We can’t set up mobile hotspot: How to fix this Windows 10 error

By: Matthew Adams
5 minute read
We can't set up mobile hotspot

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Microsoft added a new mobile hotspot setting to Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update that enables users to share a laptop’s or desktop’s web connection with other devices, which can come in handy for browsing on your travels.

However, the Share my internet connection with other devices setting doesn’t always work. When some users toggle that setting on, a wireless hotspot error message states, “We can’t set up mobile hotspot.” Here are a few resolutions that might fix the mobile hotspot error in Windows 10.

How to fix mobile hotspot setup issues on Windows 10

  1. Check Hosted Network Support
  2. Open the Network Adapter Troubleshooter
  3. Check the Internet Connection Sharing Service is on
  4. Adjust the Wireless Network Adapter Properties
  5. Switch Bluetooth Off
  6. Update Network Adapter Drivers
  7. Add Mobile Hotspot Software to Windows 10

1. Check Hosted Network Support

First, it’s worth checking if your PC includes an adapter that supports hosted networks. You can do that by pressing the Windows key + X and selecting Command Prompt (Admin). Enter ‘NETSH WLAN show drivers’ in the Prompt, and press the Return key. Then check the hosted network support detail shown in the snapshot directly below.

So what if your wireless adapter doesn’t support hosted networks? You could get a new USB Wi-Fi adapter that does support hosted networks. Check out this article that provides further details for USB Wi-Fi adapters.

2. Open the Network Adapter Troubleshooter

  • Windows 10 includes a Network Adapter troubleshooter that might help fix the mobile hotspot setting in Windows. To open that troubleshooter, click the Cortana button on the taskbar.
  • Input the keyword ‘troubleshoot’ in the search box and select Troubleshoot to open the window shown below.

troubleshoot windows update

  • Select Network Adapter and press the Run the troubleshooter button to open the window in the shot below.

  • Select the All network adapters option and click Next to go through the troubleshooter.

ALSO READ: Connectify Hotspot: How to download and install on Windows 10

3. Check the Internet Connection Sharing Service is on

  • It might be the case that the Internet Connection Sharing service is not running. To check that service is up and running, press the Windows key + R hotkey.
  • Input ‘services.msc’ in Run’s text box and click OK to open the window shown directly below.

  • Double-click Internet Connection Sharing to open the window in the snapshot below.

  • If the service is disabled, select Manual or Automatic from the Startup type drop-down menu.
  • Click Start to kick-start ICS, and then press the OK button.

4. Adjust the Wireless Network Adapter Properties

  • Some users have stated on forums that they’ve fixed the mobile hotspot error in Windows by modifying their network adapter properties. To do that, press the Windows key + X hotkey.
  • Select Device Manager on the menu to open the window directly below.

device manager

  • Double-click Network adapter to expand the adapter list as below.

  • Next, double-click your current network adapter, such as Realtek Wireless Lan, to open the properties window for it.

  • Select the Advanced tab shown in the shot directly below.

  • Then select 802.11d and Enable (or Long only) from the Value drop-down menu.
  • Press the OK button.
  • Click View on the Device Manager window and select Show hidden devices.
  • Then double-click the Microsoft Hosted Network Adapter to open its properties window.
  • Select the Power Management tab shown in the snapshot directly below.

  • Uncheck the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power option if it’s currently selected.
  • Press the OK button to close the window.

ALSO READ: Fix: Windows 10 doesn’t connect to iPhone’s WiFi hotspot

5. Switch Bluetooth Off

Some users have also confirmed that switching Bluetooth off can fix the mobile hotspot error. To do that, enter ‘Bluetooth’ in the Cortana app’s search box. Select Bluetooth & other devices to open the Settings window shown in the snapshot directly below. Then toggle the Bluetooth setting to off.

6. Update Network Adapter Drivers

  • Updating outdated network adapter drivers can feasibly fix the mobile hotspot error. To update network adapter drivers, select Device Manager on the Win + X menu.
  • Select the Show hidden devices option on the View menu.
  • Double-click Network adapters to expand the adapters.
  • Right-click Microsoft Hosted Network Virtual Adapter and select Enable device if it’s not currently enabled.
  • Then select Update driver on the adapter’s context menu, and select the Browse my computer for driver option.

  • Select the Let me pick from a list of available drivers option, and then select Microsoft Hosted Network Adapter.

  • Press the Next button to update the driver.
  • Thereafter, right-click Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter 2 listed on the Device Manager and select Enable device if required.
  • Then select Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter 2’s Update driver option on its context menu.
  • Click Browse my computer for driver and Let me pick from a list of available drivers as before.

  • Select the Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter model listed, and press the Next button.

Update drivers automatically (suggested)

After you have uninstalled your drivers, we recommend to reinstall/update them automatically. Downloading and installing drivers manually is a process that carries the risk of getting the wrong driver installed, which may lead to serious malfunctions of your system.

We strongly recommend Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool. It automatically identifies each device on your computer and matches it with the latest driver versions from an extensive online database.

Here is how it works:

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting window
    2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
      tweakbit driver updater scanning drivers windows
    3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
      Automatically Update complete
      Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Disclaimer: some features of this tool are not free.

7. Add Mobile Hotspot Software to Windows 10

Remember that there are numerous third-party mobile hotspot software packages with which you can also set up a WiFi hotspot on Windows. So you don’t always need to set up a mobile hotspot with the Share my internet connection with other devices setting in Windows. You could set up a hotspot in Windows with software such as Connectify, mHotspot, Maryfi or Ostoto. This software guide provides more details for some of the best Windows 10 hotspot software.

Connectify Wi-Fi hotspot

Some of those resolutions might fix the mobile hotspot error so that you can share your laptop’s or desktop’s net connection with other devices. Note that you can also set up a mobile hotspot via Windows Command Prompt as covered in this post. If you can’t share an iPhone hotspot connection with Windows, check out this article.

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