Laptop computer not connecting to mobile hotspot [Solved]

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Ever since smartphones have been invented, you could create WiFi hotspots to connect to with a Windows 10 PC.
  • Unfortunately, some Windows 10 users have reported issues with these features, particularly when it comes to Android phones.
  • If you want to learn more about the Android OS and how it works with Windows, check out our dedicated Android Hub.
  • For more troubleshooting guides, browse our dedicated Windows 10 Errors page as well.
why won't my computer connect to my android hotspot

A lot of users who’re constantly on the move frequently use their smartphones as Wi-Fi hotspots.

The internet access is a necessity and this is a great way to utilize smartphone features, especially since the 4G and other mobile data technologies are these days as efficient as DSL.

However, some users have had a hard time connecting to an Android Hotspot with their Windows-powered laptops. This isn’t a novelty, but there’s a solution to this problem. Multiple solutions, if you like.

So, if you’re unable to connect to a mobile hotspot or the hotspot is not showing up on your laptop, make sure to check the steps we enlisted below.

What to do if my computer won’t connect to my Android Hotspot?

  1. Run the Connection Troubleshooter
  2. Restart your devices and allow access for All devices
  3. Use an Open network instead of an encrypted one
  4. Change the Wi-Fi frequency
  5. Reset Android Network Settings

1. Run the Connection Troubleshooter

Let’s start with the PC troubleshooting. If your PC can’t connect to a network, we’ll need to find out why. Along the way, this might help resolve the problem, but the focus is on determining what’s the cause of the issue at hand.

Of course, this implies you can connect to other Wi-Fi networks just fine and that the problem is only with the Android Hotspot connection.

If the problem is universal, we suggest checking the Wi-Fi driver. Updating or even reinstalling should help you address this. Also, if there’s a physical switch, make sure to turn the Wi-Fi on.

Either way, here’s how to run the Connection Troubleshooter in Windows 10:

  1. Press Windows key + I to open the Settings.
  2. Choose Update & Security.
  3. Select the Troubleshoot from the left pane.
  4. Select the Internet Connections Troubleshooter and expand it.
  5. Click on the ”Run this troubleshooter” button.why won't my computer connect to my android hotspot

2. Restart your devices and allow access for All devices

Even though it’s as generic as it seems, rebooting your devices can solve a lot of issues. The Android Hotspot is just like any other shared Wi-Fi network and it should be simple utilizing your handset as the Wi-Fi router.

Therefore, a reboot should do you good most of the times. The Mobile Data network you’re using to create the hotspot needs to be stable, as well, so make sure that the network coverage is on an acceptable level.

However, if you’re still stuck with the error at hand, there are a few things more you can try. One of the most common solutions we found online is to allow access to your hotspot for all devices.

This setting is usually disabled and the access is limited to devices with a certain MAC address. So, what you’ll need to do is to change it in order to avoid possible authentication issues.

This is enabled by default on newer versions of Android, but not on the older ones.

3. Use an Open network instead of an encrypted one

Besides the open access, we’ll suggest disabling the WAP encryption, as well. This might cause the connection problem as well, even though you can confirm you’ve entered the proper password.

There are multiple reasons for why this might fail, especially on older iterations of Windows.

Here’s how to remove the encryption from your Android Hotspot:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Network & internet.
  3. Select Hotspot & tethering.
  4. Tap on the “Set up Wi-Fi hotspot” option.
  5. Under the Security section, select None.why won't my computer connect to my android hotspot
  6. Confirm changes and try connecting again.

4. Change the Wi-Fi frequency

The Wi-Fi frequency might be another reason why you’re unable to connect your laptop to an Android Hotspot. If your handset shares the Wi-Fi over the 5.0 GHz band and your Wi-Fi card don’t support it, you won’t be able to connect.

That’s why we suggest, if the option is available, to switch from 5 GHz to 2.4 GHz band and give it a go.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Network & Internet.
  3. Select Hotspot & tethering.
  4. Tap on the “Set up Wi-Fi hotspot” option.
  5. Under the “Select AP Band” section, choose 2.4 GHz and save changes.why won't my computer connect to my android hotspot

5. Reset Android Network Settings

Finally, we can only suggest a few Android-related solutions. The first one is to make sure your OS firmware is up-to-date. The second requires resetting Network settings to their default values.

Have in mind that this will erase all saved ISSDs you have, Mobile Data settings, and Bluetooth paired devices. But, it should also resolve all bugs concerning the network connectivity.

Here’s how to reset the network settings on your Android device:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Network & internet.
  3. Tap on the 3-dot menu and select Reset Wi-Fi, mobile, & Bluetooth.why won't my computer connect to my android hotspot
  4. Confirm selection and reset Network settings.
  5. After that, reconfigure the hotspot with the previously-suggested settings and try connecting again,

With that said, we can conclude this article. In case you have anything to add or take, feel free to tell us in the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about WiFi hotspots

  • What is a hotspot WiFi?

In simple terms, a WiFi hotspot is simply an area where a wireless network is available.

  • What is the difference between WiFi and hotspot?

WiFi refers to the actual technology that allows wireless connections between devices, while a hotspot refers to a place where wireless networks are available.

  • Where can I find free WiFi hotspots?

Cafes, Malls and many other public places offer free WiFi hotspots, and you can find them by simply browsing your WiFi network search from time to time.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in June 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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