How to fix iPhone Personal Hotspot not working on Mac

Your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot is readily available on your Mac. However, at times, iPhone hotspot may not work on Mac or even show up on the Wi-Fi screen.

If you cannot connect your Mac or other devices to your iPhone or cellular iPad’s Personal Hotspot, this guide will help fix the problem.

Fix Personal Hotspot broken between iPhone and Mac

Keep devices in range without obstructions

Your iPhone’s hotspot isn’t as powerful as a Wi-Fi router. So, keep your iPhone and your Mac nearby, such as on the same table or room.

Disconnect extra devices from Personal Hotspot

If too many devices are connected to your iPhone’s hotspot, it may not accept a new connection, fail when you try to connect, or offer abysmal speeds.

Here’s how to see the number of devices connected to your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot:

  1. Open iPhone Control Center.
  2. Press the first box on the top left until it expands.
  3. Here, you will see the number of devices connected to your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot. If the number is more than two, I recommend you disconnect some devices or turn off Personal Hotspot and turn it back on, which will disconnect the connected devices.
See number of connected devices on iPhone Hotspot

Allow others to join iPhone Personal Hotspot

  1. Go to iPhone Settings and tap Cellular. In some regions like Europe and India, it’s called Mobile Data.
  2. Tap Personal Hotspot.
  3. Make sure Allow Others to Join is enabled.
Allow Others to Join Personal Hotspot on iPhone

Stay longer on the iPhone Personal Hotspot settings screen

Do the following if your iPhone Personal Hotspot isn’t showing on the Wi-Fi screen of your Mac when you’re trying to connect:

  1. Open iPhone Settings and tap Personal Hotspot. If you don’t see it, tap Cellular > Personal Hotspot.
  2. Just stay on this screen for a while. In a few seconds, you should see your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot appear as a potential source of internet on the Wi-Fi screen of your Mac or other devices.

Choose the right iPhone – your iPhone

Your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot name is the same as your iPhone name. Go to Settings > General > About > Name to see it. You can also change it to something unique instead of the general “iPhone.”

On your Mac’s Wi-Fi screen, correctly select your iPhone, and it should connect.

Wi-Fi on Mac

Disable and enable Personal Hotspot

  1. Go to iPhone Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot.
  2. Turn off Allow Others to Join.
  3. Wait for about 15 seconds.
  4. Turn on Allow Others to Join.
  5. Now, try connecting to the iPhone’s Personal Hotspot, and it should be successful.

Enable and disable iPhone’s Airplane Mode

Open the iOS Control Center and tap the airplane icon. After about 15 seconds, tap the same airplane icon to disable this mode. Now, your Mac or other devices should no longer have problems connecting to your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot.

Airplane mode on and off on iPhone

Turn off Wi-Fi & Bluetooth and enable them in one tap

The following steps help me in over 80% of situations when Personal Hotspot isn’t working on my iPhone. Make sure you remember this trick to solve your future hotspot issues.

  1. Go to iPhone Settings and turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Don’t use the Control Center to disable Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
  2. In the Settings app, go to Cellular > Personal Hotspot.
  3. Turn off Allow Others to Join.
  4. Now, turn on Allow Others to Join.
  5. From the popup, tap Turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot should now show on other devices, ready to connect, without any trouble.
Turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth via Personal Hotspot settings on iPhone

Disable and enable cellular connection

Open iPhone Control Center and tap the green cellular button. After about 15 seconds, tap it again. You can do the same from iPhone Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data.

Turn Mac’s Wi-Fi off and back on

Turn off the Wi-Fi on your Mac or the device you’re trying to connect to the iPhone’s Personal Hotspot. After a few seconds, turn it back on, and now you should see your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot in the list of network connections (given you have followed the recommendations mentioned above).

Restart your iPhone or cellular iPad

This golden solution should bring luck if the above fixes don’t. Turn off your iPhone and turn it back on, which should repair its Personal Hotspot issues. In case the problem continues, restart your Mac or the other device where you’re trying to use the hotspot.

Turn on Maximize Compatibility on iPhone 12 or later

If your old Mac or other devices cannot connect to Personal Hotspot on iPhone 12 or iPhone 13, go to the Settings app > Cellular > Personal Hotspot and turn on Maximize Compatibility. Now, you should see your iPhone 12 or later’s Personal Hotspot on your Mac, and it should have no problem connecting.

Maximize Compatibility in Personal Hotspot settings on iPhone

Check your cellular connection

Open Safari on your iPhone and visit a webpage to check if cellular data is working here or not.

Secondly, did you recently switch carriers? Are you using a new SIM card or port your old SIM to a new carrier? In these situations, make sure your new carrier allows Personal Hotspot. Most carriers do, but some particular carriers or one of their cheaper data plans may not allow Personal Hotspot. As a result, you will see that the Personal Hotspot toggle is grayed out. In this case, contact your carrier and ask for an explanation.

Finally, open your carrier’s app or dial the applicable code to ensure you don’t have any pending bills and have sufficient data allowance.

Check for a carrier settings update

From time to time, your carrier issues updates, and if these are outdated, you might have a bunch of issues with Personal Hotspot, calls, SMS texts, MMS, etc. Follow this tutorial to ensure you have the latest carrier update on your iPhone.

Update your iPhone

Are you running an older version of iOS? Go to Settings > General > Software Update and get the latest update.

Forget iPhone Hotspot on the device and reconnect

1) Go to Mac’s System Preferences > Network and select Wi-Fi from the left sidebar.

2) Click Advanced.

3) Under Wi-Fi, select your iPhone’s name and click the tiny minus button > Remove.

4) Click OK.

5) Click Apply.

Forget iPhone Personal Hotspot on Mac

6) Now, go to iPhone Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot and stay on this screen. Make sure Allow Others to Join is enabled.

7) Click the Wi-Fi icon on your Mac and then click your iPhone’s name. Enter the iPhone’s Personal Hotspot that you see in step 6 or tap Share Hotspot if that card appears on your iPhone.

Share Personal Hotspot password from iPhone to Mac

Reset iPhone Network Settings

This is one of the sure-shot ways to fix Personal Hotspot issues on your iPhone. You can know all about network reset here. To recap, go to iPhone Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Once it completes, troubles with your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot should no longer exist!

Reset Network Settings iPhone

iPhone Personal Hotspot still not working on Mac?

By now, you should have no problem connecting your Mac to your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot. If the crisis continues, please make sure you have followed the solutions above carefully. And if you have already done that with no luck, do the following.

iPhone Bluetooth connection on Mac

  1. Go to Mac’s System Preferences > Bluetooth.
  2. Right-click on the iPhone’s name and choose Remove.
  3. Restart your Mac.
  4. Connect your Mac to the iPhone’s Personal Hotspot, and it should function flawlessly.
Remove iPhone from Mac's Bluetooth Settings

Sign out of iCloud on your iPhone and sign in again

Follow these steps to sign out of your Apple ID or iCloud on your iPhone and sign in again.

Reset all settings

Earlier, you were asked to reset the iPhone’s network settings, and since that didn’t help, go ahead and reset all settings, which should fix the Personal Hotspot issues.

Use iPhone Personal Hotspot over USB cable

Finally, if nothing helps, you can use wired iPhone Personal Hotspot:

1) Connect your iPhone to your Mac using the Lightning cable.

2) Open iPhone Settings (not the Control Center) and turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

3) Inside iPhone Settings, tap Cellular > Personal Hotspot and turn off Allow Others to Join if it’s already on.

4) Turn on Allow Others to Join and tap USB Only.

USB Only Personal Hotspot on iPhone

5) Give it a few seconds, and now you can use wired Personal Hotspot from your iPhone to your Mac. To confirm, go to Mac’s System Preferences > Network, and you should see a green dot next to iPhone USB.

iPhone USB in Mac Network Preferences

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