Whether you’ve got a new router and need to change the password, or you’ve simply done what we’ve ALL done at some point and forgotten what you’d changed it to in the first place, we’re here to help. Here’s a quick guide on how to change your WiFi password, so you can get back to surfing the internet in peace!
Already know your WiFi password? Start here!
If you’ve forgotten your WiFi password, head a little further down the page. Remember you’ll need to be connected to your WiFi network to follow these steps.
Step One: Find your IP address
You can find your router’s default IP address – along with the original username and password – on the router itself. If your IP address hasn’t changed from that original address, move on to the next step.
If it has, you can either do a factory reset on your router to set it back to the original, or follow these simple instructions to find out what the current one is.
Find your IP address on Windows
To find your IP address on a Windows computer, press Windows + R on your keyboard. A Run window should appear – type “CMD” into this and press OK. A prompt box will open up. Type in “IPCONFIG” and hit enter. Your IP address will be located next to the words Default Gateway.
Find your IP address on a Mac
Click the Apple icon on the top left of the screen and go to System Preferences. You’ll then select Network, then WiFi, then Advanced. Head to the TCP/IP tab and you’ll find your IP address next to the word Router.
Step Two: Open a web browser
Type your IP address into the search bar and hit enter. You may see a warning pop up, saying the connection isn’t secure. As long as you’re using the correct IP address, you’re fine to ignore this and proceed. This will bring you to your router’s configuration page.
When prompted, sign in using your router’s username and password. A menu will appear – look for an option similar to “Wireless” or “Wireless Settings”.
Step Three: Change your password
Once you’ve entered the wireless settings section, look for a box labelled “Password”, or something similar. You can enter your new password here. Be sure to save before exiting.
You may also want to double-check your security type. The three main options are WEP, WPA, and WPA2. WPA2 is the most secure. If you’re currently running WEP, we recommend changing it to one of the other options, as it is the least secure.
Forgot your WiFi password? Start here!
If you’ve forgotten your WiFi password, you have two options available to you.
Connect to the router using an ethernet cable
Run an ethernet cable from your router to your computer. Once this is done, you can follow the steps above to change your WiFi password.
Reset your router
If you don’t have an ethernet cable, you can perform a full factory reset of your router. This is also recommended if you’ve bought a router second hand.
Look for a reset button on the router – it’s usually located inside a small hole that will require something thin like a pin, paper clip, or bobby pin to reach inside and press. Once this is done, follow the previous instructions to change your password. You will use the routers default log-in details to log in. These are usually found alongside the default IP address on the router itself.
What’s in a name?
Did you know you can also change the name of your router? Follow the same instructions and keep an eye out for a box labelled Name or SSID. You can change your WiFi name to just about anything, though we’d recommend avoiding anything that might reveal too much about your exact location.
What makes a good password?
Changing your password regularly is a key part of keeping yourself safe online. As well as making sure no neighbours can sneak onto your account, it also helps protect against people who might try and gain access to your connected devices to steal information or install malware.
But choosing a new password can be tricky, especially when it seems like hackers are getting better and better at cracking them. But if it’s time to retire the faithful combination of your dog’s name and 1234, we’ve got a few suggestions.
Keep it weird
Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols to make your password. Steer clear of common words – in fact, don’t be afraid to ditch the words entirely! A seemingly random selection of letters etc. is much harder to guess and therefore more secure than complete words. You can still assign meanings to them to help you remember too – it only has to seem random to someone else!
Red, yellow, green
A lot of websites will have something similar to a traffic light system that indicates how strong a password is when you first suggest it. They’re looking for things like password length, numbers, symbols, and a mix of upper- and lower-case letters. For a strong password, always aim for the green!
Use a password generator
If you can’t come up with something that feels secure enough, there are plenty of password generators online that can help you. Simply generate an appropriate password and copy it into the new password field. You may also find that your browser offers suggested passwords when you’re registering for new accounts, so keep an eye out for that too.
Keeping your passwords safe
If you’re prone to forgetting what your latest passwords are, you can use password vaults such as LastPass, Dashlane, or Keeper. Your internet browser may also come with its own built-in. You can often access these from your phone, as well as on your computer.
Of course, you can always do it the old-fashioned way and write it down – you can’t hack a notebook, after all! Keep a password log in a safe place at home and update as necessary. This can also be useful in case someone you trust needs to get access to any of your accounts for any reason.
Hopefully this has gone some way to helping you resolve some of your WiFi issues. For some advice on boosting your WiFi signal, why not check out our guide to receiving a WiFi signal over a long distance?
- Jennifer Still, 2022, “How to change your Wi-Fi password and name to improve security of your internet network”, Insider
- “How to change your Router’s Wi-Fi password”, D-Link
- “How to Change Your WiFi Name and Password”, HelloTech