How to Set Up USB Tethering on Windows 10

Use your Android or iPhone to create a hotspot on Windows 10

Tethering your phone to your Windows 10 device allows you to create a hotspot. That way, you can access the internet even if no network connection is available.

Instructions in this article apply exclusively to Windows 10.

What Is USB Tethering?

Tethering is the process of sharing your phone's mobile data to access the internet on another device, such as a laptop. You can tether using Bluetooth or NFC, but USB tethering is the fastest and most effective way to share your phone's mobile data. That said, USB tethering can't compete with the speeds of a solid Wi-Fi connection.

Be careful about how much data you use when tethered. Since many data plans charge incremental amounts based on data usage, watching videos or downloading files on a tethered connection can quickly increase your phone bill. In some case, it's possible to reverse tether, or share Wi-Fi from your computer to your phone, to save on data.

Depending on your mobile carrier, you may be charged a flat fee for tethering a laptop to a mobile device. Check with your carrier if you're worried about extra costs.

How to Set Up USB Tethering on Windows 10

Before you begin, make sure both your phone's operating system and your computer's operating system are updated to the latest versions. To set up USB tethering between your mobile device and your Windows 10 computer:

  1. Connect your mobile device to your laptop via USB cable.

    For Android phones, use a USB-to-micro USB cable. For Apple phones, use the standard lightning cable.

  2. Open your phone's settings and search for USB Tethering (on Android) or Personal Hotspot (on Mac).

    Open your phone's settings and search for USB Tethering (for Android) or Personal Hotspot for (Mac).
  3. Tap the toggle switch beside USB Tethering (on Android) or Personal Hotspot (on Mac) to enable it. Your laptop should now be able to access the internet through your phone's mobile plan.

    Make sure you turn off Wi-Fi so that your computer doesn't try connecting with other networks you can't access.

    Tap the toggle switch beside USB Tethering (on Android) or Personal Hotspot (on Mac) to enable it.
  4. Open your computer's Network Settings in the Windows taskbar to make sure you are connected. Depending on your device, it may say that you are connected via LAN.

If your having trouble with the connection, try plugging your phone into a different USB port, or try a different cable.

Open your computer's Network Settings in the Windows taskbar to make sure you are connected.

Troubleshooting Windows 10 USB Tethering

If USB tethering isn't working in Windows 10, it could be because the driver for the network adapter is out-of-date. To fix this problem:

  1. Right-click the Start Menu and select Device Manager.

    Right-click the Start Menu and select Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Network adapters tab, then right-click your network adapter and select Update driver.

    Expand the Network adapters tab, then right-click your network adapter and select Update driver.
  3. Select Search automatically for updated driver software.

    Select Search automatically for updated driver software.

After installing the driver, you must restart the computer. If the Device Manager says that you already have the latest driver, then the problem could be with your connection, your phone, or your mobile data.