How to Fix It When a Connected Mobile Hotspot Has No Internet Connection

Figure out why your mobile hotspot is not working

Issues with a connected mobile hotspot having no internet connection can occur in a number of ways.

  • You may be connected to the hotspot but can't access any websites with your browser.
  • Your connection to the internet stops working while you're using the hotspot.
  • Your hotspot connection drops unexpectedly and won't reconnect.

Usually, you won't see any errors or indication of what's wrong. The internet will simply stop working. However, troubleshooting and fixing the cause isn't very difficult.

Keep in mind using a mobile hotspot typically uses your mobile data plan. If your mobile service provider either bills you for data usage or otherwise limits your data, you could end up with large, unexpected surcharges on your bill. So be sure you understand your plan limitations before you start using your mobile hotpot too frequently.

Why Is My Hotspot Not Working? 

When you're connected to the internet via a mobile hotspot, there are multiple possible points of failure. Any one of those can cause connection problems. Your hotpsot network could stop working if your phone runs out of power or the Wi-Fi setting gets disabled. Or your mobile device running the hotspot could lose its own internet connection, which means you can't connect to the internet either.

The best way to troubleshoot these problems is to start with your mobile devices, since it's the source of your internet connection. Once you've confirmed the mobile device isn't having any issues, then move on to your computer or laptop next.

How to Fix When a Connected Mobile Hotspot Has No Internet Connection

This issue applies to both Windows and Mac operating systems, as well as Android and iOS mobile devices. The troubleshooting tips below may differ slightly depending on which operating system or mobile device you're using.

  1. A simple restart often resolves most issues. The first thing to try is to restart your Android or restart your iOS device you're using to establish the mobile hotspot.

  2. Make sure airplane mode isn't enabled on your mobile device. Airplane mode will prevent an internet connection for both the phone and any device connected to it via the mobile hotspot.

  3. Make sure mobile data on your mobile device is enabled. If you can't enable it or mobile data is otherwise not working right, go through the steps to fix non-working mobile data. If it is already enabled, check to make sure you haven't maxed out your monthly data usage.

  4. Reset your cellular data connection and restart your mobile hotspot. Many times, a simple hotspot restart will resolve issues with accessing the internet via a mobile hotspot.

  5. Improve your mobile signal strength. Sometimes, something as simple as moving your mobile device to a location where you have more signal bars will boost the mobile signal enough to resolve hotspot internet connection issues. If moving the mobile device isn't an option, you could instead purchase a cell phone signal booster. Keep in mind most of these cell phone signal boosters are meant to be used with AC power.

  6. Troubleshoot your mobile device's internet connection. If the mobile hotspot is working properly, open a web browser on your mobile device and make sure you can access various websites. If your mobile device can't access the internet, it won't be able to share its own internet connection with other devices on the hotspot network. Before extensive troubleshooting, check with your mobile provider to be sure they aren't having an internet outage.

  7. Make sure you're placing your laptop or computer as close to the mobile hotspot as possible. Distance from a Wi-Fi network source is one of the easiest ways to boost a Wi-Fi signal. Being too far from the source is one of the most common causes for a dropped Wi-Fi signal, and the inability to access the internet.

  8. If you've secured your mobile hotspot with a password, remove the password from the hotspot settings. This is a good test to make sure you aren't simply typing the wrong password to connect to the hotspot.

  9. Step through the advanced setting of your mobile hotspot and change the AP band between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Most computer sand laptops connect to networks via one of these bands. By changing this setting on your hotspot you may match the band your computer is attempting to use when connecting.

  10. Troubleshoot your computer's internet connection. If you can connect to the hotspot network fine but still can't connect to the internet, you may need to reset your network configuration settings, or temporarily disable the Windows firewall or your antivirus software.

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