Fixing iPhone hotspot not working after an iOS update

Having trouble with an iPhone hotspot not working from an iOS update? Read to find out why post-update problems like this happens and how to deal with it.

Personal hotspot feature, also known as tethering comes in handy when you want to browse the internet on your other smartphone, tablet or laptop computer but a Wi-Fi connection isn’t available. To make this possible, you must have a personal hotspot device.

Most, if not all modern smartphones have personal hotspot feature and therefore able to carry out tethering functions. That said, Apple’s flagship iPhones also support personal hotspot or tethering functions. The system works by sharing your iPhone’s cellular data connection with another device. And to make this possible, you must be subscribed to a cellular data plan. If you’re using a prepaid device, sufficient data credits would be necessary for you to tether or share internet connection from your phone to other devices through personal hotspot.

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An apparent drawback of using personal hotspot over Wi-Fi is that it can consume a lot of data and thus it’s possible for you to incur extra charges. There is also a higher chance of your internet connection to throttle or slow down, especially when loading up heavy websites, when streaming online videos or downloading huge files. Furthermore, prolonged and extended use of personal hotspot on your iPhone can also result in rapid battery drain. On a positive note, this feature will make you able to do online tasks on your other devices anytime and anywhere even without an available Wi-Fi network. However, there are also some instances when things would suddenly go wrong and personal hotspot doesn’t work on your phone. Read on to find out what to do if your iPhone’s personal hotspot feature that stopped working following the iOS 13.2.3 update implementation. 

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Identifying possible causes

Aside from iOS bugs, there are also other factors that you need to consider looking into when dealing with your iphone hotspot problems. And they are as follows:

Account-related issues. Mobile hotspot is available for postpaid and prepaid devices. If you’re using a postpaid device, verify and ensure that your service provider/wireless carrier supports the feature and that personal hotspot or tethering service is enabled on your account. If you’re using a prepaid device, all you need is enough data credits to use the service. If you failed to meet this requirement, then you’re likely to end up facing a problem.

Network problems. Features that are dependent on network connection are prone to bumping into some random connectivity issues. That said, hotspot errors may occur unexpectedly, especially when unexpected technical network problems arise. Temporary outages affecting personal hotspot feature and other network-related services are typically end-users’ capacity to resolve.

Software-related factors. Random software errors, incorrect settings, as well as iOS bugs affecting wireless services belong to this category. When dealing with software-related factors that’s halting your iPhone’s personal hotspot services, performing some tweaks and network troubleshooting methods are usually needed.

Hardware issues. This is the worst possible cause. While there are only rare cases of hotspot problems attributed to hardware damage, they are inevitable if hardware damage is present on your device.

Fixing iPhone hotspot not working after an iOS update

Considering the onset of the problem was after installing the latest iOS update on your iPhone, what you’re dealing with is more likely due to some random software glitches from the recent system transition. That said, there are various methods you can try to fix the problem with your iPhone’s personal hotspot that’s not working after the update. To give you some inputs, I’ve laid out five of the most recommended effective solutions as itemized below.

Restart cellular data and mobile hotspot.

Features that suddenly stopped working from an update are usually just experiencing some minor glitches following the recent system changes. The transpiring symptoms are also inconsequential and thus they can easily be remedied by a quick refresh. Hence, the first recommended solution you can try on would be to turn cellular data and personal hotspot features off and on. Just refer to these steps to refresh your iPhone’s cellular data feature:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select Cellular.
  3. Tap the Cellular switch to turn the feature ON.

To manage data usage, you can modify your device settings to control which specific services or apps can use cellular data.

As mentioned earlier, turning your iPhone’s mobile hotspot feature off and on can also help refresh the service and eliminate random flaws including those inflicted by the recent system update. Just follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select Personal Hotspot.
  3. Toggle the switch next to Personal Hotspot to turn the feature ON.

If there’s no option to turn on personal hotspot or no personal hotspot option is available, contact your wireless service provider to verify if your account is provisioned with the service.

Refresh wireless internet functions then restart your iPhone (soft reset) and other device(s) that you want to connect.

It is also possible that your iPhone’s internet system has ended up glitching from the recent iOS update. As a result, relevant services including personal hotspot also stopped working. To clear this out, you can do a simultaneous refresh to all wireless internet features of your iPhone using the Airplane Mode trick. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Airplane Mode.
  3. Toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn the feature ON. Doing so disables your iPhone’s wireless radios and associated features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. 
  4. While Airplane Mode is turned on, reboot or soft reset your iPhone to clear out network cache.
  5. After it reboots, go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  6. Then toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn it OFF again.

It may take a few seconds for your iPhone to re-establish wireless signal so just wait until the signal becomes stable. By then you can start re-enabling necessary features including cellular data and personal hotspot on your device.

Also note that the steps in carrying a soft reset may vary depending on the iPhone model you are using. For starters, you can refer to the elaborated steps.

On an iPhone with a Home button:

  1. Press and hold the Power button until the Slide to Power Off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slide to the right to power off the device.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

When you see the Apple logo, you can release the button then wait until your iPhone completes its boot sequence.

On an iPhone X or later models:

  1. Press and hold both the Side button and Volume Up button for a few seconds.
  2. Release both buttons when the Slide to Power off bar appears.
  3. Swipe or drag the bar to turn your device off.
  4. After about 30 seconds, press and hold the Side button and then release when the Apple logo appears.

Also consider restarting the other device that you want to connect to your iPhone. Doing so will help clear out minor software issues that might have prevented the device from connecting to your iPhone and thus, internet sharing via personal hotspot is not possible.

Install available carrier settings updates.

Carrier settings updates are separate updates rolled out by your wireless carrier or service providers. These updates usually contained network patches to fix and eliminate network-related issues including personal hotspot errors triggered by the recent iOS update. If your iPhone doesn’t have any trouble connecting to Wi-Fi internet and the internet connection is stable, follow these steps to check and install any available carrier settings update for your iPhone:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap About.

An option to update your carrier settings will appear, if a new carrier settings update is available. Just follow the onscreen prompts to download and install the update on your phone.

After installing carrier settings update, restart or soft reset your iPhone and other devices. Then try to see if that solves the personal hotspot problem you’re dealing with.

Reset network settings to fix your iPhone hotspot not working.

Network-related errors including post-update overrides that caused conflicts to your current network settings are the next factors you should consider ruling out. And this is when performing a network reset is needed. This reset will erase all your current network settings including APNs, saved networks, and customized network settings. Any associated errors will also be eliminated but the internal data doesn’t get affected. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Tap to select Reset network settings from the given options.
  5. Enter your passcode if prompted to continue.
  6. Tap on Reset network settings again to confirm action.

When the reset is finished, your phone will restart on its own. After it reboots, you will need to re-enable network features on your iPhone, including cellular data and personal hotspot.

Is your iPhone hotspot not working still?

If the problem continues after performing all prior methods, there’s a good chance that you’re dealing with a complex system error. And in that case, resorting to a factory reset or iOS restore would be your next option. If you wish to troubleshoot further, be sure to back up all critical data from your iPhone beforehand. You can back them up to iCloud or to iTunes, for later recovery. Once you have secured the backup, follow these steps to factory reset your iPhone through settings:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all content and settings. This will erase everything from your iPhone system including all saved data on the internal memory.
  5. Enter your device passcode if prompted to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm that you want to erase your iPhone and restore its factory default settings.

You can also use iTunes to manually erase and restore your iPhone on a computer. Performing a recovery mode restore or DFU mode restore would then be the next last options you can try on.

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