How to Fix It When a Tablet Won’t Connect to a Mobile Hotspot

If a restart doesn't get it working, dive in to see what changes you should try

This article explains the tried and tested solutions for fixing mobile hotspot tablet problems whether you’re trying to use your hotspot at home, in a café, or on the move. These fixes can be applied to most Android tablets whether they’re made by Samsung, Verizon, Google, or some other manufacturer.

Why Is Mobile Hotspot Not Working With My Tablet?

There are many causes for a mobile hotspot not working properly with an Android tablet. The most common culprits are incorrect internet settings being selected on either or both devices, a weak cellular signal on the smartphone, or an incompatibility with the wireless bands.

Out-of-date operating systems can also cause mobile hotspots to stop working as can a buggy VPN service running in the background.

How to Fix Tablet Mobile Hotspot Problems

Here’s how to get your mobile hotspot working properly with your tablet. It’s best to work through these solutions in the order presented as they’re listed from quickest and easiest to more time-consuming and advanced.

  1. Move your mobile closer to your tablet. Also, make sure that nothing is blocking the view from one device to the other.

  2. Make sure that you’re connecting to the right hotspot. Mobile hotspot names can be very similar to one another and it’s easy to mix them up. 

  3. Check your smartphone’s reception. If your smartphone has a weak cellular or internet connection, its mobile hotspot will be just as weak.

  4. Restart your tablet. A basic restart can fix your mobile connectivity problems.

  5. Leave the hotspot screens open until the connection is established. Open the relevant hotspot setting screen on both devices and make sure the mobile hotspot connection is actually working before closing them.

    These screens may also show you important connection information or steps that you need to follow.

  6. Check for a pairing button. If you’re using a dedicated mobile hotspot device, inspect its body for signs of a sync button or switch that may need to be pressed.

  7. Disable your tablet’s Bluetooth. Turn off Bluetooth on your tablet as this can sometimes interfere with internet connections.

    Naturally, if you’re connecting to your smartphone’s hotspot via Bluetooth, leave your Bluetooth on.

  8. Turn off Airplane Mode on your tablet. If Airplane Mode is on, your tablet’s Wi-Fi connectivity could be disabled.

  9. Turn off Airplane Mode on your mobile. If you’ve turned on your smartphone’s Airplane Mode, you’ve likely disabled its mobile hotspot feature.

  10. Turn off your tablet’s cellular connection. Your tablet may actually be prioritizing your 3G, 4G, or 5G connection over your mobile hotspot Wi-Fi connection. A slow cellular signal could give the impression of a slow Wi-Fi connection when the Wi-Fi isn’t even being used.

  11. Reactivate your mobile hotspot. Whether you’re creating a mobile hotspot with an iPhone or Android phone, disable it, wait a few seconds, and then enable it again.

  12. Disconnect other devices from your mobile hotspot. Your smartphone’s hotspot may be struggling to support all of your devices. This can also be true for dedicated hotspot devices.

  13. Disable downloads. Turn off any app and operating system updates on your tablet and smartphone. Also, cancel any active movie, TV episode, and music downloads.

  14. Update your tablet’s operating system. An Android update can fix a variety of connectivity issues.

  15. Update your smartphone. Download and install the latest update for your iPhone or Android smartphone.

  16. Check your VPN. Your VPN service may be faulty and interfere with your internet connectivity.

  17. Turn off Battery Saver. This setting can save your power but can also affect certain feature functionality.

  18. Disable Adaptive Battery. Open Settings and select Battery > Adaptive preferences > Adaptive Battery > Off.

  19. Switch Wi-Fi bands. On some Android smartphones, you can switch bands by opening Settings > Network & Internet > Hotspot & tethering > Wi-Fi hotspot and selecting AP Band > 2.4 GHz or 5.0 GHz. Experiment with both band options to see if this fixes your mobile hotspot issues.

  20. Try USB tethering. You can actually connect to your mobile’s internet connection via a USB cable or tether via Bluetooth.

  21. Reset network settings. Locate your tablet’s network settings and reset the ones associated with internet connectivity and wireless communication.

    Note that resetting network settings on Android will remove your Wi-Fi and mobile data connection settings in addition to your connected Bluetooth devices. 

  22. Ask your carrier. While most carriers support mobile hotspot functionality on their smartphones, it’s possible that yours may not.

  • How do I make my phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot?

    To use an Android phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, go to Settings > Network & Internet > Hotspot & tethering > Wi-Fi hotspot. On a Samsung phone, you'd go to Settings > Connections > Mobile Hotspot and Tethering and turn on Mobile Hotspot.

  • How do I use an iPhone as a Wi-Fi hotspot?

    To set up a personal hotspot on an iPhone, go to Settings > Cellular > Set Up Personal Hotspot. Tap the Allow Others to Join slider to turn on this feature. If you don't see a Personal Hotspot option, check with your mobile carrier to see if your plan includes a personal hotspot.

  • How do I change my mobile hotspot name?

    On an iPhone, you'll need to change your iPhone name to change the hotspot name. Go to Settings > General > About > Name and change the name. On an Android, go to Settings > Network & Internet > Hotspot & tethering > Wi-Fi hotspot and change the hotspot name.

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