When you first configure a wireless (Wi-Fi) network at home or work and secure It with a wireless encryption key, Windows will automatically create a profile for that network, that Includes the network name (SSID), security (encryption) key and other relative details. In this tutorial, I will show you how to backup all "wireless network profiles" natively within Windows, and save the Information to your computer's desktop.
Essentially, the profile of every wireless network that your PC connected to, will be backed up to a .xml file on your computer's desktop, which you can then view via your favorite web browser. This will even backup Inactive wireless networks, that Is, a device that established a connection to a network at any given point In time.
You will be able to view the network name and It's passphrase (encryption key) In plain text. In the event you forget your encryption key or other settings, this will allow you to Instantly connect.
To achieve this, I will be using the good old Command Prompt. So without further delay, let's get this tutorial started.
To access the Command Prompt, open the Run menu, enter cmd and hit OK.
Next, copy & paste netsh wlan show profiles, and hit Enter on your keyboard. The user profiles of your wireless network(s), will now be displayed.
Now copy & paste the following command Into the Command Prompt.
netsh wlan export profile key=clear folder="%UserProfile%\Desktop"
After hitting the Enter key on your keyboard, a message will be returned confirming that every wireless network profile has been successfully saved to a .xml file on the desktop.
And here's my result. As you can see, all the wireless network profiles have been generated and saved. In total, I have three profiles, hence three files representing each one. Let's checkout my AndroidAP file, which Is my cell phone.
The file has executed In Internet Explorer and as you can see (among other details), the name, authentication type and the passphrase (which I've obviously blurred!), are displayed In plain text. The same type of Information Is contained In my other files, but there's no point In displaying It.
There's a few more bits and pieces of Information contained In the files, but for the purpose of this tutorial, I've only demonstrated the key elements. The upside to this, Is that you can easily save and view the wireless network profiles, past or present. The downside Is, so too can anyone else who has physical access to your wireless network or PC, however not everyone has the know-how to utilize this methodology, so that's huge bonus In your favor.