How to set up a Personal Hotspot on your iPhone or iPad

A Personal Hotspot lets you share the mobile data connection of your iPhone or iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular) when you don’t have access to a Wi-Fi network.

Set up Personal Hotspot

  1. Go to Settings > Mobile Data > Personal Hotspot or Settings > Personal Hotspot.

  2. Tap the slider next to Allow Others to Join.

If you can’t see the option for Personal Hotspot, contact your network provider to make sure you can use Personal Hotspot with your plan.

Connect to Personal Hotspot with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB

You can connect to a Personal Hotspot using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB. And with iOS 13 or later, devices that are connected to a Personal Hotspot will stay connected, even if the screen is locked, so those devices will still receive notifications and messages.

When you connect a device to your Personal Hotspot, the status bar turns blue and shows how many devices have joined. The number of devices that can join your Personal Hotspot at one time depends on your network provider and iPhone model. If other devices have joined your Personal Hotspot using Wi-Fi, you can only use mobile data to connect to the internet from the host device.

Use these steps to connect:


On the device you want to connect to, go to Settings > Mobile Data > Personal Hotspot or Settings > Personal Hotspot and make sure it’s turned on. Then verify the Wi-Fi password and name of the phone. Stay on this screen until you’ve connected your other device to the Wi-Fi network.

On the device you want to connect, go to Settings > Wi-Fi and look for your iPhone or iPad in the list. Then tap the Wi-Fi network to join. If asked, enter the password for your Personal Hotspot.


To make sure your iPhone or iPad is discoverable, go to Settings > Bluetooth and stay on that screen. Then on your Mac, follow the manufacturer directions to set up a Bluetooth connection. Find out more about using Personal Hotspot with Bluetooth.

Personal Hotspot supports Bluetooth connections with Mac and other third-party devices. To connect another iOS device, use Bluetooth.

iPhone screen showing the Personal Hotspot bar.


Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes and the Finder on your Mac. Then connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer with the USB cable that came with your device. If you see an alert that says "Trust This Computer?”, tap Trust.

Find out more about connecting a device to your iPhone or iPad’s Personal Hotspot.

Let your family join automatically

You can set up Family Sharing so that your family can join your Personal Hotspot automatically – without needing to enter the password. Here's what to do:

  1. On your device with Personal Hotspot, go to Settings > Personal Hotspot > Family Sharing.

  2. Turn on Family Sharing. If you can't see the option, find out how to set up Family Sharing.

  3. Tap the name of each of your family members and set whether they need to ask for approval or join your Personal Hotspot automatically.

Disconnect devices

To disconnect a device, turn off Personal Hotspot, turn off Bluetooth or unplug the USB cable from your device.

Set or change your Wi-Fi password

You need to set a Wi-Fi password in order to set up a Personal Hotspot. To change the Wi-Fi password, go to Settings > Mobile Data > Personal Hotspot or Settings > Personal Hotspot, then tap the Wi-Fi password.*

Choose a Wi-Fi password that’s at least eight characters long and use ASCII characters. If you use non-ASCII characters, other devices will be unable to join your Personal Hotspot. Non-ASCII characters include characters in Japanese, Russian, Chinese and other languages. ASCII characters include:

  • All the letters in English, both lowercase and uppercase

  • The digits 0 to 9

  • Some punctuation marks

* When you change your password, any connected devices will be disconnected.

Learn more

  • Certain apps and features that require a Wi-Fi connection might not work while using a Personal Hotspot. For example, you might not be able to make an iCloud backup or upload photos to iCloud Photo Library or Photo Stream.

  • Learn how to use Instant Hotspot on your Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

  • Get help with Personal Hotspot on your iOS and iPadOS devices.

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