iPhone Personal Hotspot Missing
How-Tos & Tutorials

iPhone Personal Hotspot Missing: Troubleshooting Tips and Fixes


The Personal Hotspot feature on your iPhone or iPad is a crucial tool, serving as a lifeline when Wi-Fi isn’t available.

However, it can be both perplexing and inconvenient when this essential feature goes missing.

Whether caused by software updates, unauthorized applications, or other factors, understanding these potential causes is the first step toward effectively resolving the issue.

Therefore, this article aims to elaborate on the intricacies of this error, delving deeper into aspects such as:

  • Causes of missing Personal Hotspot.
  • Step-by-step troubleshooting guide.
  • Last resort solutions and expert assistance.

So, follow along as we explore each cause and offer step-by-step instructions to get your Hotspot back up and running seamlessly.

What are the Causes of a Missing Personal Hotspot on iOS?

Understanding the potential causes of a missing Personal Hotspot on your iPhone can help you troubleshoot the issue more effectively.

Here are two common causes:

1. Upgrading Your iPhone

Upgrading your iPhone to a new iOS version or switching to a new iPhone model can sometimes result in the Personal Hotspot feature disappearing.

This issue can occur due to various reasons:

  • Software Bugs: New iOS updates may contain bugs affecting certain features’ functionality, including Personal Hotspot.
  • Incomplete Update: An iOS update might sometimes not install correctly, leading to missing features.
  • Reset Settings: Upgrading your device can reset some settings, causing features like Personal Hotspot to turn off or become hidden.

2. Installing Unauthorized Applications on Your iPhone

Installing unauthorized applications, especially those unavailable on the App Store, can interfere with your device’s normal operations. These apps, including the Personal Hotspot, can cause conflicts with your iPhone’s settings and features.

  • Security Risks: Unauthorized apps can pose security risks, including malware that disrupts your iPhone’s functionality.
  • Configuration Changes: These apps may change essential system settings or introduce profiles that affect network connections, causing the Personal Hotspot feature to disappear.

How to Fix Missing Personal Hotspots in iPhone, iPad (iOS)

If your Hotspot is missing on your iPhone or iPad, it can be a frustrating experience, primarily when you rely on this feature for connectivity.

There are several reasons why this might happen, ranging from software glitches to carrier settings.

Follow these detailed steps to troubleshoot and restore the missing Personal Hotspot.

1. Check Personal Hotspot Settings

Start by ensuring that the Personal Hotspot feature is enabled in your settings. Sometimes, a simple toggle can make all the difference.

  • Navigate to the Settings app on your device.
  • Ensure the “Allow Others to Join” toggle is turned on (green). This allows other devices to connect to your iPhone’s cellular data.
  • Go back to the main Settings screen. If you see “Personal Hotspot” listed under Cellular and it shows “On,” your settings are correct.

2. Toggle Cellular Data

Personal Hotspot relies on a stable cellular data connection. Resetting this connection can often resolve issues related to the missing feature.

  • Turn Off Cellular Data: Go to Settings > Cellular (or Mobile Data) > Cellular Data and toggle it off.
  • Wait a Moment: Pause for a few seconds to let the device fully disconnect.
  • Turn On Cellular Data: Toggle the cellular data back on. This action can reset the data connection, potentially bringing back the Personal Hotspot option.

3. Restart Your iPhone

Restarting your device can resolve many minor software glitches that might be causing the Personal Hotspot to disappear.

  • For iPhone X or Newer: Press and hold the volume and side buttons until the power off slider appears. Drag the slider to turn off your iPhone. After it turns off, press and hold the side button again until you see the Apple logo.
  • For Older Models (iPhone SE 2nd gen, 8, 7, 6): Press and hold the side (or top) button until the power off slider appears. Drag the slider to turn off your iPhone. Press and hold the side button to turn it back on until the Apple logo appears.

4. Update Carrier Settings

Carriers occasionally release updates to improve network connectivity and performance. Hence, updating carrier settings can sometimes resolve issues with Personal Hotspot.

  • Tap the Settings app on your device.
  • Select “General” from the list of options.
  • Tap on “About.”
  • If an update is available, you will receive a prompt to install it.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to install the carrier update.

5. Update iOS

Apple regularly releases iOS updates that include bug fixes and new features. Ensuring your device runs the latest iOS version can help resolve issues related to the Personal Hotspot.

  • Tap the Settings app on your device.
  • Select “General” from the list of options.
  • Tap on “Software Update.”
  • If an update is available, you will see a prompt.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the latest iOS update.

6. Remove APN Certificates

Access Point Name (APN) certificates can sometimes interfere with the functionality of Personal Hotspot, especially if you’ve installed them to work with certain carriers.

  • Tap the Settings app on your device.
  • Select “General” from the list of options.
  • Tap on “Profiles.”
  • Tap on the profile you want to delete.
  • Tap “Delete Profile” and confirm your choice.
  • If you don’t see “Profiles” listed, no APN certificates are installed on your device.

7. Reset Network Settings

Problems with network settings can affect your device’s ability to provide a Personal Hotspot. Resetting these settings can help.

  • Tap the Settings app on your device.
  • Select “General” from the list of options.
  • Scroll down and tap on “Reset.”
  • Tap on “Reset Network Settings.”
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to confirm the reset. Note that this will erase all Wi-Fi passwords and VPN settings, so you must re-enter them.

8. Check Your Phone’s Name

Your iPhone uses its name to identify itself for various network functions, including the Personal Hotspot. An incorrect or altered device name can cause issues.

  • Tap the Settings app on your device.
  • Select “General” from the list of options.
  • Tap on “About.”
  • Tap on “Name.”
  • Ensure your device’s name is correct and not altered.
  • If the name is incorrect, tap on it to edit and correct the name.

9. Reinsert SIM Card

Although it may seem unrelated, reinserting the SIM card can sometimes resolve issues with network connectivity and the Personal Hotspot.

  • Remove SIM Card: Take out your SIM card from the iPhone.
  • Restart Device: Restart your iPhone as described in Step 3.

Reinsert SIM Card: After the device powers back on, reinsert the SIM card and check if the Personal Hotspot option appears.

Recommended Read: What to do before Changing SIM Card?

10. Restore from Backup

If more straightforward solutions fail, restoring your iPhone from a backup might resolve the issue. This process erases current data and settings, replacing them with an older backup.

  • Backup Your Device: Ensure you have a recent backup of your iPhone. You can back up via iCloud or iTunes.
  • Restore from Backup: Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Follow the prompts to restore from a backup. This will erase all current data on your device.

11. Contact Apple Support

If none of the above steps work, the issue may be more complex than you can resolve alone.

Contact Apple Support or visit an Apple Store for expert assistance. They can diagnose any underlying hardware or software issues and provide a solution.

The Bottom Line

The missing Personal Hotspot feature on your iPhone can be restored by methodically working through various troubleshooting steps.

Checking settings, toggling cellular data, updating software, and resetting network configurations can often resolve the issue. If these steps don’t work, contacting Apple Support is a reliable last resort.

To maintain optimal functionality, remember to update your iPhone and avoid unauthorized applications. Regular maintenance and awareness of potential causes can help prevent the Personal Hotspot from disappearing in the future.


How to set up a personal hotspot on the iPhone?

Here’s how to set up a personal hotspot:

  • Go to Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot.
  • Turn on the switch.
  • Optionally tap the slider next to “Allow Others to Join.”
  • If prompted, contact your carrier to check your plan for hotspot availability.

How to remove a personal hotspot from an iPhone?

If you need to remove a personal hotspot:

  • Navigate to Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot.
  • Toggle off the switch.
  • Enter your iPhone’s passcode if prompted.

How to change the personal hotspot name on an iPhone?

If you want to customize your hotspot’s name, here’s how you can do so:

  • Adjust your iPhone’s name to Settings > General > About > Name.
  • Enter your preferred name.
  • Remember, while the name is publicly viewable, access requires your password.

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