What to Do If Your USB Tethering Is Not Working

Find out how to fix tethering in Windows 10, 8, and 7

Tethered phone

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Since it's typically used as a secondary method for connecting to the internet, when even USB tethering is not working, it can be exceedingly frustrating. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to fix tethering problems with Windows.

Tips in this article work for Windows 10, 8.1, and 7.

How to Fix USB Tethering Not Working

Before troubleshooting the USB tethering problem you're facing, it's a good idea to make sure you've followed the correct steps for tethering in Windows.

  1. Disable Wi-Fi: A wireless connection can sometimes get in the way of tethering. Try disabling Wi-Fi to see if it fixes your tethering with Windows 10 problem. To do so on iOS or Android, swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal the control center or quick settings, then tap the Wi-Fi icon.

  2. Make sure the USB cable is working and connected: Make sure your USB cable is connected properly at both ends. If needed, unplug and plug it in again. Trying another USB cable is also a good idea if you have one to hand.

  3. Try a different USB port: Are you using the fastest USB port on your system? If you're plugged into a USB 2.0 port, try a USB 3.0, or USB 3.1. Alternatively, just try a different one. You never know if the USB port is faulty.

  4. Restart everything: Rebooting your PC or laptop and restarting your phone might not be the solution to everything, but it's surprising how often it can fix something. Try it out in this case to see if your Windows tethering problem is fixed.

  5. Run Windows Troubleshooter: Windows Troubleshooter may not always work, but when it does, it can save a lot of headaches. To see if it can fix your problem with USB tethering in Windows 10:

    1. Search for “Troubleshoot” in the Windows search box, then select the relevant result.
    2. Wait until the troubleshoot window loads, then select Network Adapter > Run the troubleshooter.
    3. Follow the on screen instructions to see if your tethering issues are resolved.
  6. Update tethering driver: Sometimes Windows’ own tethering driver is corrupted and makes the process more difficult than it should be. To fix that:

    1. Search for Device Manager in the Windows search bar and select the relevant result.
    2. Look down the list of devices and select Network Adapter to expand its options.
    3. Right-click or tap and hold Remote NDIS based Internet Sharing Device, then select Properties from the pop up menu.
    4. Select the Driver tag at the top of the new window, then select Update driver > Search automatically for updated driver software.
    5. Follow the onscreen instructions.

    If that doesn't work, try repeating the process, but instead of selecting Search automatically... select Browse my computer for driver software > Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer. Make sure Show compatible hardware is chosen, then select Remote NDIS based Internet Sharing Device > Next.

  7. Update Windows and your device: If specific driver updates don't fix the problem, a general Windows, Android, or iOS update might do the trick.

  8. Change your APN settings: Android users can sometimes fix Windows tethering problems by changing their APN settings. Scroll down and tap APN Type, then input “default,dun” then tap OK. If that doesn't work, some users have reportedly found success changing it to “dun“ instead.

  9. Change your MVNO type: Some Android users with tethering issues have found that changing the Mobile Virtual Network Operator Type can help. Access it by going to Settings > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names, then tap your mobile provider from the list. Scroll down and tap MVNO type, then change it to IMSI.

  10. If none of the above works, you could always go the wireless route. You can setup your phone as a Wi-Fi hostpot and tether your laptop or desktop wirelessly. If your device doesn't natively support wireless, you can always buy a USB Wi-Fi adaptor.