How to Use Personal Hotspot on iOS 6 and the iPhone 5

The new version of iOS 6 offers faster access to the personal hotspot feature, and slightly changes the steps to turn on the personal hotspot.

On iOS 6 and on the iPhone 5 with iOS 6 there is a new Personal Hotspot shortcut on the main menu screen that lets users turn on the hotspot without diving deep into the menus.

These steps will only work with plans that support a personal hotspot. The new Mobile Share plans on AT&T and the Share Everything plans on Verizon include the personal hotspot feature at no additional charge.

Read: iOS 6 Tips and Tricks

A personal hotspot turns the iPhone into a WiFi router that allows users to connect WiFi devices to the Internet through the iPhone. This includes notebooks, tablets, portable game consoles and more. Be careful as tethering, as this is often called, can use data much faster than on the iPhone.

If the computer cannot see the iPhone as a hotspot, users may be better off connecting by USB, but if that fails, try turning the laptop’s WiFi on and off to find the iPhone hotspot.

How to Turn on the iPhone Hotspot in iOS 6

Tap on Settings.

Tap on General.

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Turn on hotspot iPhone on iOS 6.

Tap on Cellular.

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Turn on tethering iPhone 5 and iOS 6.

Tap on Personal Hotspot.

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Personal Hotspot On and password setup.

Tap the Toggle to the On position.

Users that wish to change the password can tap on the password field and type a new password.

The iPhone personal hotspot feature shares the Internet connection over WiFi with no additional setup needed on most devices, It also shares the connection over USB or Bluetooth, though some computers may need to install drivers or perform setup options to make this work.

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iOS 6 offers a shortcut to the Personal Hotspot feature.


This shows the number of devices connected to the iPhone hotspot.

After using the iPhone hotspot once, the iPhone places a shortcut to the Personal Hotspot on the general settings screen, right below the Bluetooth setting. This doesn’t turn the hotspot on in one tap, but it is a quick shortcut to the Personal Hotspot settings.

The home screen and a small notification while in other apps displays the number of connected devices, which is an easy way to figure out how many devices are using your connection.

The iPhone 5 includes 4G LTE connectivity which is up to 10 times faster than 3G service found on the iPhone 4S, and faster than many home connections.

This increased speed makes tethering more attractive, even for multimedia intense activities like streaming movies or TV, but without unlimited data users should be sure to check their data usage to keep it in check.

iPhone Hotspot Problems in iOS 6

Using the iPhone hotspot is pretty straightforward, but there are some iOS 6 hotspot problems users commonly run into. Here are some common iPhone 5 hotspot problems.

There is no Personal Hotspot Option on iOS 6

If you upgraded to iOS 6 or made another change and there is no Personal Hotspot option on your iPhone, the device may have a bug preventing it from showing. This can happen on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile or other carriers. If there is no Personal Hotspot option in iOS 6 you will need to follow these steps to reset iOS 6 hotspot settings.

Straight Talk Doesn’t Offer a Personal Hotspot Option

If you have a Straight Talk iPhone 5 with no personal hotspot option in cellular it’s because Straight Talk doesn’t support using the iPhone 5 as a personal hotspot. There is no fix for this issue without jailbreaking and using a third-party personal hotspot app, but this is against Straight Talk’s terms of use and excessive data usage could result in warnings or getting disconnected.

Change the iPhone 5 Hotspot Password

The default iPhone 5 personal hotspot password is a jumble of letters and numbers that is hard to remember and is also easy for someone to crack, even if it looks like a secure password. Tap on Settings -> Personal Hotspot -> Password to pick a new password that is easier to remember and more secure.

How to Manage the iOS 6 Hotspot

Many users want to be able to manage the iOS 6 hotspot to see who is connected and information about the devices. Apple shows a blue bar that announces how many devices are connected, but there is no way to see which devices are connected to an iPhone personal hotspot or to individually manage them.