I spent the holidays in a resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, which didn’t offer free Wi-Fi to its customers. If I wanted to get online, I had to pay a hefty price. Even worse, paying for this wi-fi plan would only allow me to connect one device. Signing out of a laptop to sign in from an iPhone simply wouldn’t work. Because I really wanted to get things done, I chose to pay for wi-fi on my MacBook Air.

Once I got Wi-Fi access on my MacBook Air, I figured I would probably be able to share this connection with my iPhone or iPad. After doing a bit of research, I found out that it was impossible for some reason to share my connection with my iPhone. However, it was possible to share it with my iPad.

Here is what I did to share my MacBook internet connection with my iPad

Before I go into the detailed steps, some of you might wonder why you would want to share a MacBook internet connection with an iPad. Well, as I described in the first couple paragraphs of this post, it does make sense in certain situations, such as when you’re on a restricted connection in a hotel for example.

As noted above, this doesn’t work with the iPhone. Trying to Pair with an iPhone to share the internet connection just wouldn’t work. I’m sure there are some valid technical reasons for this. Hopefully some of you can shed some light on this in the comment section.

How to share your Mac internet connection with your iPad

Step 1: On your MacBook, go to Apple > System Preferences > Bluetooth > Turn Bluetooth On.

Step 2: Turn Bluetooth On on your iPad.

Step 3: Your iPad should show up as a new device in the Bluetooth preferences of your MacBook. Click Pair. A six digit number will appear on your MacBook. This same number should show up on your iPad. Confirm the connection by tapping “Pair” on your iPad.

iPad Bluetooth MacBook pairing

Step 4: On your MacBook, go to Apple > System Preferences > Sharing, and do the following, as showed on the screenshot below.

  • Click on “Internet Sharing” from the menu on the left. Do not check the box yet!
  • Select: Share your connection from “Wi-Fi” from the dropdown menu
  • Check: To computers using “Bluetooth PAN”
  • Check the “Internet Sharing” box from the menu on the left
  • When asked if you’re sure you want to share your connection, select “Start”

share Mac wifi with iPad

At this point, you should be able to get online on your iPad. Obviously, for this to work, your MacBook will have to be awake and connected to the internet.

Now for the story, I ended up paying again for internet because I couldn’t stand that my iPhone wasn’t connected at all time. So yes, I paid for both my laptop and iPhone. It was well worth the price though, especially if you saw these beautiful pictures I shared on Instagram. I’m being sarcastic, of course.

Now do you know a better way to turn your Mac into a Wi-Fi hotspot? Maybe more importantly, do you know how to share that internet connection with an iPhone?