How to Turn Your Computer Into a WI-Fi Hotspot in Windows 10

Share your computer's internet connection with nearby devices

When you find yourself with just one internet connection point—a single wired connection for your laptop at the hotel or your smartphone tethered over USB to your computer—you can share that single internet connection with other nearby devices. You may have a Wi-Fi tablet, or you may be with a friend who'd like to get online. With Windows 10, you can share your laptop's wired or mobile broadband internet connection wirelessly with other devices.

You can't share a connection from the same device. So, you'll need a wired connection or a USB tether from a mobile device to share.

How to Share an Internet Connection in Windows 10

To share your computer's internet connection, you'll need to use the network sharing tools built in to Windows 10.

  1. Right-click the network icon in the system tray at the lower right of the screen.

  2. A menu will pop open. Choose Open Network & Internet settings.

    Windows 10 right-click network status
  3. A new window will pop open, displaying your network status. Locate Mobile hotspot in the menu on the left of the window.

    Windows 10 network status
  4. The main body of the window will shift to display your mobile hotspot settings. First, take a look at the drop-down menu for Share my Internet connection from. Make sure that it's set to your wired or tethered connection.

    Windows 10 mobile hotspot
  5. Below that you'll find the current network name and password for the Windows hotspot. You can leave these what they are, or press Edit to set them yourself.

  6. If you are changing your hotspot settings, enter the new network name and password in the pop-up window, and press Save.

    Windows 10 set up mobile hotspot
  7. Look over your mobile hotspot settings. If you're happy with everything, flip the switch marked Share my Internet connection with other devices to the On position.

    Windows 10 mobile hotspot enabled
  8. Your hotspot will now be available for your other devices to connect to. Locate it like you would any other WiFi connection through the list of available networks, and connect with the password that you set in the hotspot settings.

  9. From here out, you can enable and disable your mobile hotspot from the network icon in the system tray. Select the icon, and the menu will open up. Select or deselect the Mobile hotspot tile toward the bottom to enable or disable your hotspot.

    Windows 10 enable hotspot from tray

Sharing a Connection in Earlier Versions of Windows

If you're using an older version of Windows or are on a Mac, you can accomplish this reverse tethering in other ways:

  • Use Internet Connection Sharing when you have a laptop wired to a router or modem and want to share the connection via your Wi-Fi adapter or a second Ethernet port
  • Use Connectify, a free app that shares a single Wi-Fi connection wirelessly, so you don't need a second network adapter. It requires Windows 7 or later.
Was this page helpful?