For the most part, turning your iPhone into a mobile hotspot is an instant and seamless process, as it requires you only to enable this option in the Settings app. However, we’ve all been through issues with our phones, either refusing to connect other devices or not being able to share a Wi-Fi network without interruptions. If you are having specific trouble trying to connect to a hotspot, here are some of the best ways to troubleshoot your Wi-Fi hotspot on your iPhone.
1. Is Your iPhone’s Hotspot Active? Do You Have the Right Password?
Before we go any deeper, it’s crucial to cover the basics. Are you sure that you’ve activated your iPhone’s Hotspot? To check that, head over to the Settings app and select “Personal Hotspot.” You should see the toggle next to “Allow Others to Join.” The toggle should be enabled (green-colored). While you’re there, you also need to check the password of your iPhone’s Wi-Fi Hotspot.
If you’re having trouble connecting to your iPhone’s Wi-Fi Hotspot, you need to launch WiFi-related settings on the device you’re connecting. Pick the Wi-Fi network that has the name of your iPhone and type in the password if asked.
2. Restart (Not Reset!) Your iPhone
When it comes to more obvious stuff, we recommend you restart your iPhone, which is a surprisingly easy fix to many issues. In other words, power your device on and off, which should be very simple to do. (Don’t confuse this with resetting your phone, which is a much more drastic move.)
If you have an iPhone X, 11, or 12, you need to press and hold the Volume Down button and the Side button. The “Slide to Power Off” screen will appear, and after you follow its direction and wait around 30 seconds, you can power your device back on.
If you have an iPhone 6, 7, 8, or SE, press and hold the Power button until the “Slide to Power Off” slider appears. Drag the slider and wait around 30 seconds before you power your device back on.
3. Are Other Devices Allowed to Join the Hotspot?
By default, your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot enables any device to join (with a valid password, of course). However, by checking whether this option is active (and disabling it briefly), you can restart your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot.
To do so, navigate to “Settings -> Personal Hotspot.” We hope this feature is already enabled on your iPhone. If it’s not, enable it from there. If it is, feel free to disable the feature, wait around 10 seconds, and enable it once again.
4. Restart Your iPhone’s Cellular Connection
Another way to troubleshoot the Wi-Fi hotspot on your iPhone would be to restart its cellular connection. To do that, navigate to “Settings -> Cellular.” Flip the switch at the top, to the right of “Cellar Data.” Wait around 10 seconds, then re-enable this option.
5. Check for an Update to Carrier Settings
In some cases, a pending carrier settings update can cause Internet connectivity problems on your smartphone. The only way to check if this is the cause of your issue is to navigate to “Settings -> General -> About.” Wait around 10 seconds and see if a prompt appears, asking you to apply a carrier update. If nothing happens, skip to the next step.
6. Turn on “Maximize Compatibility” on iPhone’s Wi-Fi Hotspot
Since the iPhone 12 lineup includes support for 5G, it comes with a different set of network settings. You’ll want to head to “Settings -> Personal Hotspot -> Maximize Compatibility.” By default, this feature comes disabled, so feel free to enable it.
7. Check for iOS Software Updates
Keeping your iPhone up to date is crucial for many reasons. If you haven’t updated your iPhone in a while, we strongly recommend doing so. Head over to “Settings -> General -> Software Update.” Wait a couple of moments for your device to check for updates. If you see an available update, proceed to install it.
8. Reset Network-Related Settings
In some cases, there might not be a logical explanation why your iPhone’s Wi-Fi hotspot doesn’t work. If nothing helps you solve or troubleshoot your iPhone’s WiFi hotspot, we recommend resetting your device’s network settings. Go to “Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings.” Pick this option, confirm your decision, and make sure to restart your device once done.
9. Do a Factory Reset on Your iPhone
We do have to admit that this is a nuclear option. However, factory resetting your iPhone has the power to solve all kinds of technical problems. Still, before you erase your device’s contents, you may want to learn how to back up your iPhone. Additionally, here’s our guide showing how to factory-reset you iPhone.
10. Seek Assistance from Apple or Your Carrier
If you’ve tried all of the previously explained steps in this guide to troubleshooting your iPhone’s Wi-Fi hotspot and nothing worked, you have no other option than to turn to someone else for assistance.
Our recommendation would be to contact Apple’s customer support. However, if you don’t have an Apple Store nearby, you can also seek assistance from your mobile carrier.
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