Some users have reported that they are not able to connect a device to the Internet using your iPhone’s hotspot. This occurs because the hotspot network name is not appearing on the other device; thus you are unable to select and connect to it.
Turning your iPhone into a Wi-Fi hotspot gives you a handy third option, allowing other devices like iPad or Mac to connect to the Internet when needed.
This article explains how to connect to an iPhone hotspot and how to fix things when your hotspot is not showing up on other devices. We are focusing on Personal Hotspot with Wi-Fi on iPhone running iOS 17.
How to connect to an iPhone’s Personal Hotspot
Creating a hotspot turns the iPhone into a Wi-Fi router, much like the one in your home. The iPhone connects to the internet using its 4G/5G cellular data connection, and then broadcasts this via a Wi-Fi connection that your Mac, iPad, PC, or other device, can connect to.
The first step is to ensure that Personal Hotspot is turned on on the iPhone providing Wi-Fi. Note that once your hotspot is turned on your iPhone will be using 4G or 5G for its data connection. That fact is pretty obvious, but it’s worth mentioning because you might log onto a hotel Wi-Fi with your iPhone and think you can share it that way: you can’t.
- Launch the Settings app on your iPhone and tap Personal Hotspot.
- Tap the switch labeled Allow Others to Join. Your iPhone will start broadcasting the signal right away.
- Tap Wi-Fi Password, and set a password for your hotspot. You’ll need to enter this on the devices that you connect to your phone’s hotspot.
You can connect to your iPhone’s hotspot in exactly the same way you’d connect to any Wi-Fi network. This is the easiest method.
On your iPad, Mac, PC, another iPhone — whichever device you want to connect — open the menu that lets you connect to Wi-Fi. You should see the name of your iPhone beside either two interlocking rings or a regular Wi-Fi symbol.
Click this option and enter your password. In a few moments, your device will connect, and you’ll be online.
If the iPhone hotspot name does not appear on the other device
Since there are multiple devices involved, the problem may be caused by any of them. Try to narrow down the problem. If you are unable to see the iPhone hotspot on one device, if possible, get another device and try to connect to the Personal Hotspot. For example, if your iPad does not show the hotspot, get a Mac. Do you see the hotspot on the Mac? This simple test will help you isolate the problem.
If you are unable to see the hotspot on all other devices, this may mean that the problem is with the iPhone. Somehow the iPhone is not sharing the hotspot. If the hotspot appears on one but not on the other, this means that the problem is with the other device that tries to connect to the Personal Hotspot. Keep these in mind and follow the tips below accordingly:
- Ensure that Personal Hotspot is properly set up: Ensure that Personal Hotspot is enabled on the iPhone. To do this, go to Settings > Personal Hotspot. Make sure that Allow Others to Join is on. If you do not see these options, contact your carrier. Please note, your carrier may not offer this feature.
- Ensure that the devices are not too far apart. Ensure that the iPhone is within range; if you are out of range, the hotspot may not appear. The hotspot range is around 30-60 feet. Move closer to the iPhone to see if this makes any difference.
- Turn on Airplane Mode on the iPhone and turn it off again. To do this, go to Settings > Airplane mode.
- On the device that needs to connect to Personal Hotspot, turn Wi-Fi off and back on.
- Restart the iPhone that provides hotspot and the other device that needs to connect to Personal Hotspot.
- Make sure that all devices are running the latest operating software. For example, ensure that your iPhone has the latest version of iOS by going to Settings > General Software Update. Further, ensure that the other device is also running the latest version of iPadOS, macOS, etc.
- If you’re using an iPhone 12 model or newer, turn on Maximize Compatibility by going to Settings > Personal Hotspot.
Reset Network Settings
After doing the simple test I explained above, if you determine that the iPhone is the problem, you may consider resetting your network settings. To do that, follow the steps below:
- Open Settings.
- Go into General.
- Select Transfer or Reset iPhone.
- Tap Reset.
- Tap Reset Network Settings and follow onscreen instructions.
Please Note: this process will reset all of your network-related settings . For example, your saved Wi-Fi passwords will be deleted and your Hotspot name will be renamed to iPhone.
Disable security or antivirus software
Do you use firewall, security or anti-virus type software? They may be the problem. They may be blocking the incoming connections. Try to change their settings or disable them to see if that makes any difference.