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Fix Mobile Hotspot or Personal Hotspot That Is Not Working on Apple iPhone SE [Troubleshooting Guide]

Just like what other contemporary devices offer, Apple’s special edition iPhone, otherwise known as the iPhone SE also supports personal hotspot feature that allows users to share internet or cellular data connection on the iPhone to other iOS devices or computers and vice versa. For this to happen, you need to set up Personal Hotspot on your devices beforehand.

Once you’ve it setup and enabled on your device, you can start connecting to Personal Hotspot through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB. It should be that simple considering that everything is working fine. But what if all of a sudden you just couldn’t get Personal Hotspot to work on your iPhone? If you happen to land into this page while searching for answers to the same question, then you might as well consider reading the entire content as it highlights some suggested workarounds and potential solutions to a problem in which Personal Hotspot is not working on the iPhone SE. While these are just generic solutions, many of those who have encountered similar issues on the same device were able to obtain a resolution using these methods. It won’t hurt if you give it a try on your end and see how it works.

Now, before we proceed with our troubleshooting, if you have other concerns with your new iPhone SE, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already published some guides and tutorials. You may also contact us by completing our iPhone issues questionnaire. This is a free consultation servicer we offer and all we need is information about the problem. So please give us that so that we can help you better. 

Factors that can trigger issues to occur when using Personal Hotspot on your iPhone SE

Before jumping to troubleshooting the problem, it is imperative to understand the underlying cause. Determining the possible cause(s) is the key to finding the right or best applicable solution. This concept applies to mobile devices regardless of the operating system they are running on. Doing so will give you a clue on what went wrong and where to start when troubleshooting. So let’s start with the requisites of using Personal Hotspot on your iPhone.

For Personal Hotspot to work on your iOS device, an active Wi-Fi or Cellular Data connection is required. If something is wrong with any of these connections, then most likely you will also be having trouble with Personal Hotspot. Thus, be sure to consider this factor when you troubleshoot.

There are also other cases where Personal Hotspot is missing or not available on the iPhone simply because the service is not enabled by your wireless carrier or the feature is not supported in your wireless plan. To rule this out from the possible causes, contact your wireless carrier for verification of supported services in your current subscription.

Another possible culprit is a faulty update. This is what happened to some iOS device users who suddenly bumped into the same problem after installing the latest iOS update on their respective devices including the iPhone SE. This however is inevitable given that updates may also contain some bugs that can affect certain features or overall functions of the device upon implementation.

Other factors to consider are Bluetooth issues when using Personal Hotspot over Bluetooth. A faulty USB or unsecured USB connections is also deemed among the possible culprits particularly for those using Personal Hotspot over USB.

What to do if Personal Hotspot is not working on your iPhone SE?

Now that we’ve already tackled the possible causes, it’s time to troubleshoot the problem and try any of the potential solutions and recommended workarounds highlighted below.

First things to do and check:

 

  • Verify and ensure that Personal Hotspot is enabled on your iPhone SE. There are two ways for you to do so. You can navigate to Settings-> Personal Hotspot menu or head over to Settings-> Cellular-> Personal Hotspot. Make sure it is turned on. Otherwise, toggle the switch to enable the feature. Again, if you can’t find Personal Hotspot on any of these settings menu on your iPhone SE, contact your wireless carrier and verify if Personal Hotspot is supported in your plan.
  • Also ensure that Cellular Data is enabled on your device. You can check by going to Settings-> Cellular-> Cellular Data. Toggle the switch next to Cellular Data to turn the feature on if needed.
  • Try to use other connections. Aside from Wi-Fi connectivity, you can also use either Bluetooth or USB connection for Personal Hotspot.
  • Reboot your iPhone or other device that provides Personal Hotspot. Doing so will re-establish a fresh connection and eliminates minor software glitches that might have affected internet sharing over Personal Hotspot among the connected devices.
  • Verify and ensure that your iPhone SE and your other devices have the latest iOS version installed. If not, consider updating them first.
  • Reset Network Settings on your iPhone SE or the device that provides Personal Hotspot. Any glitches that are triggered by network settings errors will be eradicated in the process. To do so, go to Settings-> General-> Reset-> Reset Network Settings. Please note though that this process will erase all network-related settings on your device including Wi-Fi networks and passwords. That being said, take note of this information before you proceed with the reset.

 

Solutions to Personal Hotspot problems with Wi-Fi

If you are using wireless connection and you can’t connect to Personal Hotspot or having trouble sharing the Internet with other devices using Personal Hotspot, here are a few potential solutions for you to try.

 

  • Navigate to Settings-> Personal Hotspot menu on the device that you want to connect to and make sure that it is turned on. Verify and ensure that the Wi-Fi password and name of the device are correct. Wait until you have connected your other device to the Wi-Fi network. On the device that needs to connect to Personal Hotspot over Wi-Fi, follow these steps:
  • Make sure that you are using the correct Wi-Fi network. To do so, verify that the network name is the same as the iOS device providing Personal Hotspot. You can check these details by heading over to Settings-> General-> About section on your iPhone SE.
  • If you are prompted with a password error when attempting to join or connect to Personal Hotspot, verify and ensure that the Wi-Fi password you entered is correct. You can view this information by going to Settings-> Personal Hotspot menu on the device that provides Personal Hotspot.
  • Check on the number of devices that are using the same Personal Hotspot. Some carriers imposed limits on the number of connections you can create. You can view how many devices are connected to the Personal Hotspot in the status bar of your iPhone SE or the source device. If necessary, limit the number to a maximum of three or two devices and then see what happens.
  • Toggle Wi-Fi off and back on, on the device that needs to connect to Personal Hotspot.

 

Solutions to Personal Hotspot issues with USB

If you can’t connect to Personal Hotspot on your iPhone SE with USB, make sure that your computer has the latest version of iTunes installed and runs the latest operating system available. You are certain that you’ve met these requirements but still cannot connect your Mac or Windows computer to Personal Hotspot with USB. If so, then here’s what to do.

For Mac computer:

 

  • Connect the computer to your iPhone SE or other device that provides Personal Hotspot. Be sure to use the supplied USB cable.
  • Open iTunes and wait for it to recognize your iOS device.
  • Navigate to System Preferences-> Network.
  • Select or click on iPhone USB on the left side panel of the screen. If you don’t see it, click the + sign and then add it in the list.

 

Note: Your Personal Hotspot might not activate if you already have a different network connection. To have it activated, uncheck the “Disable unless needed” box under Status.

  • Scroll down to the bottom left pane, then click the dropdown arrow next to the wheel-like figure (Settings icon).
  • Select Service Inactive from the given options.
  • Finally, click the option to Make Service Active. Doing so will enable the service.

For Windows PC:

 

  • Use the supplied USB cable to connect your Windows computer to the iPhone SE or device that provides Personal Hotspot.
  • Open iTunes and wait for it to recognize your iPhone.
  • Check and ensure that your internet computer on your computer is working fine. In case you’re having some trouble with the computer’s Internet connection, try to reboot the router and the computer.

 

Solutions to Personal Hotspot problems with Bluetooth

If you cannot connect to Personal Hotspot with Bluetooth on your iPhone SE or other device providing Personal Hotspot, it is possible that Bluetooth is not enabled or enabled but having some issues at the moment. Here are some possible solutions:

 

  • Go to Settings-> Bluetooth menu on your iPhone SE or device that provides Personal Hotspot. Make sure that Bluetooth is enabled. Toggle the Bluetooth switch to turn it on if needed.
  • On the device that needs to connect to Personal Hotspot, verify and ensure that Bluetooth is also enabled. Bluetooth settings can be accessed in different menus depending on the device you are using. On iOS devices, go to Settings-> Bluetooth menu. On Mac computers, you can access it through the Apple Menu-> System Preferences-> Bluetooth. And on Windows computers, you will need to click the Bluetooth icon in the Notification section, select Add a Bluetooth Device, and then follow the onscreen prompts to enable Bluetooth and pair your computer to your iPhone SE or the device that provides Personal Hotspot.

 

How to connect your Mac or Windows computer to Personal Hotspot with Bluetooth?

  • If you are using a computer with Mac as the operating system, click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar, select your iOS device that provides the Personal Hotspot, then select the option to Connect to Network. To view and confirm if you’re successfully connected, go to System Preferences-> Network. You should that the Status says Connected.
  • If you are using a Windows computer, click the Bluetooth icon in the Notification area, select the option to Join A Personal Network Area Network, right-click your device and hover your cursor over Connection Using. Doing so will show the Access Point option. Click Access Point to connect.

Other Recommended Workarounds to deal with Personal Hotspot issues using Bluetooth

If you still cannot connect to Personal Hotspot with Bluetooth, try to turn Bluetooth off and then back on, on both of your devices — computer and iOS. If that doesn’t work, try to reset the Personal Hotspot settings on your iOS device and your computer.

 

  • To reset Personal Hotspot settings on your iPhone SE or other iOS device, go to Settings-> Bluetooth. Tap the information icon (i) beside the name of the source of Personal Hotspot connection, then tap the option to Forget this Device. After doing so, restart the iOS device that needs to connect to Personal Hotspot.
  • To reset Personal Hotspot on Mac computer, click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar, select Bluetooth Preferences, then click the device the provides Personal Hotspot. Click the X icon to remove the selected device and then restart your computer.
  • To reset Personal Hotspot on Windows computer, click the Bluetooth icon in the Notification Area, select the option to Show Bluetooth Devices, then click the device the provides Personal Hotspot, click Remove and OK to confirm action. Restart your computer.

 

Seek More Help

If the problem persists and you still cannot connect to Personal Hotspot  on your iPhone SE, then at this point you should consider contacting your Internet service provider or Apple Support to escalate the problem and seek further assistance and recommendations.

Connect with us

Visit our troubleshooting page to view more solutions to other iPhone problems we have addressed in our prior posts. If you wish to reach our iOS support team for further assistance, then you may do so by filling up this form with all the required information. Be sure to provide us with the significant details of the issue that you need help with so we would be able to give you the best possible solutions and recommendations to try on.

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