How to turn on and use Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot tethering on your new iPad

How to turn on and use Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot tethering on your new iPad

The new iPad includes a tethering feature called Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot which lets you share your iPad's 4G LTE or HSPA+ Internet connection with your laptop or any other device that can connect to a Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot depends on your carrier, however, so while some carriers like Verizon and Rogers offer it, AT&T currently does not. (Insert pitchforks and torches here.) Even when it's offered, however, Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot may not be enabled by default and it's not obvious how to turn it on.

How to tell if Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot is enabled

If you're not sure whether or not Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot is enabled, it's easy to tell.

  1. Launch the Settings app
  2. Look at the top left.
  3. If you see Personal Hotpot right at the top (between Wi-Fi and Notifications), you're good to goiPad personal hotspot setting
  4. If you don't see **Personal Hotspot, you'll need to enable it first.

How to enable Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot

If Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot isn't enabled, you'll have to go digging for it.

  1. Launch the Settings app
  2. Tap General
  3. Tap NetworkiPad settings general network
  4. Tap Personal Hotspot
  5. Toggle Personal Hotspot to on

Once you've turned it on for the first time, you'll get Personal Hotspot in the top level Settings list and won't have to dig for it again.

How to change your Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot password

Apple provides a default password for your Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot but you can easily change it if you like.

  1. Launch Settings
  2. Tap Personal Hotspot
  3. Tap Wi-Fi Password
  4. Enter your new password (it needs to be more than 8 characters and should be something that's not easily guessed)
  5. Tap the blue Done button at the top right.

How to use Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot for tethering

You can use your Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot to share your iPad LTE or HSPA+/EVDO connection with any device that has Wi-Fi, including Mac, Windows, and Linux laptop and desktop PCs, handheld and console gaming machines, smartphones on slower networks, and more.

Just keep a close eye on your data usage because it can go fast!

First, start up Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot on your iPad

  1. Launch Settings
  2. Tap on Personal Hotspot
  3. Toggle Personal Hotspot to On

Next, go to the device you want to connect.

  1. Check for available Wi-Fi connections.
  2. Your Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot will have the same name as your iPad (iPad by default). Click on it.
  3. Enter the password as it appears on your iPad.
  4. A blue bar will appear across the top of your iPad so you know Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot in connected, and the number of connections will be shown on the right.

Different carriers allow different numbers of connections, typically from 5 to 8 total.

Additional resources:

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 28 comments. Add yours.

Can says:

I dont even have the personal hotspot option in the settings. I even made 'reset network settings' but I still can not see any Personal Hotspot option in Settings>General>Network. Any help?

Can says:

Actually I'm on o2 Germany so I have international LTE iPad and 4G is not YET active for my carrier. I was thinking I can not see that option on my iPad because of that but I didnt find any relevant information which can prove that to me :) Is this the reason why I can not see that option?
And on the other hand, I have dual sim and on my iPhone I dont have any problem with hotspot.

Gavc says:

Ok so what would help if is to tell me how to enable Personal hotspots if there is no personal hotspot settings in either of those locations

Rene Ritchie says:

Are you on AT&T? They're not offering it.

dloveprod says:

I tested it out last night, connected my iPhone. It's blazing fast, I can see it running out real quick if you get carried away. All this high definition content and now caps. Maybe in the future we'll get more bandwidth for the same

BalBurgh says:

Grateful I mostly surf text. Glad to replace this capability I had 'free' with my Palm Pre in a manner cheaper than I could get on my iPhone.

Jon says:

I tried to reset the network settings but that didn't work either

west3man says:

Who's your carrier, Jon?

Jon says:

Bell Canada but I just have a wifi iPad 3 and I don't see hotspot and I restarted the network settings already ? Help

GreenDize12 says:

I'll still look forward to using MyWi along with official tethering because at least MyWi let's me know exactly how much data is being tethered.

Takata says:

Mine doesn't work either. I'm from Singapore, carrier = M1 (Mobile One). The same SIM card allows tethering and works on my iPhone. We have 3 carriers here and although none of them restricts tethering on their iPhones, none of them works on the new iPad...

Adam says:

Personal Hotspot is disable by default. To turn it on go to General/Network/Set Up Personal Hotspot and then the personal hotspot will appear on the side bar.

Caroline says:

It's still not there.... Help! I used to have it and it's disappeared...

Steve says:

I have an IPhone 4S on Verizon and think I could use it as a "hot spot" for my IPad when away from Wi-Fi connections. Is this a bad idea?

viper says:

I have an Iphone 4s. I use its hot spot to tether both my laptop and ipad, and it works great..

karlo says:

I have an iPad 3 and got my Internet Tethering enabled by my carrier but still the Personal Hotspot option is not showing.. what do I do next???

Sunil Bhor says:

@ Karlo
Go to cellular data option
Then go to Internet tethering option
Then add same APN, USERNAME AND PASSWORD as filled up above for cellular data option
Then go to general...Network and here ithe PERSONAL HOTSPOT will be seen in the menu at top
This will solve your problem
Sunil Bhor

AR says:

Thanks. Very helpful indeed!

kabir0703 says:

Sunil ji, i am using ipad 3, and my carrier is aircel 3G, i went to cellular data option, clicked on apn settings but even the APN, USERNAME, PASSWORD for cellular data was empty.
though i am being able to browse n internet is working fine on my device.

surajit mandal says:

Dear Sunil,

Thanks this really works on my ipad (3rd gen)


Shoan Shinde says:

my imac is connected to the internet through a wifi connection. but my phone (samsung android) is not good enough to pick up the signal. Is it possible to use personal hotspot to use my imac to broadcast the wifi signal in my part of the house?

aswin143 says:

Hi I have ipad3. I am also facing the same issue. Personal hot spot option is not available. I am at Saudi, I have stc mobile services. Could any one help us what is the problem. Also some one telling tethering feature. What is this feature and how to enable? Awaiting for somebody reply.

Kaale says:

Just wanted to say a big Thank You! I have a new iPad bought in the US for use on AT&T, but mostly live outside of the US. This article is the only clear explanation of how to turn on tethering in the first 50 Google hits. Working perectly now, and thanks to the great battery in the iPad i've now got internet on both my phone and Macbook whever i am . You've made my life so much easier now and saved me a LOT of trouble and money figuring out how to get internet, especially in France and Asia. May your blog and business flourish!

Aroyewun Esq says:

Am in nigeria and on MTN network. It works on my iPhone but not iPad. Please help!