How to fix Personal Hotspot that is not working on the Apple iPhone XS Max [Troubleshooting Guide]

With Personal Hotspot, you can share your cellular data connection of your iPhone with other Wi-Fi devices like iPads and laptops. This is often needed when you’re in an area where no free Wi-Fi is available and all you’ve got is your iPhone to serve as the router. You can use Personal Hotspot on your iPhone in three different set ups including Wi-Fi, USB and Bluetooth. With Personal Hotspot via Wi-Fi, Internet sharing is done wirelessly or through Wi-Fi. With Personal Hotspot via USB, Internet sharing is done through Ethernet cable. And Personal Hotspot via Bluetooth, Internet sharing is done through Bluetooth pairing/connection. The entire connection process basically involves enabling cellular data on your iPhone and Personal Hotspot on both your iPhone and other device you want to connect. Once the main features are enabled, Internet sharing should be all set.

However, things may not always be that simple as random flaws exist. In case you will have troubles using Personal Hotspot on your iPhone XS Max, I’ve lined up some helpful workarounds you can use to troubleshoot and resolve the issue. Read on and get help when needed.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you are looking for a solution to a different issue, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed some of the most common problems reported by our readers. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help after that, then feel free to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

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How to troubleshoot iPhone XS Max with Personal Hotspot that’s not working

Before troubleshooting, check and ensure that Personal Hotspot is enabled by your wireless carrier on your account and that your wireless plan supports it. Also make sure that Personal Hotspot is properly set up and enabled on your device.

First solution: Toggle Personal Hotspot off and on.

Random glitches affecting Personal Hotspot are often remedied by refreshing or turning the feature OFF and then back ON again. So consider this as your first possible solution to try on. Here’s how to manage Personal Hotspot settings on your iPhone XS Max:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select Personal Hotspot.
  3. Toggle the switch to turn Personal Hotspot off and then turn back ON.

Aside from Personal Hotspot, cellular data must also be enabled on your iPhone XS Max.

To access and manage this setting, go to your iPhone Settings-> Cellular menu, then toggle the Cellular Data switch to enable the feature. If Cellular Data is already enabled but Personal Hotspot is still not working, turn Cellular Data off and then back on again.

On your other device, try applying these tweaks:

  1. Disable or turn off Personal Hotspot.
  2. Sign out from iCloud.
  3. Restart your other device.
  4. Sign in to iCloud again.
  5. Then re-enable Personal Hotspot.

After refreshing and enabling Personal Hotspot on both your iPhone XS Max and other device, retry connecting through Wi-Fi.

Second solution: Restart or soft reset your iPhone XS Max.

Minor software errors on your iPhone XS Max may also affect wireless network functions and cause Personal Hotspot to fail. To clear this out, restarting the phone or performing a soft reset is recommended. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears.
  3. Drag the power off slider to the right.
  4. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power button or Side button again until the phone reboots.

Restarting the other device that you want to connect to your iPhone XS Max personal hotspot is also encouraged to clear out minor software errors that might have prevented it from connecting to your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot.

Third solution: Install the latest iOS version available.

Random bugs that might have caused errors to the Personal Hotspot feature of your iPhone XS Max can also be rid of by installing the latest iOS update available. New updates usually offer fix patches to clear out existing system problems caused by random bugs and malwares. If your iPhone can access the Internet through Wi-Fi network, then try checking for new updates to download and install on your iPhone XS Max. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Software Update.

If an update is available, you should see an update notification highlighting the update features and software version. Read and review all the information the back up all critical files you saved on the phone memory to iCloud or iTunes. After creating backup files, select the option to Download and Install new update.

After installing the update, reboot/soft reset your iPhone XS Max to apply the latest platform changes. Then check to enable Cellular Data and Personal Hotspot on your iPhone XS Max, if necessary. And then retry connecting your other device. If that doesn’t help, then you can try the next applicable workarounds.

Fourth solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off.

This is another simple old trick you can try to get rid of minor errors affecting the phone’s wireless radios including Cellular data and Personal Hotspot. It works by giving a quick restart to the Wi-Fi features on the phone. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select Airplane Mode.
  3. Toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn the feature ON. This will disable wireless radios on the phone.
  4. While Airplane mode is enabled, turn your iPhone off and then back on again.
  5. After it boots up, go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  6. Then toggle the switch to disable Airplane Mode again. Wireless radios on the phone are then re-enabled.

After performing the Airplane mode, go to your iPhone Settings->Cellular menu, then make sure that Cellular Data is enabled. If necessary, toggle the switch to enable the feature.

Fifth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XS Max.

This will erase your Wi-Fi networks, and other network-related settings and server settings on the phone. Network errors and Internet problems that are tied to incorrect network configurations are likewise cleared out in the process. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset network settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

Your iPhone will reboot automatically when the reset is finished. As soon as it boots up, set up and reconnect to your Wi-Fi network or enable Cellular Data and Personal Hotspot to retry using and sharing your Internet connection with your other devices.

Seek more help

Contact your network service provider or carrier for further assistance and other recommendations if none of the prior methods is able to get Personal Hotspot to work on your iPhone XS Max. There may be something that needs to be done on their end to enable Personal Hotspot for your account.

If the problem occurs after installing an update, then you may escalate it to Apple Support so they can make further assessments and if necessary, develop a fix patch to solve the problem. If you see any error codes or warning messages, take note of the information and relay that to the Support team so they can use it as clue in determining what went wrong and what needs to be done in order to fix it.


Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XS Max smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone XS Max. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.