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Fix: iPhone Personal Hotspot not Working

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Using your device’s cellular data as a hotspot for multiple other devices can come in pretty handy when there’s no Wi-Fi and someone has a large data pack to share. iPhones have a simple-to-configure Personal Hotspot feature that does just that — by using cellular data, it turns your device into a mobile Wi-Fi router. Unfortunately, it seems that Personal Hotspot is not working for some iPhone users. We have decided to check for some possible solutions and are presenting them to you below.

How to Turn Personal Hotspot on iPhone?

Usually, the procedure is rather simple. Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot > Allow Others to Join > Connect and enter the password when prompted. But, if you are running into connection issues, reboot your phone, disable Wi-Fi, update firmware, or reset Network Settings.

1. Reboot your device and disable Wi-Fi

Firstly, make sure to restart your device. These minor issues and system halts are easily resolved by a simple reboot. Of course, you should check if you have enough cellular data available, for obvious reasons. Also, the Personal Hotspot will allow connections from devices that share your Apple ID. If that’s not the case with the device you want to connect with (not an Apple device, basically), make sure to do the following:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Cellular.
  3. Enable Cellular Data.
  4. Tap Personal Hotspot.
  5. Enable the Allow Others to Join option.
  6. You can use only Wi-Fi and/or USB to share data, but the prompt will suggest using Bluetooth, as well. It’s your choice.
  7. Use the password to sign in to your hotspot SSID that’s usually named :username: iPhone. In my case, it’s Aleksandar’s iPhone, as you can see in the screenshot above.

In addition, you can try disabling Wi-Fi while using cellular data personal hotspots. Now, in regular circumstances, this shouldn’t be an issue but, for the sake of troubleshooting, make sure that the Wi-Fi is off.

2. Make sure you entered the right credentials

The device will automatically provide you with a Wi-Fi password and it’s usually an alphanumerical mashup that is easily mistyped. So, make sure that the password you entered on connected devices is the one listed on your device.

Even better, to make it easier in the future, you can change it to something less arduous and make connecting new devices simpler. On the other hand, if you are sure that the password is correct but the Personal Hotspot is still not working on your iPhone, make sure to move to the next step.

3. Confirm that the device has a stable cellular connection

This goes without saying. Make sure that you are connected to a network via cellular data by testing it in network-dependent applications. If everything works, with Personal Hotspot being an exception, move to the next step.

On the other hand, if you are having system-wide issues with a cellular data connection, follow these steps:

  • Contact your carrier (usually, there’s an app or shortcodes you dial) and ask for a configuration file. Once you get the configuration message, make sure to save the settings.
  • Take out your SIM card and place it back again.
  • Make sure the Airplane mode is disabled.
  • In case you have dual SIM, select the preferred SIM for Cellular Data usage.

4. Update your device

This complete conundrum might be a bug and, even though iOS is usually not riddled with severe bugs, one or two might fly under the radar. Luckily, hotfixes are frequent so, by ensuring that your device is running on the latest iteration of iOS, you can hope that the problem is addressed.

Here’s how to check for iPhone updates manually:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Software Updates.
  4. Download and install any available updates.

5. Reset Network settings

Finally, if none of the previous steps resolved the problem, you can try with Network Settings reset. In comparison to resetting All Settings or even factory resetting your iPhone (this will erase internal storage, too), this is a focused troubleshooting step covering only network-related settings.

Keep in mind that you’ll lose SSID credentials, and Bluetooth pairings, while the default APN and VPN settings will be restored. Here’s how to Reset Network Settings on your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Reset.
  4. Tap Reset Network Settings.
  5. Enter your password or PIN and then confirm the selection.

After that, try setting up a Personal Hotspot again and look for improvements. If Personal Hotspot is still not working on your iPhone, make sure to send a ticket to Apple’s support.

That’s it. Thank you for reading and feel free to share your thoughts about the problem with us. If you have any questions or alternative solutions, the comments section is just bel

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.