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. In Settings > Personal Hotspot, make sure that Personal Hotspot is on.* 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 your Wi-Fi connection to Bluetooth or USB.
  3. Restart your iPhone or iPad. Then restart your other device.
  4. Check that you have the latest updates for your iPhone or iPad and your other device.
  5. 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 the Personal Hotspot, follow these steps:

  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.
  3. In the status bar of the device that provides Personal Hotspot, check how many devices are using your Personal Hotspot. Some wireless carriers limit the number of connections you can have.
  4. On the device that needs Personal Hotspot, turn off Wi-Fi and turn it back on.

If you can't connect to Personal Hotspot with USB

Follow the steps below for your Mac or Windows PC.

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 the iPhone USB adapter. If you don’t see it, click plus icon and add it.
    Network Mac
    If you already have a different network connection, your Personal Hotspot connection might not activate unless you uncheck “Disable unless needed”.
  5. Click Settings icon and choose Make Service Inactive.
    Make Service Inactive Mac
  6. Choose Make Service Active.

Connect your Windows PC to Personal Hotspot with USB

  1. In the Network and Sharing Center, click View status.
    Network and Sharing Center Windows
  2. Click Diagnose.

When your connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer with a USB cable, Personal Hotspot automatically shares an Internet connection with your computer. For example, when you connect your iPhone to your computer to charge, your computer will use Internet from Personal Hotspot on your iPhone. To avoid unnecessary data charges, turn off Personal Hotspot when it isn't in use.

If you can't connect to Personal Hotspot with Bluetooth

Follow these steps 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. 
  2. Make sure that Bluetooth is on and that the bottom of the screen says Now Discoverable. 
  3. Keep this screen open. Then, on the device that needs to connect to Personal Hotspot, use these steps:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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, then choose Join A Personal Area Network.  If you can't connect, skip to the next section.
    Notification area on Windows PC

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

For both devices, turn Bluetooth off and back on:

  • On your iOS device, tap Settings > Bluetooth and turn Bluetooth off and back on.
  • 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, use these steps for each of your devices:

  • On the iPad or iPod touch that needs to connect to Personal Hotspot, tap Settings > Bluetooth. Tap information icon beside your other device, then tap Forget this Device. Next, restart your iOS device.
  • 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. Restart your computer.
  • On your PC, choose Settings and click bluetooth icon. Select Show Bluetooth devices and click the device that provides Personal Hotspot. Then click Remove, click OK, and restart your computer.
  • Restart the iOS device that provides Personal Hotspot.

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