The ability to use your iPhone as a wireless hotspot is one of its more useful features. It’s especially handy if you need internet access on the go.
The first thing you should try if your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot isn’t working is restarting the phone. This trick often fixes problems that aren’t software-related.
1. Go to Settings
If you see a “Your Carrier” message and the tethering option is grayed out or accompanied by a spinning wheel, this indicates that your carrier has disabled the feature for your account. In this case, you’ll need to contact your carrier’s support team.
The most common cause of Personal Hotspot not connecting is simply that it’s not turned on. To check this, open the Settings app and tap Cellular. If the switch is green, Personal Hotspot is enabled. The other possible reason for this is that your cellular plan does not include enough data to tether. In this case, you’ll need a higher-tier plan that includes more data to use this feature.
Another possibility is that your phone has been set to Battery Saver mode, which limits certain non-essential functions like Wi-Fi to preserve your battery. To fix this, change your phone’s Power Saving mode to a lower setting, then try again.
A password is optional for Personal Hotspot, but some people have found that it helps resolve connection issues. To add a password, tap the toggle next to Personal Hotspot. When you’re done, make sure that the password is noted so that you can connect your other devices to the hotspot in the future.
You can also try connecting your iPhone to a different device to see if the issue is with the device or the hotspot itself. For example, you can try connecting to the hotspot with Bluetooth or via a USB cable. If you’re using a USB cable, you’ll need to follow your computer’s instructions for trusting the device. If all of these solutions are ineffective, you can try performing a DFU restore on your iPhone to fix the problem.
2. Tap Wi-Fi
If your phone’s Wi-Fi is turned off, you can turn it on by tapping the Wi-Fi icon in Control Center. You can also turn it on by entering a password in Settings. If you have a 5G-capable iPhone, the network may use your cellular data instead of Wi-Fi when it is turned on to provide Internet service. To see if this is the case, tap the network name in Wi-Fi settings and look for Using 5G Cellular for Internet.
Personal Hotspot uses your phone’s mobile data, so it can use up your cellular data allowance quickly if you stream lots of video or use other bandwidth-intensive apps. If you’re concerned about your cellular data usage, make sure that Personal Hotspot is enabled and that your carrier allows tethering before using it. If you have a prepaid plan, check that your device has enough unused data to use Personal Hotspot.
If you can’t connect to your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot, there might be a problem with the connection between your devices or something else with your network. Try restarting the other device or using a different WiFi network to see if that fixes the problem. If the other device can connect to your iPhone’s hotspot, it could be a software issue with your phone. In that case, you might need to update your iOS.
If your iPhone is running an outdated version of iOS, the Personal Hotspot feature might not work correctly. Update your iOS to the latest version by tapping Settings > General > Software Update and following the onscreen instructions to download and install the update. This might fix your problem, but if it doesn’t, you might need to contact Apple Support.
3. Tap Personal Hotspot
When Personal Hotspot isn’t enabled on your iPhone, the tethering option will be grayed out in Settings and may also have an onscreen message that reads “To enable this feature, contact your carrier.” You can usually find this information by searching online for your phone’s name plus your wireless carrier’s customer support email address or telephone number. It’s often as simple as having your carrier activate this feature for you, though on rare occasions, your phone might have an issue that prevents it from working even after your network provider has enabled it.
If you still don’t see the Personal Hotspot option, try enabling cellular data on your iPhone and making sure it’s included in your plan. You can also check to make sure that you haven’t reached your cellular data limit for the month (if you use a prepaid plan).
Another option is to reset your network settings on your iPhone. This will erase all Wi-Fi and carrier settings, as well as your custom iPhone name, so it’s a good idea to back up your device before proceeding. To do so, tap Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
If your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot is still disabled or not working, it’s time to contact Apple for assistance. You can do this online or by calling Apple’s Customer Care number, or by visiting an Apple Store. Apple Support is available 24/7, so you’ll likely be able to connect with someone within minutes of your call or visit. If you’re lucky, your problem will be solved in a few hours or less. If not, you might need to bring your phone in for repairs or a replacement, depending on the nature of the problem.
4. Tap Turn on
If you want to share your data connection with a nearby device like a laptop, then you’ll need to use the Personal Hotspot feature on your iPhone. This allows you to connect Wi-Fi-capable devices to your mobile data without having to buy them a separate plan. However, it’s important to note that Personal Hotspot will not provide your connected device with as fast of a data connection as using cellular data on your iPhone itself.
To enable a Personal Hotspot, you’ll need to have cellular data enabled on your iPhone (if it isn’t already). You’ll also need to have the hotspot feature activated by your wireless carrier. If you’re not sure if you have this option, you can always try to contact your carrier and ask about it.
Once you have a working Personal Hotspot, it’s best to set a password. This will help to keep out anyone who might be trying to use your internet unintentionally. To do so, open the Settings app and tap Cellular. You’ll find a green toggle switch next to the Cellular Data option. Tap it and then select Wi-Fi Password. This will show you the current password and allow you to change it.
Some people have reported that logging out of their iCloud account will fix Personal Hotspot problems. While it’s unclear why this would resolve the issue, it’s worth a shot if you’ve tried all of the above troubleshooting methods and your Personal Hotspot is still not working. If the problem persists, you may need to take your phone into an Apple store to have it looked at by a technician. You could also try a factory reset by going to Settings > General > Reset and then tapping Erase All Content and Settings.
5. Tap Done
If your iPhone XS Max’s Personal Hotspot doesn’t turn on or connect to your other device, try restarting both devices. Also make sure that the iPhone is using the correct Wi-Fi password. The other device should see the iPhone’s Wi-Fi network on its list of available networks and select it. It should then prompt you for a security code, which will vary between devices. Once you’ve entered the code, select Connect to begin sharing your Internet connection.
If that doesn’t work, try resetting your network settings. To do so, open Settings and tap General. Then, tap Reset and follow the instructions to reset your phone’s network settings. This should fix any erroneous settings that might be causing the problem.
Another potential solution is to change the name of your iPhone’s hotspot. Your hotspot’s network name takes the same name as your device, so changing it might renew the connection.
It’s also worth noting that the battery saver mode on your iPhone might interfere with its hotspot function. This is designed to conserve your phone’s battery, but sometimes it can cause other problems. If you have this setting enabled, try turning it off to resolve the issue.
If you’ve tried all the above solutions and your iPhone XS Max’s Personal Mobile Hotspot still doesn’t work, it might be time to call Apple support or visit an Apple Store. However, you should first try contacting your wireless carrier to see if they can help. Many companies have dedicated customer service departments that can assist you with any problems. For example, if you have AT&T as your wireless carrier, you can go to their website and search for “customer support” to find a contact number.