Mobile Hotspot not working in Windows 10? Here’s how to fix it

By: Elsie Otachi
8 minute read
fix mobile hotspot windows 10

A mobile hotspot allows you to share your network connection with other devices that want to connect to or access the internet, using the Wi-Fi feature.

While such devices are connected to your mobile hotspot, data charges continue to go up based on the monthly data plan you are subscribed to.

But connecting to the internet these days has several options compared to the old ways of either using an Ethernet cable or modem.

With advances in technology, however, today you can either get connected via a mobile hotspot, a wireless router, or even use your own smartphone for as the hotspot.

Whenever you try to connect to a mobile hotspot, the challenge can occur due to:

  • Incorrect configuration
  • Incorrect setup
  • Outdated wireless network adapter driver

There are several other instances that can pose a challenge for you not being able to connect to your mobile hotspot.

Some considerations to check before using any of the solutions in this article include what troubleshooting steps you’ve tried so far, and whether the issue is only with a specific device or you’ve tried connecting a different device to your computer’s hotspot.

Try also surfing using a modem or Wi-Fi to see if the issue is your computer or with the connection itself.

Here are the solutions you can use to fix the mobile hotspot issue in Windows 10.

How to fix mobile hotspot issues on Windows 10

Solution 1: Troubleshoot Network Adapter

This is an automated, built-in Windows tool that finds and fixes common Network Adapter settings issues on your computer.

It will also check whether the Network Adapter drivers are updated or not, and give you a clue on the hardware failures related to the Network Adapter.

Take these steps to run the troubleshooting on Network Adapter and see if it identifies the mobile hotspot issue:

  • Click Start
  • Go to the search field box and type Troubleshooting
  • Select Troubleshooting from the search results
  • Click View all on the left pane
  • Click Network Adapter

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  • Click Next
  • The detection process to identify any issues will begin
  • Select the network adapter to diagnose

Solution 2: Create a new connection

If you still have mobile hotspot issues, or issues connecting your device to your mobile hotspot, try and delete the current connection, then create a new one to get rid of the authentication error.


Solution 3: Install drivers

If the mobile hotspot doesn’t work, you can also install the network drivers from the manufacturer’s website, then check if it fixes the issue.


Solution 4: Update network adapter driver

When your network adapter driver is incompatible or outdated, it can cause connection problems with your mobile hotspot. A recent Windows 10 upgrade driver could have been designed for a previous version of Windows.

Update the network adapter driver using these steps:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Device Manager
  • Select Network Adapters
  • Click on the network adapter name
  • Right click the network adapter
  • Select Update driver
  • Click Search automatically for updated driver software
  • Once the steps are complete, click Close
  • After installing the updated driver, click Start>Power>Restart

Check if this fixes the issue of your mobile hotspot not working.

Note: If Windows doesn’t find a new driver, visit the device’s manufacturer website and download the latest network adapter driver from there.

If your computer cannot connect to the internet, download a driver from a different computer, save it to a USB flash drive, then manually install it on your own computer.

How to manually install the network adapter driver

Depending on the file you downloaded from the manufacturer’s website, do the following:

  • For a .exe (executable) file, double click on it to run the file then install the drivers
  • For individual files, check a file with .inf extension and another with .sys extension then do the following:
  • Go to the search box and type Device Manager
  • Click Device Manager from the search results
  • Select Network adapters and go to the network adapter name (you can also check under Other Devices if yours isn’t listed here)
  • Right click the network adapter and select Update driver

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  • Click Browse my computer for driver software
  • Select Browse then the location where the driver files are stored
  • Click Ok
  • Click Next
  • Once installation is complete, click Close

After installing the updated driver, click Start>Power>Restart.


Solution 5: Roll back the network adapter driver

If you were previously connected to the internet and installed a new network adapter driver, try to roll it back to a previous version and check if it helps.

Here’s how to do this:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Device Manager
  • Select Network Adapters then click on the network adapter name
  • Right click on the network adapter
  • Select Properties
  • Select Driver tab
  • Select Roll Back Driver. If the button is unavailable, then there’s no driver to roll back to.
  • After rolling back to the previous version of the driver, select Start>Power>Restart

Note: If Windows doesn’t find a new driver, visit the device’s manufacturer website and download the latest network adapter driver from there.

If your computer cannot connect to the internet, download a driver from a different computer, save it to a USB flash drive, then manually install it on your own computer.


Solution 6: Temporarily turn off firewalls and any antivirus or malware prevention software

A firewall, antivirus or malware program, may at times prevent you from connecting using your mobile hotspot. If this is the cause of the issue, turn either of the three off temporarily then try to visit the website you wanted.

Ensure you turn these programs back on immediately after you’re done to prevent hackers, viruses and worms from damaging your system.


Solution 7: Disable Bluetooth

Disabling Bluetooth could also fix the mobile hotspot issue.

To do this, follow these steps:

  • Click Start
  • Select Settings
  • Choose Devices
  • Click Bluetooth
  • Set it as Off

Solution 8: Run Internet connection troubleshooter

This helps you fix problems with internet connections.

Follow the steps below to do this:

  • Click Start
  • Type Troubleshooting in the search field box
  • Select Troubleshooting from search results

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  • Click View all on the left pane

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  • Select Internet connections

mobile hotspot

  • Click Next to run the troubleshooter

ALSO READ: Fix: “Diagnostics troubleshooting wizard has stopped working” on Windows 10


Solution 9: Install driver in compatibility mode

Follow these steps to install in compatibility mode:

  • Download the latest driver from the manufacturer’s website
  • Save it on your local disk
  • Right click on the driver set up file
  • Click Properties
  • Click Compatibility tab
  • Check the box next to Run this program in Compatibility mode
  • Select the Operating System from the drop down list
  • The driver will install, then check its functionality.
  • Restart the computer and check if the issue persists

Solution 10: Check Wi-Fi adapter

Sometimes when your mobile hotspot isn’t working, it may be caused by your Wi-Fi adapter not supporting it to share its connection.

Here’s how to check if the issue is with your Wi-Fi adapter:

  • Click Start
  • Type CMD in the search field box
  • Select Command Prompt

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If it says No, the there is a problem because it means your Wi-Fi adapter doesn’t support the mobile hotspot feature. In this case, buy another Wi-Fi that supports it as there’s no other way of fixing it.


Solution 11: Link your internet sharing with your hotspot adapter

If you find that your internet sharing is incorrectly linked with your Wi-Fi adapter instead of your hotspot adapter, use the steps below to fix it:

  • Click Start
  • Select Settings

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  • Go to Network & Internet

mobile hotspot

  • Click Mobile Hotspot
  • Turn on Mobile Hotspot
  • Go to Related Settings
  • Click Change adapter options. Take note which adapter is connected to the internet, and which one is your mobile hotspot (usually listed as Local Area Connection)
  • Right click the adapter connected to the internet
  • Click Properties
  • Go to Sharing tab
  • Uncheck Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection (you can skip this step if it is already unchecked)
  • Click Ok
  • Open Properties
  • Under Sharing tab, check Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection. If a popup saying Internet Connection Sharing is currently enabled, click Ok
  • Go to Home networking connection
  • Select the Mobile Hotspot adapter
  • Click Ok

Check if your mobile hotspot is working now. Otherwise try the next solution.


Solution 12: Perform a Clean Boot

Performing a clean boot for your computer reduces conflicts related to software that can bring up the root causes that lead to your mobile hotspot not working on Windows 10.

These conflicts can be caused by applications and services that start up and run in the background whenever you start Windows normally.

How to perform a clean boot

In order to successfully perform a clean boot on Windows 10, you have to be logged on as the administrator, then follow these steps:

  • Go to the search box
  • Type msconfig

msconfig windows 10

  • Select System Configuration

  • Find Services tab
  • Select Hide all Microsoft services box

  • Click Disable all
  • Go to Startup tab
  • Click Open Task Manager

mobile hotspot

  • Close Task manager then click Ok
  • Reboot your computer

You will have a clean boot environment after all these steps are carefully followed, after which you can try and check if the mobile hotspot problem persists.


Solution 13: Start your computer in Safe Mode

Safe mode starts up your computer with limited files and drivers but Windows will still run. To know whether you’re on Safe mode, you’ll see the words at the corners of your screen.

If the mobile hotspot problem persists, check whether it occurs while your computer is in Safe mode.

Follow these steps to start your computer in Safe Mode:

  • Click on Start button
  • Select Settings – the Settings box will open up
  • Click Update & Security

mobile hotspot

  • Select Recovery from the left pane
  • Go to Advanced startup
  • Click Restart now
  • Select Troubleshoot from the choose an option screen, then click Advanced options
  • Go to Startup Settings and click Restart
  • Once your computer restarts, a list of options will come up.
  • Choose 4 or F4 to start your computer in Safe Mode

A quicker way to get into Safe Mode is to restart your computer then do the following:

  • From the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot>Advanced options>Startup Settings>Restart
  • Once your computer restarts, a list of options will come up.
  • Choose 4 or F4 to start your computer in Safe Mode

If the mobile hotspot problem isn’t there while in Safe mode, then your default settings and basic drivers are not contributing to the issue.


Solution 14: Check Allow sharing connection settings

  • Click Start
  • Select Settings
  • Go to Network & Internet

mobile hotspot

  • Select Network and Sharing center

mobile hotspot

  • Click Change adapter settings

mobile hotspot

  • Right click Ethernet connection
  • Select Properties
  • Click Sharing tab
  • Uncheck Checkbox to Allow sharing the connection
  • Restart mobile hotspot

Allow other network users to connect using the steps below:

  • Go to Network and Sharing Center

mobile hotspot

  • Under View your active networks, click the network you connect to the internet from
  • Click Properties
  • Click Sharing tab
  • Select Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection
  • Click Ok

Let us know if any of the solutions we shared worked for you.

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