How to Enable a Hotspot on an iPhone

Imagine that you’re going on a road trip and need to send an email urgently or find an important document online. Sure, you can use the phone, but wouldn’t it be easier to do it through a full-sized device? What can you do if you’re stuck without an internet connection?

Simple, use the hotspot on your iPhone. Wi-Fi tethering turns a compatible smartphone into an internet hotspot. It allows other devices to connect to the hotspot with a couple of clicks.

It’s simpler than you think too. Let’s get started.

How to Setup a Hotspot on an iPhone XR, XS, iPhone 11, or iPhone 12?

Although the iPhone XR, XS, and iPhone 11 were released a year apart, how to enable a hotspot remains the same as it’s dependent on the operating. Of course, that goes for the iPhone 12 too. To set up a hotspot on the newer iPhones, here’s what you should

  1. On your iPhone, find ‘Settings.’

  2. Look for the ‘Wi-Fi’ icon and tap on it. Since you’ll be using your phone’s mobile data, you need to toggle the ‘Wi-Fi’ button so that it’s off (if not, it’ll ask you to do so later).

  3. Now, go back and tap on ‘Mobile Data.’

  4. Toggle the ‘Mobile Data’ button so that it’s turned on (if it’s not already on).

  5. Once you do that, you’ll notice ‘Personal Hotspot’ below. Click on it.

  6. Switch on the ‘Allow Others to Join’ button.

  7. You’ll get a message asking you whether to turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth or USB only. Tap on the first option.

  8. There’s also an auto-generated password displayed below ‘Allow Others to Join.’ You must remember it.

That’s it. Your iPhone is working as a hotspot. It’s now possible to connect other devices to it. We’ll get back to this soon.

How to Setup a Hotspot on an iPhone 6, iPhone 7, or iPhone 8?

Those with an older iPhone might wonder if enabling a hotspot follows the same steps. Once again, the procedure is going to be the same across all those devices because it’s dependent on the OS, not the phone.

But besides the steps above, there’s another way to set up a hotspot on all iPhones. When users don’t use their mobile data, the ‘Personal Hotspot’ option isn’t available. However, if you have your mobile data on, here’s what you can do:

  1. On your iPhone, open ‘Settings.’

  2. Then, you’ll see that ‘Personal Hotspot’ isn’t grey anymore. That means it’s possible to enable it. Click on it.

  3. Toggle the ‘Allow Others to Join’ button to switch it on.
  4. When you’re asked to turn on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and USB only, click on the first option.

  5. Remember the pre-generated password displayed below.

Once you follow these steps, the phone’s connection will be visible to nearby devices. However, users won’t be able to access the network unless they know the password. This brings us to the next step – connecting other devices to your iPhone’s hotspot.

How to Connect a Device to an iPhone’s Hotspot?

Once the hotspot on the iPhone is enabled, it’s time to connect a device to it. Find the respective ‘Wi-Fi’ menu on your phone or computer. If you’re using a Mac, it’ll be in the right upper part of the menu bar. Windows users should look for it in the bottom right. The icon for a Wi-Fi connection is on the taskbar. Finally, if you want to connect to the hotspot on a phone, you should open the ‘Wi-Fi’ settings.

Once in the ‘Wi-Fi’ settings, there’ll be the name of the iPhone’s hotspot. Here’s what to do next:

  1. To connect to the hotspot, tap on this new connection.
  2. You’ll need to enter the pre-generated password.
  3. Once you do that, wait for a few moments for the connection to complete. The device is now using your iPhone’s hotspot.

Changing the Hotspot Name

The hotspot on an iPhone is, by default, the name of the phone itself. To make it easier to find the network, it might be useful to change the name. You can change it to something unique and memorable to you. Here are the steps:

  1. Head over to ‘Settings.’

  2. Scroll down to ‘General’ and click on it.

  3. Tap on ‘About.’

  4. You’ll see the name of your phone next to ‘Name.’ Select it.

  5. Finally, give it another name.

Note: The default name is usually [Your name]’s iPhone.

How Many Devices Can You Connect to a Hotspot?

Generally speaking, iPhone models from the 4S and up can support up to five devices. However, additional devices will put more demand on the hotspot. If you need a hotspot for something important, you may not want to share it with other people.

As for Androids, most of them can accommodate up to 10 devices.

Where Can You Turn on Your Hotspot?

As long as the signal is strong enough, you can use a hotspot. If your mobile data is working, it doesn’t matter if you’re on a train, in a car, at home, or in another city. For example, if the Wi-Fi at home or the office starts to go south, there’s no need to panic. You can enable a hotspot on your iPhone and get on with it.

Is a Hotspot Secure?

In reality, using a hotspot may improve security, especially compared to public hotspots. For those using 4G, it’s protected with a 128-bit encryption key.

What’s more, the hotspot is protected with a password. With a unique combination of characters in place, you control who gets access to the hotspot.

Additional FAQ

How do I update my iPhone hotspot password?

The hotspot password is auto-generated. It consists of a random set of characters that’s near impossible to crack. But that also means that it’s impossible to remember. For convenience, you can change it to something easier to remember as follows:u003cbru003e • Open ‘Settings.’u003cbru003eu003cimg class=u0022wp-image-151157u0022 style=u0022width: 300px;u0022 src=u0022 alt=u0022u0022u003eu003cbru003eu003cbru003e • Tap on ‘Mobile Data’ and toggle the button to turn it on.u003cbru003eu003cimg class=u0022wp-image-151167u0022 style=u0022width: 300px;u0022 src=u0022 alt=u0022u0022u003eu003cbru003eu003cbru003e • Then, tap on ‘Personal Hotspot.’u003cbru003eu003cimg class=u0022wp-image-151165u0022 style=u0022width: 300px;u0022 src=u0022 alt=u0022u0022u003eu003cbru003eu003cbru003e • Look for ‘Wi-Fi Password’ and hit it.u003cbru003eu003cimg class=u0022wp-image-151166u0022 style=u0022width: 300px;u0022 src=u0022 alt=u0022u0022u003eu003cbru003eu003cbru003e • Enter the new password in the ‘Password’ field.u003cbru003eu003cimg class=u0022wp-image-151163u0022 style=u0022width: 300px;u0022 src=u0022 alt=u0022u0022u003eu003cbru003eu003cbru003e • Finally, click on ‘Done.’u003cbru003eu003cimg class=u0022wp-image-151161u0022 style=u0022width: 300px;u0022 src=u0022 alt=u0022u0022u003eu003cbru003eu003cbru003eu003cbru003eNote: The password must be at least eight characters long. It can contain upper and lowercases.

How does using a hotspot on the iPhone count against my data cap with ATu0026amp;T, Verizon, and Sprint?

It counts against your mobile data. Once you’ve used that up, you’ll still be able to connect to the internet or use the hotspot, but the connection will be painfully slow. However, it’s possible to add more data for the month if you need it. You’ll have to check with the carrier.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eTo find out the amount of data used by the hotspot, here’s what you can do:u003cbru003e • Open the ‘Settings’ app.u003cbru003eu003cimg class=u0022wp-image-151157u0022 style=u0022width: 300px;u0022 src=u0022 alt=u0022u0022u003eu003cbru003eu003cbru003e • Tap on ‘Mobile Data.’u003cbru003eu003cimg class=u0022wp-image-151167u0022 style=u0022width: 300px;u0022 src=u0022 alt=u0022u0022u003eu003cbru003eu003cbru003e • Then, scroll down until you find ‘Personal Hotspot.’u003cbru003eu003cimg class=u0022wp-image-151165u0022 style=u0022width: 300px;u0022 src=u0022 alt=u0022u0022u003eu003cbru003eu003cbru003e • Tap on it to see its mobile data usage.u003cbru003eu003cimg class=u0022wp-image-151173u0022 style=u0022width: 300px;u0022 src=u0022 alt=u0022u0022u003eu003cbru003e

Is there a way I can quickly turn the hotspot on and off on the iPhone?

When you’re driving a car or something, know that turning a hotspot on and off can be done quickly through shortcuts. Follow these steps:u003cbru003e • Depending on the model of your iPhone, you can swipe from the top down or the bottom up to open the ‘Control Center.’u003cbru003e • Look for the section with an airplane icon, mobile data, Bluetooth, and a Wi-Fi icon.u003cbru003e • Hold it for a moment to expand.u003cbru003e • You’ll see a ‘Personal Hotspot’ icon with the description.u003cbru003e • Tap on it to turn it on.u003cbru003e • To turn it off, simply tap on it again.

Using an iPhone as a Hotspot

With the promise of internet connection for laptops and other devices on the go, more people are using hotspots on their iPhones. They can take their work to the beach or when the Wi-Fi at home is acting up.

How about you? How often do you use a hotspot? Why do you usually need it? Share your experience in the comments section below.

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