How to connect to Instant Hotspot on your iPad

Instant Hotspot, part of Apple's Continuity features, lets you share the data connection from your iPhone or cellular iPad with your Wi-Fi only iPad or other device. It's different from Personal Hotspot, which requires a password and connects like a standard Wi-Fi router, in that it uses your Apple ID for authentication, Bluetooth Low Energy (BT LE) for rapid connection, and Wi-Fi for data transfer. So it's much faster and more convenient, but it's really only meant for your devices.

Instant Hotspot requirements

Instant Hotspot broadcasts availability using Bluetooth Low Energy (BT LE), authenticates by Apple ID (iCloud account), and transfers data using Wi-Fi. In order for Instant Hotspot to work, your iPhone(s) and iPad(s) need to be:

  • Signed up on a data plan that includes tethering (cellular device only).
  • Running iOS 8 or later.
  • Equipped with Bluetooth LE (iPhone 5 or later, iPad 4 or later, any iPad mini, iPod touch 5)
  • Logged into the same Apple ID (iCloud account) on all your devices.

How to enable or disable Instant Hotspot on your iPhone or cellular iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on Personal Hotspot.
  3. Tap on the toggle to turn Personal Hotspot On.

If you don't see Personal Hotspot in the main Settings menu:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on Cellular.
  3. Tap on Personal Hotspot.
  4. Tap on the toggle to turn Personal Hotspot On.

How to connect to your iPhone's Instant Hotspot with your iPad

  1. Make sure both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled in Control Center
  2. Launch the Settings app on your iPad.
  3. Tap on Wi-Fi.
  4. Under Personal Hotspot, tap on the name of your iPhone.

Note: If your device doesn't meet the requirements, or you want to connect to or with someone else's device, you can still use the regular personal hotspot feature by entering in the password.