Get help with Personal Hotspot in iOS

If you need help with Personal Hotspot on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, follow these steps.

Use these steps first

Try again after each step.

  1. Check that Personal Hotspot is turned on. There are two places to look: Check in Settings > Personal Hotspot.* Then check in Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot. If you can't find or turn on Personal Hotspot, check that your wireless carrier enabled it and that your wireless plan supports it.
  2. Switch Internet connections. For example, switch from a Wi-Fi connection to Bluetooth or USB.
  3. Restart the iPhone or iPad that provides Personal Hotspot. Then restart your other device.
  4. Check that you have the latest updates for your iPhone or iPad and your other device.
  5. On the iPhone or iPad that provides Personal Hotspot, tap Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

If you still need help, use the steps below for help with Personal Hotspot over Wi-Fi, USB, or Bluetooth.

*Personal Hotspot isn't available on the original iPhone, iPad (1st generation), or iPad 2.

If you can't connect to Personal Hotspot with Wi-Fi

On the device that needs to connect to Personal Hotspot, follow these steps. Try again after each step:

  1. Check that you're using the correct Wi-Fi network. The network name should be the same as the iOS device providing Personal Hotspot (You can check the name of your iOS device in Settings > General > About). 
  2. If you see a password error when you try to join Personal Hotspot, check the Wi-Fi password: On the device that provides Personal Hotspot, go to Settings > Personal Hotspot to see the Wi-Fi password.
  3. Check how many devices are using Personal Hotspot by looking in the status bar of the device that provides Personal Hotspot. Some wireless carriers limit the number of connections you can have.
  4. On the device that needs to connect to Personal Hotspot, turn Wi-Fi off and back on.

If you can't connect to Personal Hotspot with USB

Follow the steps below for your Mac or Windows PC. To avoid unnecessary data charges, turn off Personal Hotspot when you don't need it. If you don't, every time you plug your iOS device with Personal Hotspot into your computer to charge, your computer will connect to Personal Hotspot. 

Connect your Mac to Personal Hotspot with USB

  1. Update to the latest version of iTunes.
  2. With a USB cable, connect your Mac to the iPhone or iPad that provides Personal Hotspot. Then make sure that iTunes recognizes your iOS device.
  3. Go to System Preferences > Network.
  4. Select iPhone USB. If you don’t see it, click plus icon and add it. If you already have a different network connection, your Personal Hotspot connection might not activate until you uncheck “Disable unless needed” under Status.
    Network Mac
  5. Click Settings icon and choose Make Service Inactive.
    Make Service Inactive Mac
  6. Then choose Make Service Active.

Connect your Windows PC to Personal Hotspot with USB

  1. Update to the latest version of iTunes.
  2. With a USB cable, connect your computer to the iPhone or iPad that provides Personal Hotspot. Then, make sure that you can locate and view your iPhone or iPad in iTunes.
  3. Follow the steps provided by Microsoft to check your Internet connection in Windows 10 or Windows 7.

If you can't connect to Personal Hotspot with Bluetooth

Use the steps below to pair your devices and connect to Personal Hotspot with Bluetooth.

Pair your devices

  1. On the device providing the Personal Hotspot, tap Settings > Bluetooth. Make sure that Bluetooth is on.
  2. Keep this screen open. Then, on the device that needs to connect to Personal Hotspot, use these instructions:
  • On an iPad or iPod touch, tap Settings > Bluetooth. Tap the device that provides Personal Hotspot to pair your devices. You can't share your cellular data connection with another iPhone using Bluetooth.
  • On a Mac with OS X, choose Apple Menu and click System Preferences > Bluetooth. Next to the device providing Personal Hotspot, click Pair and follow the onscreen instructions.
  • On a PC with Windows, click the Bluetooth icon in the Notification area, choose Add a Bluetooth Device, and follow the onscreen instructions.

Connect to Personal Hotspot with Bluetooth

Here's how to connect your Mac or PC:

  • On your Mac, click bluetooth icon in the menu bar. Choose your iOS device that provides the Personal Hotspot, then choose Connect to Network. You can confirm your connection in System Preferences > Network. If you can't connect, skip to the next section.
    Network in System Preferences on Mac
  • On your Windows PC, click bluetooth icon in the Notification area and choose Join A Personal Area Network. Right-click your device and hover your pointer over "Connect using," then select "Access point." If you can't still can't connect, skip to the next section.
    Windows Notification area

Get help if you still can’t connect to Personal Hotspot with Bluetooth

 On both of your devices, turn Bluetooth off and back on:

  • On the iOS device that provides Personal Hotspot, tap Settings > Bluetooth and turn Bluetooth off and back on. Do the same on the iPad or iPod touch that needs to connect to Personal Hotspot.
  • On your Mac, click bluetooth icon in the menu bar, then turn Bluetooth off and back on.
  • On your PC, choose Settings, click bluetooth icon, and turn Bluetooth off and back on.  

If you still can't connect, follow these steps on your devices:

  1. Reset the Personal Hotspot setting:
    • On the iPad or iPod touch that needs to connect to Personal Hotspot, tap Settings > Bluetooth. Tap information icon beside the name of the device that provides Personal Hotspot, then tap Forget this Device. Restart the iOS device that needs to connect to Personal Hotspot.
    • On your Mac, click bluetooth icon in the menu bar. Choose Bluetooth Preferences, select the device that provides Personal Hotspot, and click X icon to remove it. Then restart your computer.
    • On your PC, click bluetooth icon in the Notification area. Select "Show Bluetooth devices" and select the device that provides Personal Hotspot. Then click Remove, click OK, and restart your computer.
  2. Restart the iOS device that provides Personal Hotspot.
  3. Now you can pair your devices and try again to connect to Personal Hotspot. If you still can’t connect, contact Apple Support.

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