Free Government Phones

How to Turn Your iPhone into a Personal Hotspot

Published May 21, 2021

One of the nice things about having a prepaid cell phone is its versatility. You can do everything on a prepaid phone as you can on a contract phone (like creating a personal mobile hotspot). The beauty, however, of a prepaid phone is not having the long-term commitment. If you turn your phone into a personal mobile hotspot, you can connect wi-fi devices without additional cost. Also, most prepaid plans allow you to change plans on an as-needed basis (that comes in handy when using a personal hotspot).

Turning an existing phone into a mobile hotspot is an economical alternative to purchasing a dedicated device such as the Netgear Nighthawk. For those of us who like to travel light, turning a phone into a hotspot avoids the need for having a separate power source as required by a dedicated device.

Turning an iPhone into a Personal Mobile Hotspot

Please keep in mind each service provider is different. Some carriers may not allow mobile hotspots while others may require you to contact them before enabling the feature.

  • Open Settings and navigate to Cellular

  • From Cellular, tap Personal Hotspot

  • Hotspot

  • Once in Personal Hotspot, enable the option for Allow Others to Join.
    Allow Others to Join

    Depending on your service provider, you might have to call them to proceed. They may have to adjust settings on their end which will allow the hotspot to happen. If so, turn off your phone while the settings are pushed through and then turn it back on again.

  • After you turn the phone back on, navigate to Settings. There you should see the option for Personal Hotspot (you no longer have to go into the Cellular menu). Tap on it to access the page for enabling the hotspot.

  • After Hotspot Enabled

  • Once you’re in the Personal Hotspot menu slide the button to enable the option Allow Others to Join. It is recommended that you change the password.

  • The last thing to do is to test the hotspot by connecting a wi-fi-enabled device.

With the personal hotspot enabled, your phone battery will drain more quickly. As such, it is recommended that you keep it charging while using it as a hotspot. If that’s not an option, keep an eye on the battery life. A dead phone battery means your hotspot connection will terminate.

Another thing to keep track of is your phone’s temperature. The battery may get hot with extended hotspot use.

Note: Apple personal hotspots operate in low-data mode. Please visit the Apple website to see a full explanation of low-data mode.

For instruction on how to set up a mobile hotspot on an Android device, check out the Android Authority's article.

Last Modified: 7 June 2021

Did you know?: If you meet the Lifeline criteria, you may qualify to receive a free device (smartphone or tablet) along with discounted or free wireless service (plans vary by state).

About the Author: LaForey is a person who was fed up with contract phone plans and opted for something more practical.

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