Get help with Personal Hotspot in iOS

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

Before you begin

  1. Contact your carrier to make sure that they support Personal Hotspot, and that it's turned on for your wireless plan.
  2. Make sure that Personal Hotspot is on: Tap Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot.
  3. Check the Internet connection on your iOS device: Tap Safari and load a new webpage.
  4. If one connection type doesn't work, try another. For example, instead of using Wi-Fi, use USB or Bluetooth.
  5. Turn Personal Hotspot off and on: Tap Settings > Personal Hotspot or Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot.
  6. Install the latest version of iOS.
  7. Reset your network settings: Tap Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

If you need more help, try the steps below.

Wi-Fi issues

If you encounter an issue using Personal Hotspot with other Wi-Fi devices, try these steps:

  1. Turn Personal Hotspot off.
  2. Turn on Wi-Fi: Tap Settings > Wi-Fi.
  3. Turn on Personal Hotspot.
  4. If another device can't join your Wi-Fi network, make sure the Wi-Fi password is correct.
  5. If the device can't see your Wi-Fi network, check your device name. Windows might not correctly show a device name that uses non-ASCII characters.
  6. See how many devices are using your Personal Hotspot. Depending on your wireless carrier, the number of Wi-Fi connections might be limited.
  7. If the other device still can't connect, turn Wi-Fi off and on for the device.
  8. Make sure that your device can see other Wi-Fi networks.

USB issues

If you're using USB to connect your computer to Personal Hotspot and can't connect to the Internet, check your computer's network settings. You may need to disconnect and reconnect the USB Ethernet interface.

Select your operating system for instructions.

Mac OS X

  1. Redownload iTunes.
  2. Then reinstall it on your Mac. If you still need help, follow the rest of these steps.
  3. Go to System Preferences > Network.
  4. Select the Ethernet adapter.

  5. Click the gear   icon and choose Make Service Inactive.

  6. Choose Make Service Active.

Windows Vista or Windows 7

  1. In the Network and Sharing Center, click View status.

  2. Click Diagnose.

Bluetooth issues

If you're using Bluetooth to connect another device to your Personal Hotspot and you can't connect to the Internet, try these steps:

  1.  Make sure your Bluetooth connection is active and discoverable.
    • Mac OS X: Click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar and make sure Discoverable is on. If you don't see the icon in the menu bar, open System Preferences > Bluetooth and select Show Bluetooth in menu bar.
    • iOS devices: Tap Settings > Bluetooth. Make sure that Bluetooth is on and the bottom of the screen says Now Discoverable. Stay on this screen until pairing is complete.
    • Windows: Choose Start > Control Panel and open Bluetooth Devices. On the Options tab, select Show the Bluetooth icon in the notification area. Click the Bluetooth icon in the notification area and set it to Discoverable.
  2. Pair your device with iPhone or iPad (3rd generation or later) Wi-Fi + Cellular or iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular. You'll be asked to confirm that an identical Pin Code appears on both devices, but you don't need to enter it.
    • Mac OS X: Open System Preferences > Bluetooth. Click Pair next to your device and follow the onscreen instructions.
    • iPad or iPod touch: Locate the device that's sharing Personal Hotspot in Settings > Bluetooth and tap the device to begin pairing. You can't share your cellular data connection with another iPhone using Bluetooth.
    • Windows: Click the Bluetooth icon in the Notification area (system tray), select Add a Bluetooth Device, and follow the onscreen instructions.
  3. Connect to the network using the steps for your operating system.

Mac OS X

  1. Click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar.
  2. Choose your iOS device.
  3. Choose Connect to network. You can confirm that you're connected in System Preferences > Network.


Click the Bluetooth icon in the Notification area (system tray).

Select Join A Personal Area Network. You can confirm that you're connected in Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center (Windows Vista and Windows 7).

  • Windows Vista or Windows 7

If you can't connect, follow these steps:

  1. Turn Bluetooth off and on for both devices.
  2. If the issue persists, remove the pairing records from both devices, then pair again:
    • iPad or iPod touch: Tap "i" to the right of the device, then tap Forget this Device.
    • Mac OS X: Open Bluetooth Preferences, select your iOS device, and click the X to remove it. Restart your computer.
    • Windows: Click the Bluetooth icon in the Notification area (system tray), select Show Bluetooth devices, select your iOS device, and click the Remove button. Click OK and restart your computer.
  3. Restart the iOS device.

Learn more

  • Depending on your cellular network connection, incoming or outgoing phone calls might interrupt your Personal Hotspot connection. After you end the call, Personal Hotspot should automatically reconnect with your devices.
  • If you're outside your wireless carrier's network coverage area, you might be roaming.
    • To use Personal Hotspot, you need to turn on Settings > Cellular > Data Roaming.
    • Data roaming charges will apply. Check with your wireless carrier if you're roaming to verify any additional charges.
  • When Personal Hotspot is on, your iOS device automatically shares your Internet connection with your computer when you connect using USB. For example, when you connect your iPhone to your computer to charge or sync with iTunes. To avoid unnecessary data charges, turn off Personal Hotspot when it isn't in use.

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