iPhone Personal Hotspot Not Working? Here’s The Fix!

Personal hotspot isn’t working on your iPhone and you’re not sure why. Personal hotspot lets you turn your iPhone into a Wi-Fi hotspot that other devices can connect to. In this article, I’ll explain why iPhone personal hotspot is not working and show you how to fix the problem for good!

How Do I Set Up Personal Hotspot On My iPhone?

Two things are required to set up a personal hotspot on your iPhone:

  1. An iPhone running iOS 7 or later.
  2. A cell phone plan that includes data for mobile hotspot.

If your iPhone and cell phone plan meet the qualifications, check out our other article to learn how to set up personal hotspot. If you’ve already set up personal hotspot, but it’s not working on your iPhone, follow the steps below to fix the problem!

Turn Cellular Data Off And Back On

Personal hotspot uses cellular data to turn your iPhone into a Wi-Fi hotspot. When other devices connect to your personal hotspot and browse the web, they use the cellular data on your cell phone plan. Sometimes turning cellular data off and back on can fix a minor software glitch preventing personal hotspot from working on your iPhone.

turn off cellular data on iphone

Check For Carrier Settings Update

Your wireless carrier and Apple regularly release carrier settings updates to improve your iPhone’s ability to connect to your carrier’s network. Go to Settings -> General -> About to see if a new carrier settings update is available. If one is, a pop-up will appear within about fifteen seconds. If no pop-up appears, then a carrier settings update probably isn’t available.

Carrier Settings Update On iPhone

Restart Your iPhone

Restarting your iPhone is a common solution for a variety of problems. All the programs on your iPhone shut down naturally when you turn it off, which can fix minor software glitches and errors.

To turn off an iPhone 8 or earlier, press and hold the power button until slide to power off appears on the display. Swipe the red and white power icon from left to right to turn off your iPhone. Press and hold the power button again to turn your iPhone back on.

To turn off an iPhone X or newer, simultaneously press and hold either volume button and the side button until slide to power off appears on the display. Slide the red and white power icon from left to right to shut down your iPhone. To turn your iPhone on again, press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears.

slide to power off iphone x

Update iOS On Your iPhone

iPhones running iOS 7 or later are capable of using personal hotspot, as long as its included with your cell phone plan. Outdated versions of iOS can lead to a variety of software problems, so it’s important to always keep your iPhone up to date.

Open Settings and tap General -> Software Update to check if a new iOS update is available. Tap Download and Install if an iOS update is available. Check out our other article if you have any problems updating your iPhone!

update iphone to ios 12

Reset Your iPhone’s Network Settings

Resetting the network settings on your iPhone erases all of its Cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and VPN settings and restores them back to factory defaults. Resetting all Cellular settings to factory defaults could fix a complex software issue if iPhone personal hotspot is not working. Rather than trying to track down that complex software problem, we’re just completely erasing it from your iPhone!

To reset network settings, open Settings and tap General -> Reset. Then, tap Reset Network Settings. You’ll be prompted to tap Reset Network Settings again to confirm your decision. Your iPhone will turn off, perform the reset, and turn back on.

reset then reset network settings iphone

Put Your iPhone In DFU Mode

The final step you can do to completely rule out a software problem is a DFU restore, the deepest type of iPhone restore. A DFU restore erases and reloads every line of code on your iPhone. Before putting your iPhone in DFU, we strongly recommend creating a backup so you don’t lose any of your data, files, or information.

Check out our step-by-step DFU restore guide when you’re ready to put your iPhone in DFU mode!

Contact Your Wireless Carrier

If personal hotspot still isn’t working, there’s likely a problem with your cell phone plan or the hardware of your iPhone. We recommend contacting your wireless carrier before going to the Apple Store. If you go to the Apple Store first, they’ll probably just tell you to talk to your carrier.

If your cell phone plan recently changed, or if it needs to be renewed, it could be the reason why iPhone personal hotspot is not working. Here are the customer support numbers of the four major carriers in the United States:

  • AT&T: 1-800-331-0500
  • T-Mobile: 1-800-866-2453
  • Verizon: 1-800-922-0204

If you have a different wireless carrier, go their name plus “customer support” to find the phone number or website you’re looking for.

Visit The Apple Store

If you’ve contacted your carrier and there’s nothing wrong with your cell phone plan, it’s time to reach out to Apple. You can contact Apple support online, over the phone, or by setting up an appointment at the brick-and-mortar location near you. It’s possible that an antenna inside your iPhone has become damaged, preventing you from using cellular data for a personal hotspot.

It’s Getting Hotspot In Here

Personal hotspot is working again and you can set up your own Wi-Fi hotspot again. Now you’ll know what to do next time iPhone personal hotspot is not working! If you have any other questions, leave them in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading,
David L.

About Author

I'm here to help you with your iPhone!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
26 days ago

Hello there. I’d just like to take a moment to say thank you for this article. The toggling of cellular data worked to have my hotspot actually show up on other devices’ WiFi network lists! I appreciate the resource. Take care.

Liam Shotwell
24 days ago
Reply to  Joel

I’m glad we were able to help! 😊

Trizah Maina
6 months ago

I can’t use my personal hotspot on my 6s

6 months ago

Hello,How do I switch on personal hotspot on iPad mini

Liam Shotwell
6 months ago
Reply to  Robert
7 months ago

im trying to play video games or trying to do homework with my hotspot but like every 5 min it keeps disconnecting for no reason. It’s so frustrating and I can’t do anything. I did all the steps and still doesn’t work.

7 months ago

I have the IOS14 on my iPhone 11 and I cant open or see a hotspot thing to open, can u plz make an article about how I can downgrade my iOS update without a computer ?

8 months ago

I use unifi plan than until now i cant share my personal hotspot in this iphone

WAn Amin Ariff
3 months ago
Reply to  Namj

Untill sekarang tak boleh ke?sebab alami masalah yang sama juga ni.ip6

WAn Amin Ariff Bin
3 months ago
Reply to  Namj

So how u solve the problem?facing same problem with my ip6

11 months ago

followed your steps and my hotspot now works. thank you

11 months ago

My hotspot still won’t connect. Tried it all. Perhaps a bug with version 13.3.1?

8 months ago
Reply to  Udi

Change the name of the network (IT CANNOT BE iPhone)

11 months ago

Nothing seems to work. I am having trouble connecting to WiF too. My phone either doesn’t pick them up or they aren’t strong enough, but on my iPad it’s those same WiFi connections are fine.

1 year ago

My hotspot does not stop searching