How to fix iPhone hotspot not working on Windows

Is your PC having trouble connecting to Personal Hotspot on your iPhone? You do not have Internet access even after establishing a connection? Or does it randomly disconnect from the iPhone? Compared to a Mac, using the iPhone’s Personal Hotspot on Windows can often result in an inconspicuous experience.

Regardless, you can work your way through a variety of troubleshooting methods when your iPhone hotspot isn’t working. Please ignore any fixes below that don’t apply to your case.

Turn on Personal Hotspot on iPhone

Personal Hotspot on iPhone doesn’t always work by default for non-Apple devices. If your computer cannot detect your iPhone’s hotspot over Wi-Fi, you must enable it manually.

The fastest way is to open the Control Center by swiping down to the top right of the screen; if you use an iPhone with Touch ID, swipe up from the bottom. Then press and hold Mobile icon and tap Personal hotspot to turn it on.

Your iPhone should show up in the list of available Wi-Fi hotspots on your PC. Don’t exit your iPhone’s Control Center until you’re done connecting to it.

Alternatively, you can enter Setting > Personal hotspot on iPhone. That will automatically make Personal Hotspot discoverable on your PC.

Enable/Disable Airplane Mode on iPhone and PC

If your PC doesn’t detect your iPhone’s hotspot, try turning Airplane Mode on and off on both iPhone and PC. Usually, that eliminates any minor connectivity issues that prevent your iPhone from emitting the hotspot or your PC from detecting it.

The option to enable/disable Airplane Mode is available on Control Center and Notification Center of your iPhone and PC respectively.

Restart iPhone and PC

Putting Airplane Mode aside, restarting your iPhone and PC is another way to fix weird hotspot and Wi-Fi related problems. If you haven’t done it yet, do it now before moving on to the rest of the fixes.

Forget iPhone Personal Hotspot on PC

If you’ve previously connected to your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot on Windows, make your PC ‘forget’ it. In most cases, that should help Windows detect it again.

Open Begin menu and go to Setting > Internet > WIFI > Manage known networks. Then select your iPhone from the list of available networks and select Forget.

Turn on your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot again and open your PC WIFI to see if it shows up inside. If yes, enter your password (you can find it in Setting > Personal hotspot) and create a connection.

Change Personal Hotspot Password on iPhone

Does your computer refuse to accept the password you enter when trying to join your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot? Go Setting > Personal hotspot > Wifi network password and change it to something else.

Make sure not to include any non-ASCII characters in the password as that can also prevent Windows from connecting to your iPhone hotspot.

Change iPhone name

Don’t underestimate the fact that if your iPhone’s hotspot isn’t working, you may just have selected the wrong iPhone to connect to. Try renaming your iPhone to a more recognizable name by going to Setting > Shared > About > Name.

Run the network and Internet troubleshooter on your PC

If you continue to have problems connecting to your iPhone’s hotspot, use the built-in software Adapters troubleshooter to detect and fix network-related problems on your computer. If you can establish a connection but have other problems (such as not being able to access the internet), run Network connections the troubleshooter instead.

You can find both debuggers are listed below Begin > Setting > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional debugger.

Turn off low power mode on iPhone

Have you enabled Low Power Mode on your iPhone? It limits various iOS functions to save power and may cause Personal Hotspot to work properly.

Go Setting > Batteryturn off the side switch Low battery modeand see if that helps.

Clear DNS Cache on PC

If you can connect your computer to your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot but can’t access the internet, clear the DNS (Domain Name System) cache on your PC. To do that, open a Command Prompt console (type cmd go to the Start menu and select Open) and run the following command:

ipconfig /flushdns

Turn off low data mode on iPhone

iPhone’s Low Data Mode restricts mobile data usage. While it doesn’t affect Personal Hotspot directly, it’s recommended to turn it off if you experience frequent disconnections. Go Setting > Mobile > Mobile data options to turn off Low data mode.

Update wireless network adapter

If you continue to have problems with your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot not working, you should consider updating your PC’s wireless network adapter driver.

Right click on Begin button, select Equipment managementand expand Adapters section to find out its make and model. Then try searching for the latest drivers on the manufacturer’s website and install them.

Alternatively, you can use the driver update tool to get the latest hardware drivers for your PC.

Update iOS and Windows

Outdated versions of iOS and Windows can cause all kinds of problems. If you haven’t updated the system software on your iPhone and PC recently, try doing it now.

Update iPhone

Go Setting > Shared > Software updates and choose Download and install to install the latest iOS updates.

Update PC

Go Begin > Setting > Update & Security > Check for updates and install all pending updates. Also, install any hardware driver updates in See optional updates.

Reset network settings on iPhone and PC

Resetting network settings on your iPhone and PC can also help resolve connectivity issues caused by corrupted configurations. You’ll lose any saved Wi-Fi networks and VPN settings after the reset, so be prepared to spend time setting things up from scratch afterwards.

Reset network settings on iPhone

Go Setting > Shared > Reset and choose Reset Network Settings.

Reset network settings on PC

Go Begin > Setting > Internet > Status > Network reset and choose Reset now. For complete instructions, see how to reset network settings on PC.

Connect via Bluetooth or USB

If you’re still having trouble joining or using your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot, try establishing a Bluetooth or USB connection. Then you can access the Internet on your PC just like you would over Wi-Fi.

Connect by Bluetooth

1. Go to Begin > Setting > Device > Bluetooth and other devices.

2. Select Add Bluetooth or other device and select your iPhone.

3. Press Pair and Link on your iPhone and PC, respectively.

4. Select Bluetooth in your PC’s system tray and select Join the personal area network right to buy.

5. Right click on your iPhone and select Connect with > Access point.

Connect via USB

1. Download and install iTunes (if you haven’t already) on your PC.

2. Open iTunes. Then connect your iPhone and Trust your computer.

3. Open Ethernet on your PC’s system tray and connect to your iPhone.

Note: Then you don’t need to open iTunes to use your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot.

Start using Personal Hotspot on your PC

Connecting Personal Hotspot between iPhone and PC isn’t the smoothest, but most of the fixes and tips above should improve the overall experience. If you know anything else that could help, do share in the comments section below.

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