How to manage your Wi-Fi password and networks on iPhone and iPad

Ios 15 Wi Fi Hero
Ios 15 Wi Fi Hero (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

One of the essential things we need on all of our devices these days is Wi-Fi. It's our gateway to the rest of the world, as seen through our tiny, pocketable computers and tablets. I mean, sure, we have our cellular data plans too, but not everyone has unlimited data or perhaps has to share with other family members, so data conservation is vital — that's when we need Wi-Fi.

On the iPhone and iPad, managing our Wi-Fi settings has been fairly barebones, but iOS 16 is giving us several more robust options that we've wanted for quite some time: seeing our Wi-Fi network passwords, as well as deleting old networks from our history. This is, in addition, to effortlessly sharing your Wi-Fi password with others.

Here's everything you need to know about how to manage your Wi-Fi password and networks on your favorite iPhone and iPad.

How to share your Wi-Fi password

Since iOS 11, Apple has added a super-easy way to share your Wi-Fi password with others who may ask for it. In fact, all you need is to make sure that the person asking for the password is already a contact in your address book, have Bluetooth turned on, and then have your device nearby when your friend connects to your network.

If everything is done properly, a popup should show up on your device (similar to when you pair AirPods or AirTags), asking you if you want to share the Wi-Fi network password with the person. Just tapping the "Share Password" button gives the password to the other person, and they are now on the network! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas (opens in new tab). While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That's why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

How to view your Wi-Fi network password in iOS 16

A new feature in iOS 16 allows you to view Wi-Fi passwords for networks that you already use regularly. This has been a much-anticipated feature for some time now and should be available for everyone starting in the fall.

  1. Launch Settings on your iPhone or iPad with iOS 16.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap the "i" on your current Wi-Fi network. You can also view the password for other networks in your history, which you can get to in the next section of this guide.
  4. Tap the Password field.
  5. Your device will authenticate via Touch ID or Face ID, depending on your device.
  6. Your password will now be revealed.
  7. Tap Copy on the popup menu if you want to copy it to send to someone.

How to delete old Wi-Fi networks in iOS 16

Another new feature is viewing your connected network history and then deleting them if you no longer have a use for these old networks. It's been a long time coming, but iOS 16 will give us this capability in the fall.

  1. Launch Settings on your iPhone or iPad with iOS 16.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap Edit in the upper right corner.
  4. Your device will authenticate via Touch ID or Face ID, depending on your device.
  5. You will now see a list of all of the networks that you've connected to in the past.
  6. Tap the red minus (-) button on the network you want to delete.
  7. Tap Delete to confirm.

As previously stated, you can also tap on the "i" button on these "old" networks to also view and grab the password from the previous section of this guide.

Always prepared when asked for the Wi-Fi password

We all need Wi-Fi, whether our own or someone else's when we're guests. Previously, it's been a pain to share the Wi-Fi password with someone else, but iOS 16 is making it much better with the ability to view passwords on networks that you've previously connected to. And being able to delete old networks helps us keep our active Wi-Fi network list neat and tidy.

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.