How to fix Personal Hotspot that’s not working, won’t activate on Apple iPhone XR [Troubleshooting Guide]

You can share your Internet connection (cellular data connection) from your iPhone to your other Wi-Fi enabled devices using Personal Hotspot. It works by tapping into a cellular network and then sharing a data connection with other nearby devices wirelessly. With this feature, your iOS device creates a wireless network that is encrypted with a password, hence it becomes a portable hotspot or tethering device. Data charges apply when using this feature so be sure to talk to your service provider beforehand to avoid incurring extra fees and charges.

iPhone Personal Hotspot Not Working?

Simply follow these 3 steps to fix your iPhone with ReiBoot, No data loss, FREE

  1. Click to download ReiBoot to your PC or MAC
  2. Connect your device
  3. Run ReiBoot to resolve the issue

    Work for iPad & iPhone 14/13/12/11/XS/XR/S/8/7/6/5s/5

In case you’ll encounter trouble using Personal Hotspot on your iPhone XR, this post highlights a few helpful troubleshooting methods that will help you determine the underlying cause and obtain solution. Read further for more information.

But before anything else, if you have another issue with your phone, drop by our troubleshooting page as we have already addressed hundreds of issues reported by the owners. Odds are that there are already existing solutions on our website or at least, there are similar problems we already fixed. So, try to find ones that are similar or related to your problem. If you need further assistance, however, feel free to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

First solution: Turn Cellular Data and Personal Hotspot off and then back on.

For Personal Hotspot to work, cellular data must be enabled on your phone. Thus, verify and ensure that cellular data is turned on by heading to your iPhone Settings-> Cellular-> Cellular Data menu. If necessary, toggle the Cellular Data switch to turn it on or turn it OFF then back ON again. Do the same with Personal Hotspot. It has to be turned on or enabled on your iPhone XR first hand. If it’s already enabled on your iPhone settings but doesn’t work, then try to deactivate Personal Hotspot on your iPhone then set it up again with these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Scroll to and tap Personal Hotspot.
  3. Toggle the Personal Hotspot switch to turn the feature ON.
  4. If WLAN is disabled, you will be prompted to turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. If WLAN is activated, you will be prompted to select Wi-Fi and USB Only.
  5. Tap on Wi-Fi Password and enter the required password.
  6. Take note of your password then tap Done to save the changes. Slide your finger upwards starting from the bottom of the screen to go back to the Home screen.

Personal Hotspot is now enabled and thus you can already share Internet connection. If Personal Hotspot is missing, try this tweak instead:

  1. Tap Settings to launch the settings app on your iPhone Home screen.
  2. Scroll to Cellular.
  3. If Cellular Data is turned off, toggle the switch to turn it ON and then tap on Cellular Data Network.
  4. Scroll down to the Personal Hotspot section then enter the same APN as that on your Cellular Data APN settings.
  5. Go back to Settings-> Cellular Data menu.

Reboot your iPhone after making these changes and then try to see if Personal Hotspot is already activated and working as intended.

Second solution: Restart all your devices.

Minor software errors may also cause problems to cellular data services and halts Personal Hotspot from working on your device. To clear this out, performing a soft reset on your iPhone and rebooting your other Wi-Fi enabled devices is recommended.

To restart or soft reset your iPhone XR, simply follow these standard procedures:

  1. First, press and hold the Power button, also referred to as the Side button and either Volume buttons of your iPhone 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. Doing so triggers the phone to power off.
  4. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the Apple logo appears.

After restarting your iPhone, go to your other devices and then reboot them as well to clear memory cache and to refresh the operating system.

Third solution: Reset network settings.

Performing network settings reset is also among the most recommended and effective solutions to network-related issues including wireless connection errors on an iPhone. This reset wipes all your current network configurations and server settings on the phone. This means that your Wi-Fi networks and settings will be erased. Should the problem be attributed to a corrupted Wi-Fi network in use, then this could be a way to solve it. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset Network Settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode, when asked to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

After the reset, your iPhone reboots automatically and then loads the original or default network settings. This means you will need to enable Wi-Fi, cellular data and Personal Hotspot to reconnect.

Fourth solution: Update phone software to the latest version.

Installing the latest software update on your phone can also be the key to fixing network-related issues including Personal Hotspot errors that are inflicted by some bugs or system data corruption. Software updates usually embed fix patches to address existing issues and to offer security and system enhancements. If your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi internet, then you can head over to settings and then check for any available over-the-air (OTA) updates to install. Here’s how:

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

If an update is available, you will see an update notification containing the system details and improvements it offers.

Installing the latest carrier settings update available for your iPhone can also help. Like iOS updates, carrier settings update also contain some dedicated patches to address network problems and to enhance carrier services on your device.

  • To check for new carrier settings update on your iPhone XR, head over to Settings-> General-> About menu.

Stay on that screen for a few seconds and wait for the carrier settings update screen to pop-up. If an update is available, follow the onscreen instructions to download and install the update manually on your device.

Fifth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone.

If all else failed, performing system resets can be considered among the last options to obtain ultimate solutions. But before wiping system data, try resetting your iPhone settings without erasing it. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all Settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode, when asked to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm settings reset.

All customized settings and options you configured on the phone will be erased and then replaced by the original values or default options. This will not affect any personal information saved on your phone storage though so you don’t need to create backups. After the reset, your iPhone should reboot by itself. Just wait until it boots up and then you can start enabling individual options and features including Wi-Fi, cellular data, and Personal Hotspot on your iPhone XR.

Other options

You may need to resort to a full system reset to wipe everything from your iPhone XR if you suspect that the problem is due to a more complex system error. But before you do so, back up all your personal files to avoid permanent data loss. As your last resort, you can reset and restore your iPhone XR its factory or default mode through settings or using iTunes on a computer.

If none of that helps, then you can contact your Internet service provider or carrier to verify and ensure that the network is up. There may be some temporary outage that’s affecting network-related services in your place at the moment. Otherwise, troubleshoot your other Wi-Fi enabled device that couldn’t connect to your iPhone XR Wi-Fi through Personal Hotspot. The problem could also be on the other device and not on your iPhone.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XR 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 XR. 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.