Why the iPhone hotspot is not working

Why the iPhone hotspot is not working

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I started working from home and said goodbye to fast office Wi-Fi speeds. So I mostly relied on my iPhone’s hotspot at home for work and Zoom meetings, but it felt like a stretch. In addition, this smooth experience, as promised by the mobile operators, was far from meeting expectations. The iPhone’s hotspot kept disconnecting and sometimes even not turning on.

Fix iPhone hotspot not working

This is an irritating error as the iPhone hotspot continued to be disabled, and Zoom attendees continued to complain about the constant drops on my end. If you are also having hotspot issues on your iPhone, read the troubleshooting guide.

In this article, we will talk about different ways to fix iPhone hotspot not working issue. Let’s start.

1. Disable and enable mobile data

Personal hotspot uses mobile (cellular in some markets) data to turn your iPhone into a Wi-Fi hotspot. When other devices connect to the personal hotspot and browse the web, they use mobile data from your mobile phone plan. Sometimes disabling and re-enabling mobile data can fix a minor software issue that is preventing Personal Hotspot from working on your iPhone.

Follow the steps below to turn off and turn on mobile data on iPhone.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on the iPhone.

2nd step: Go to Mobile data> turn off the toggle for it. Wait 10 seconds and reactivate the option from the same menu.

Turn off mobile data

Turn off mobile data

You can also slide the control center down and turn off mobile data, then turn it on.

2. Activate the personal hotspot

As simple as it sounds, you might have forgotten to activate a personal hotspot on your iPhone. This has happened to me several times. When you connect your iPhone to a Wi-Fi network, iOS turns off the Personal Hotspot on your device.

Activate the personal hotspot

Activate the personal hotspot

Open the Settings app on the iPhone, go to Personal Hotspot and enable the option. Also, don’t forget to add the correct password for a successful login.

3. Check the update of the network provider

Your mobile carrier and Apple periodically issue carrier settings updates to improve your iPhone’s ability to connect to your carrier’s network. A few months ago, I started noticing frequent call drops on my iPhone XR. I used this trick and it fixed the issue for me.

Update the network

Update the network

Open the Settings app on the iPhone and go to General> About and scroll down to Network Provider. Make sure it is updated with the latest network settings.

4. Reset network settings

Resetting your iPhone’s network settings removes all cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and VPN settings from the device and restores them to factory settings. Resetting all cellular settings to factory defaults can fix complex software issue like iPhone personal hotspot not working.

Follow the steps below to reset your iPhone’s network settings.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on the iPhone.

2nd step: Go to General> Reset.

Step 3: Select Reset network settings.

Reset network settings

Reset network settings

Step 4: Authenticate your decision with iPhone password.

That’s all. iOS will reset all network settings on your device. Now turn on the personal hotspot and see if it is working or not.

5. Restart the iPhone

Restarting iPhone may fix common issues on your device. You can perform a forced restart or a soft restart by turning iPhone off and on again.

Force restarting iPhones differs depending on the iPhone device model.

  • For iPhone 8 or newer, press Volume up, press Volume down, press and hold the power button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  • For iPhone 7 Plus and older models, press and hold the home button and the power button simultaneously until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

After restarting the iPhone, go to Settings and turn on Personal Hotspot. This trick worked for me and I was able to connect my iPhone XR to MacBook Air.

6. make sure devices are within range

Other computers, phones, iPads, Macs, or PCs that you are trying to connect to an iPhone personal hotspot should be within a reasonable range of the iPhone with the personal hotspot running, preferably without any obstruction between them.

Try to have the devices as close as possible, often providing the best results within a few feet.

7. Update the iPhone to the latest version

Apple recently released the iOS 14 update. Whenever a major update to an operating system is released, there are issues and bugs. One of the common issues may be related to device tethering. After all, Apple doesn’t have a good time delivering quality updates.

Update software

Update software

The good news is that Apple is quickly fixing these critical issues with firmware updates. Sometimes it takes less than 48 hours for Apple to release the fixes. A new software update may be available to help you resolve the personal hotspot issue.

Open the Settings app on your iPhone and go to General> Software Update and install the latest pending iOS update.

Also on Guiding Tech

Share iPhone mobile data

Follow the tips above and you can easily fix iPhone hotspot not working issue on your iPhone. The iPhone restart trick worked for me. Which troubleshooting step resolved the issue for you? Sound off in the comments section below.


Does your iPhone feel sluggish in daily browsing and use? Read the article below for possible issues and troubleshooting steps.

Last updated Sep 20, 2020

The above article may contain affiliate links that help support Guiding Tech. However, this does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains impartial and authentic.

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