Personal Hotspot Missing in Settings on iPhone or iPad, Fix

This article explains how you can fix if the option for Personal Hotspot is missing on the iPhone or iPad. Some users are experiencing that they are unable to set up or use Personal Hotspot because they don’t see the option to turn on or turn off the “Allow Others to Join” setting. Some users have said that they started having this problem after updating their device and then the option has suddenly disappeared from Settings.

Please follow the steps below. Before you do anything, ensure that your iPhone or iPad has the latest version of iOS or iPadOS (Settings > General > Software Update).

1. Airplane Mode / Restart

The first step is simple but effective. But it can fix the missing Personal Hotspot problem.

  • Turn on Airplane Mode on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Turn off your device.
  • Turn on your device.
  • Turn off Airplane Mode.
  • Now go to Settings to see if Personal Hotspot is present.

2. Check your carrier

If the Hotspot option is not showing in Settings, it is possible that your carrier does not offer this feature. Or, your carrier may offer this, but the data plan you purchased may not include this. Some cellular carriers may charge extra for this. And lastly, it is possible that you have exceeded your cellular hotspot data limit

The first thing you should do is to contact your carrier to ensure that your service plan include hotspot and your account is active.

3. Change your username and Reset your APN settings

Your APN settings may cause this feature not to show up. Please note that this may not apply to you, as you can only do this on your iPhone or iPad if your carrier allows it. There are two things you can do. Again this step only applies to a small number of users.

The first thing is to set a username for Personal Hotspot. Here is how:

  • On your iPhone or iPad go to Settings > Cellular (or Mobile Data) > Cellular Network (or Cellular Data Network).
  • Find the Personal Hotspot section and enter a username. it can be anything. You do not need to change anything else.
  • Then exit Settings and test again.

If the first thing does not work, then you may want to reset your APN settings to revert to the carrier’s original settings. Here is how:

Depending on your device and your location, go to:

  • Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Network > Reset Settings.
  • Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options > Mobile Data Network > Reset Settings.

Please also contact your carrier to see if your APN settings are correct. Different carriers may require different settings for using the Personal Hotspot feature.

4. Update carrier settings

It is possible that your carrier may have been aware of this issue and released an update to address the missing Personal Hotspot option problem that you may be facing. You should check for a carrier settings update. Here is how:

  • Make sure that your iPhone or iPad has a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.
  • On your device, go to Settings > General > About.
  • A popup will appear if there is an update. If there is, simply follow the onscreen instructions.

5. Force restart your device

Simply force restart your device to fix this problem. Here is how:

iPhone 8 or later and iPad with Face ID models:

  • Press and release the Volume Up button.
  • Press and release the Volume Down button.
  • Press and hold the power button (Side or Top) until the Apple logo appears.

iPhone 7:

  • Press and hold the power button (Side or Top) and the Volume Down button together at the same time until the Apple logo appears.

All other iPhone and iPad models

  • Press and hold the Home and the power (Side or Top) buttons together until the Apple logo appears.

6. Reset network settings

Some of your network settings may be corrupted and causing this missing Personal Hotspot problem. You can reset your network settings to fix it. Please note that this will erase all of your network settings such as your Wi-Fi passwords. If you want to do this, simply go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset > Network Settings.

After resetting, you will have to re-enter your Wi-Fi passwords and pair your Bluetooth devices.

So you have tried everything and is Personal Hotspot still missing? Then you may want to contact Apple.

See also:

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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