iOS 16 Will Let You See Every Wi-Fi Network You have Ever Joined (And the Passwords for Them Too)

Though this feature is buried in a settings menu, it could have a big impact for users.
iOS 16 Manage Wi Fi Networks Credit: Jesse Hollington
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There’s a small but valuable feature tucked away in iOS 16 (and iPadOS 16) that will make it much easier to manage your Wi-Fi networks — even those that aren’t nearby.

The early iOS 16 betas showed that you can now see Wi-Fi passwords for any network you’re currently connected to, but it seems that there’s a broader purpose for this; iOS 16 will also let you see all of the Wi-Fi networks that you’ve ever connected to.

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In this context, it’s understandable how being able to read a Wi-Fi network password could be considerably more helpful. For example, if a friend or family member needs a password for your school or work network, you can now quickly look it up on your iPhone and share it with them.

This also eliminates the need to record Wi-Fi passwords somewhere else for those networks you regularly join. It’s like a password manager dedicated to your Wi-Fi networks.

How It Works

This new feature is hidden behind an “Edit” button that discretely appears in the top-right corner of the Wi-Fi settings in iOS 16. It’s such a familiar button that it’s easy to miss on the Wi-Fi settings, but it wasn’t there before.

Tapping on it requires that you authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or a password. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be shown a list of all the Wi-Fi networks your iPhone knows about — all the networks you’ve joined that you haven’t explicitly removed from your iPhone with the Forget This Network button.

From here, you can remove any network from the list by tapping the red minus button beside it. Tapping the info button will open up the detailed Wi-Fi settings for that network, where you can adjust the usual options like whether to auto-join that network, Limit IP Address Tracking (which affects whether iCloud Private Relay is used on that network), use a Private Wi-Fi Address, and more. You can also tap on the password field to reveal the password or copy it to your clipboard.

This list is also synced via your iCloud Keychain with other Apple devices that share the same Apple ID. This means you’ll also see networks you’ve joined from your Mac or iPad, so be careful about deleting any entries here just because you don’t think you need them for your iPhone. Fortunately, these deletions won’t take effect until you hit Done in the top-right corner, and you’ll get a warning to give you a chance to change your mind.

It’s been possible to manage your list of known Wi-Fi networks on the Mac for years, and since iCloud Keychain syncs this list in both directions, it’s been a handy way to clean up the list on your iPhone and iPad. However, even macOS Ventura doesn’t offer the ability to customize your Wi-Fi network settings to the same extent that iOS 16 now does. On the Mac side, you can only remove a network, copy the password to the clipboard, or disable auto-join.

By comparison, iOS 16 lets you adjust all the same Wi-Fi settings you could when you’re joined to the Wi-Fi network, including things like setting a manual IP address for the next time you join. Plus, it’s a great way to clean up your list of known Wi-Fi networks if you aren’t a Mac user or simply often on the go and away from your Mac.

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