How to fix iPhone XS Max Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot that’s not working

Having trouble getting Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot connection to work on your iPhone XS Max? If that’s so, then this post may help you. Read on to learn what to do if your iPhone XS Max Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot is not working as intended.

A personal hotspot allows you to share your cellular data connection to other WiFi capable devices. This a very useful feature especially if there’s no available WiFi network on your area. If ever you encounter issues using your personal hotspot on your iPhone XS Max, the procedures listed in this article might help you remedy it.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you happen to find this post while looking for a solution to a different problem, then visit our iPhone XS Max Help Guides page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. We may have already published articles that could help you fix your problem. Find issues that are similar to yours and feel free to use our solutions.

Troubleshooting iPhone XS Max Wi-Fi personal hotspot problems

First, check and ensure that your iPhone has strong and stable cellular network signal. Network services including personal hotspot may not be able to work as intended if signal problems are present. If the signal is good but still you can’t get your iPhone’s Wi-Fi personal hotspot to work, try these subsequent solutions.

First solution: Turn off and on the Cellular Data and Personal Hotspot on your iPhone XS Max.

Cellular data is needed for the personal hotspot to work. To ensure that the feature is turned on, access Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data menu. Toggle the Cellular Data to switch off and then turn on again. Repeat the process to your Personal Hotspot. It must be enabled on your iPhone settings. If it is not working after enabling it, try deactivating the personal hotspot on your iPhone XS Max and set up again with these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, access Settings.
  2. Scroll down and select Personal Hotspot.
  3. Toggle the Personal Hotspot switch to turn on the feature.
  4. You will be prompted to turn on WiFi and Bluetooth if WLAN is disabled. If WLAN is enabled, you will be prompted to select WiFi and USB only.
  5. Tap on WiFi password then enter the required password.
  6. Take note of your password then select Done to save changes. Go back to the Home screen by sliding your fingers upwards starting from the bottom of the screen.

Your personal hotspot is now enabled, and you can start sharing your Internet connection.  If it is missing, try this alternative method:

  1. From the Home screen, access Settings.
  2. Scroll down to Cellular.
  3. Turn on Cellular data if it is turned off then select Cellular Data Network.
  4. Scroll to Personal Hotspot section then enter the same APN settings as seen on your Cellular Data APN settings.
  5. Go back to Settings > Cellular Data menu.

Restart your phone after applying these changes and try to see if Personal Hotspot is already activated and working.

Second solution: Restart all your devices.

Minor software glitches can also jeopardize your cellular data services and causes your Personal Hotspot not to work properly on your device. Performing a soft reset and rebooting other WiFi enabled devices may help in fixing this issue. 

To reboot or soft reset your iPhone XS Max, just follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side button and either of the Volume Button at the side of your phone for a few seconds.
  2. When the Slide to Power Off appears on your screen, release both buttons.
  3. Slide the Power off command to the right to turn off the phone.
  4. Wait for about 30 seconds then press and hold the Side Button until you see the Apple logo.

After rebooting your iPhone, go to your other devices and restart them as well to delete unwanted cache and clear memory. This will refresh the system on your devices too.

Third solution: Reset Network settings to fix Wi-Fi personal hotspot errors.

If there is a network-related issue on your iPhone like wireless connection errors, performing a reset to network settings is one of the best solutions. This process will erase all current network configurations including WiFi networks and revert it to the default settings. If the issue is caused by a WiFi network glitch, this procedure will likely solve it. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Access Settings from your Home Screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Tap the Reset Network Setting option.
  5. Enter your device code if asked to continue.
  6. Confirm the prompt to Reset network settings.

Your iPhone will then restart on its own after the reset and will open with default network configuration. Then reactivate your wireless connections, enable WiFi, Cellular Data, and Personal Hotspot. 

Fourth solution: Update your iPhone XS Max to the latest software version.

Updating your iOS to the latest version provide patches necessary to fix bugs and glitches. You can easily download and install these updates wirelessly/OTA (over-the-air) or manually through iTunes on a computer. The best way to do it will be through OTA especially if you have a fast and stable WiFi internet connection. Here’s how:

  1. From your Home screen, access Settings.
  2. Scroll down to General.
  3. Select Software Update.
  4. Once there’s an available update, tap the option to Download and install.

To finish the download and install the software update, just follow the onscreen prompts. Once everything is done, restart your phone to refresh the system and implement changes.

Aside from iOS update, downloading and installing latest carrier settings can also help in fixing network-related problems. To update your carrier settings, just follow these steps:

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Scroll down to General.
  3. Select About.

Just wait for a few seconds to see if there is an available update option for your carrier settings. Follow the on-screen prompts to continue. If there is no notification, it means that there is no available update for your carrier settings. 

Fifth solution: Reset all settings to fix your iPhone XS Max Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot

If all the procedures above are unsuccessful, this process will be your ultimate solution. This will erase all customized settings saved on your phone and restores back to its default configuration. If the issue is caused by an incorrect configuration, this step will most likely resolve Personal Hotspot problem. Follow the steps below:

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and select Reset.
  4. Tap Reset all Settings option.
  5. Enter your device passcode once asked.
  6. Select the option to confirm all settings reset.

Once done, your iPhone will restart automatically. Let it boot up then set up your WiFi network and Bluetooth and enable other features that you need to use the phone. There is no need to create backups as this will not erase any personal information.

Is your iPhone XS Max Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot still not working?

If none of the given solutions is able to get Personal Hotspot to work on your iPhone XS Max, then this is more likely caused by a more complicated system error. Should you wish to troubleshoot further, then you can carry out a full system reset to delete everything from your iPhone XS Max including software-related attributes that caused your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot feature to fail. Be sure to note though that this reset will erase all personal information saved on your phone, hence creating backups to iCloud or iTunes is necessary. 

Aside from a factory reset, restoring your iPhone XS Max in recovery mode or DFU mode through iTunes can also be deemed among the last options. These methods are usually needed to get rid of complex system bugs and stubborn errors that caused conflicts to your iPhone’s personal hotspot feature. 

You can also contact your Internet service provider or carrier to check and make sure that there is no temporary network outage that might be affecting wireless network services in your place. Also consider troubleshooting your other device (the one you want to connect to your iPhone XS Max). There might be some issues with the other device that hindered Internet sharing via Personal Hotspot. If you’re trying to share your iPhone XS Max WiFi with a laptop computer via Personal Hotspot, disable any security software on your computer as it may also bar the connection.

Connect with us

We are committed to helping our readers fix the problems with their phones as well as learn how to properly use their devices. So, if you have other issues, you may visit our Help Guides page so you can check by yourself the articles we’ve already published that contain solutions to common problems. Also, we do create videos to demonstrate how things are done on your phone. Visit our Youtube Channel and please subscribe to it. Thanks. 


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