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How or where do I find WPA Pre-shared Key on Airport Extreme base station

931 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Nov 17, 2012 9:34 AM by Bob Timmons RSS
edward1939 Calculating status...
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Nov 16, 2012 2:42 PM

How do I locate the WPA Pre-Shared Key on Airportr Extreme  (Snow Leopard) to configure USB Wifi adapter please.  Cannot find it now matter what I try.



MacBook (13-inch Mid 2007), Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,080 points)

    Are you already using a Mac with that AirPort Extreme, and you just need to find out what it is, or are you trying to connect to an AirPort network you have not used before?

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,080 points)

    You cannot retrieve the password from the AirPort - not even if you could use AirPort Utility - but it should still be stored in your Keychain. If you "hard reset" the AirPort all its settings will be erased, and you would need to configure it again.


    Read the following to determine how to retrieve your password from Keychain:



    Your wireless network password is stored in your Mac's Keychain.


    You must first have an Administrator account on a Mac that you use with that AirPort Extreme, one that is used to connect to your Airport Extreme network.


    On that Mac, open the Utilities folder. Find Keychain Access and launch it.


    In the search field at the upper right, type Airport. All the Keychain entries for your Extreme will appear there, as well as other entries.


    Look at the column "Kind". The entry you want to select will be labeled "AirPort network password" (not "AirPort base station password" or anything else).


    (See Note below though)


    If you are trying to recover the AirPort Extreme Base Station password then the entry you want to select will be labeled "AirPort base station password" not "AirPort network password".



    Double-click that, and in the window that appears check the box for "Show password".


    You will get the following window:


    Screen Shot 2012-10-04 at 1.20.59 AM.png


    In the Password field type your Mac's Administrator password - the same one you used to log in to that Mac.


    Then, click Allow, and your wireless network password will appear in the "Show password" field:


    Screen Shot 2012-10-04 at 1.30.36 AM.png

    Make note of it.


    Close the window, then quit Keychain Access.



    Note: The WPA Pre-shared key may not be called "AirPort Network Password". I never used one of those so I am not certain what name Keychain uses, but you ought to be able to find it in a manner similar to the above.

    MacBooks  iMacs  iPods  AirPorts, OS X Mountain Lion,  27 years Apple!
  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,555 points)

    Temporarily, connect an Ethernet cable from one of the LAN <-> ports on the AirPort Extreme to your Mac. Restart both the AirPort Extreme and the Mac.


    Open Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities > AirPort Utility


    Click on the AirPort Extreme and then click Manual Setup


    If you can do this, click on the Base Station menu item at the very top of the screen....(not the Base Station tab in the center of the window).


    Click on Equivalent Network Password and your "key" will be revealed to you





    Screen Shot 2012-11-16 at 7.30.22 PM.png

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,080 points)

    edward1939 wrote:


    I am not looking for my password....I already know that.


    OK then, if you know your password and the AirPort's SSID you may be able to generate the PSK here:



    Try that.


    Otherwise you will need to "hard reset" the Extreme.

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,080 points)

    I understood that you cannot use AirPort Utility.


    Did you try that PSK generator?


  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,555 points)

    I already did a hard reset of Airport Extreme.

    When you do this, the AirPort is reset back to default settings. It provides a wireless network with a name like Apple Network xxxxxx, where the "x" could be either a letter or number.


    This signal is for an "open" network. There is no security or password required, therefore there is no WEP "key" or "Equivalent Network Password".


    Once you reconfigure the AirPort Exteme to assign a new wireless network name and wireless security, the WEP "key" will appear as I have noted above.....unless:


    1) The AirPort Utility application is not performing correctly. Download and install AirPort Utility again.


    2) The AirPort Extreme is not performing correctly. Try a Factory Default Reset to completely clear all stored settings and then reconfigure the AirPort Extreme again specifying the wireless network name, security and password that you want to use.


    Post back if you want to troubleshoot this issue further.




  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,555 points)

    Disconnect and put the USB adapter aside for now. Same for the MacBook.


    Can you connect to the AirPort Extreme from the iMac using wireless?  If not, temporarily connect an Ethernet cable from one of the LAN <-> ports on the AirPort Extreme to the iMac.


    What operating system (Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion) is the iMac using?


    Or, if you have already installed AirPort Utility on the iPad, we can use that if you prefer.


    AirPort Utility for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,555 points)

    If you have followed the instructions that I have provided and the information does not appear, then you either have a defective copy of AirPort Utility or you have a defective AirPort Extreme.


    I can locate the "key" using a MacBook, iMac or iPad with no difficulty.


    Do you have AirPort Utility installed on the iPad?  We could try it that way. 6 taps will find the "key", assuming the AirPort Extreme is operating correctly..


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