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Why is my iPhone hotspot not working? 12 fixes

The internet has become an essential part of our lives, especially since it’s vital to the seamless functioning of our smartphones and other personal devices. If you’re lacking WiFi while travelling or due to a malfunction, a personal hotspot comes to the rescue to get a few quick things done. However, if even that malfunctions, things can get tough and irritating real quick.

Personal hotspot not working issue can arise on your iPhone or iPad due to a number of network or software issues and here are 12 ways you can fix the problem.

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Restart your iPhone

Restarting your device can go a long way in fixing a lot of issues you might be having. A simple restart can help clear any cache files or background processes that might be hindering iPhone hotspot from running smoothly.

Moreover, since it’s one of the most elementary ways to fix ‘iPhone hotspot not working’ error, we recommend restarting your iPhone before moving on to the relatively more complex fixes.


Check if Personal hotspot is enabled

Open your iPhone’s Settings and follow the steps mentioned below to turn on its personal hotspot.

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  • Tap on Personal Hotspot.
  • On the next page, tap on the toggle button beside Allow Others to Join to turn on your iPhone’s personal hotspot.

You can use the same toggle button to disable the hotspot when you don’t need it running actively.


Enable Airplane mode

Enable Airplane mode on your iPhone for approximately 15 seconds and then disable it to resolve any network issues.

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You can either enable and disable Airplane mode on your iPhone using the phone settings or through the Control Centre (as shown above).

Also read: How to turn off phone without power button? 


Update your iPhone

If nothing fixes the issue, you should consider updating your iPhone. Updates could address specific bugs that could be causing software or hardware incompatibility issues and potentially fix the ‘iPhone hotspot not working error.

Follow the steps mentioned below to update your iPhone.

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  • Tap on General.
  • Then tap on Software Update.
  • If an update is available, you’ll see that on the next page.
  • Tap on Download and Install to proceed.

Reset Network settings

If toggling the Airplane mode doesn’t help fix the error on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll need to reset the network settings, which will only reset the Carrier and WiFi settings

Open your iPhone’s settings and follow the steps mentioned below to reset network settings.

  • Scroll down and tap on General.
  • Tap on Reset.
  • Then tap on Reset Network Settings on the next page.

Update carrier settings

Depending on the carrier, you’ll see prompts for updating carrier settings on the iPhone once in a while. These updates aren’t as frequent, but if you’ve one pending then you’ll see it upon restarting the iPhone.

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Enable maximise compatibility on iPhone 12/13 series

On iPhone 12/13 and upcoming devices, you can also enable maximise capability feature to fix the personal hotspot not working issue. Older iOS devices could have issues connecting to the hotspot of newer devices as they’ve more networking features and settings, including 5G. In such instances, enabling maximise compatibility feature can help mitigate the issue.

Open your iPhone’s settings and follow the steps mentioned below to enable maximise compatibility feature.

Why is my iPhone hotspot not working? 12 fixes
  • Tap on Personal Hotspot.
  • On the next screen, tap on the toggle button beside Maximise Compatibility to turn it on (green).

Sign out of icloud

Some people on online forums claim that signing out of the iCloud account and signing back in will help fix the personal hotspot not working issue. Well, it doesn’t harm to try if you’re still facing the issue after having tried all of the fixes listed above.

Open the iPhone’s settings and follow the steps mentioned below to sign out of your iCloud account.

Why is my iPhone hotspot not working? 12 fixes
  • Tap on your iCloud account account name at the top of the settings.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the next page and tap on Sign Out.

Log back in to your iCloud account and see if this fixes the hotspot issue.


Power cycle your device

In addition to restarting the device and putting it on airplane mode for a while to fix the iPhone hotspot not working issue, you can also power cycle your device. In the case of iPhones or iPad, since you can’t directly disconnect it from the power source — battery — you’ll have to drain the battery completely and then let it sit for a while before recharging.

Also read: What is iCloud private relay? Is it better than a VPN? 


Reset the iPhone

Go to your iPhone’s settings and reset your iPhone if nothing else above has solved your issue. This doesn’t delete your data, but it’ll reset all your settings to default.

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  • Head over to the iOS settings and tap on General.
  • Tap on Reset. 
  • Tap Reset All Settings. 

Restore iPhone with DFU mode

If nothing else has worked so far, time for the last resort before the last resort — Apple customer support.

First and foremost, back up all of your iPhone data as coming out of the recovery mode will require you to restore the operating system, which will, in turn, delete all of the user data.

Make sure your Mac or iTunes is updated and then connect the iPhone or iPad before entering recovery mode.

Here’s how to enter DFU (Disk Firmware Update) or recovery mode on different iPhone and iPad models.

iPad/iPhone modelsInstructions to enter DFU
iPhone 8 or laterPress and release the Volume Up button and then the Volume Down button. Press and hold the side button until you see the recovery-mode screen.
iPhone 7 and earlier (including 7th-gen iPod Touch)Press and hold the top/side and volume down buttons together until you see the recovery-mode screen.
iPads without a home button Press and release the Volume Up button and then the Volume Down button. Press and hold the top button until the device restarts and you see the recovery mode screen.
iPads, iPhone 6s with a home button and iPod Touch 6th gen or earlier Press and hold the top/side and home buttons together until you see the recovery-mode screen.

Contact Apple Support

More often than not, issues with touchscreens are hardware-related and require you to turn your phone in for a repair. This can also help you avoid resetting your device and recovering it again, trying to diagnose a hardware-based issue. 

You can check out our detailed guide on iPhone screen repairs here

Also read: Problem with wireless adapter or access points? Here are 8 fixes

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