How to Fix Personal Hotspot Not Working on iPhone

Is your iPhone hotspot not working? Here's how to troubleshoot this problem and get connected again.

personal hotspot not working

You’re probably here because you have problems with sharing the cellular data connection of your iPhone or iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular) using your Personal Hotspot.

A Personal Hotspot helps you turn your iPhone into a Wi-Fi hotspot so that other nearby devices can connect to the internet using your mobile data. 

When it’s not working, it can be a frustrating experience as many users (including myself) rely on this feature for internet access when they’re on the go.

There are a number of reasons why your Personal Hotspot might not be working on your iPhone or iPad. Fortunately, we’ve got a couple of tips that can usually fix Personal Hotspot if it’s not working on iPhone,

This guide will take you through the possible fixes, starting with the most likely one to work.

Personal Hotspot Not Working: The Fixes

Turn on Personal Hotspot on iPhone
Activate Personal Hotspot. Gardy Philogene/Gotechtor

Before you do anything, you should try these steps first:

  1. Check that Personal Hotspot is actually turned on. Go to Settings Personal Hotspot and then check that “Allow Others to Join” is turned on. If it is already turned on, then turn it off and back on. This may fix the problem
  2. Check that cellular data is turned on. Go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data and check that it is turned on. Again, if it is already turned on, turn it off and back on. This may also fix the problem
  3. Make sure that Wi-Fi is turned on on the device you are trying to connect to your Personal Hotspot. If it is already on, turn it off and back on and see if this fixes the problem as well
  4. Make sure that you are trying to connect to the correct network on your other device. You can check the name of the network of your device by going to Settings > General > About and then looking at what is displayed as Name at the top of the page
  5. Make sure that the device you are trying to connect to your Personal Hotspot is within range. Move it to within a few feet and see if it picks up a signal

If none of the above works, then try the following fixes.

Restart Your iPhone

Restart iPhone
Steps to restart an iPhone. Courtesy of Apple

You should restart both your iPhone which you are trying to use as a Personal Hotspot and the device you are trying to connect to it.

For your iPhone or iPad, close any apps you are using and then restart it following this procedure:

  1. Hold the power button until the red slider appears on the screen and then slide it across to shut down the device
  2. Wait a few moments and then power back up your device

For your other device you will have to find the relevant instructions.

Try to use your iPhone as a Personal Hotspot again and see if it works.

If this has not worked, then try to update the carrier settings of your device.

Update the Carrier Settings

Update an iPhone carrier’s network settings. Gardy Philogene/Gotechtor

Your carrier’s network regularly releases new versions of the settings that help your iPhone connect to its network. Go to Settings > General > About to check if there’s any available Carrier Settings Update for your device.

If a pop-up appears on the screen asking you to update your carrier settings do so. Updating to the latest settings could fix your Personal Hotspot connection issues. If no pop-up appears, then a carrier settings update probably isn’t available.

If you still need help, then try resetting your network settings.

Reset Network Settings on Your iPhone

Reset network settings on iPhone
Reset an iPhone’s network settings. Gardy Philogene/Gotechtor

After doing this your device should automatically reconnect to your carrier. However, you will need to manually reconfigure your Wi-Fi and VPN settings. Often, this just means re-entering your password for your Wi-Fi networks.

  1. Go to Settings > General > Reset and then select Reset Network Settings
  2. When you are prompted, enter your password
  3. Confirm Network Settings Reset

Your iPhone will automatically restart itself during the process. After it has finished, try using your Personal Hotspot again and see if it works.

If this has not worked either, then try updating your device to the latest version of iOS.

Update to the Latest Version of iOS

Update iPhone to latest version of iOS
Update iOS on an iPhone: Gardy Philogene/Gotechtor
  1. Go to Settings > General > Software Update
  2. If an update is available, it will be displayed on the screen
  3. Wait for your device to prepare the update
  4. When the update is ready, select Download and Install
  5. When you are prompted, enter your password and your device will begin the update process

Your iPhone will automatically restart itself during the process. After it has finished, try using your Personal Hotspot again and see if it works.

If this has not worked either, then try resetting all settings on your device.

Reset All Settings on Your iPhone

This is a relatively drastic option, but it can work to fix the problem. This will not cause you to lose any of your data, but it will reset all personalized settings you have made on your device.

  1. Go to Settings > General > Reset and select Reset All Settings
  2. When you are prompted, enter your password
  3. Confirm Reset All Settings

Your iPhone will automatically restart itself during the process. After it has finished, try using your Personal Hotspot again and see if it works. Having reset all settings, you will need to reset any personalized settings you have made on your device.

Wrap Up

Hopefully, we have been able to get your personal Personal Hotspot up and running again on your device.

Otherwise, you can make a Genius reservation to check if there’s any hardware issue that prevents your Personal Hotspot from working.

We always like to hear feedback, so please leave any comments or questions in the section below.

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