such WiFi without a password.
Where can I view WiFi passwords stored in Windows computers?
For WiFi connections you’ve used on your computer at least once, a profile is created for each of the WiFi connections to save their details, such as passwords. Hence, you can view WiFi passwords on your computer by going to the Control Panel’s Network and Sharing Center for Windows option or with the use of a third-party application like WirelessKeyView.