Surface Pro won’t connect to the iPhone’s hotspot

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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Surface Pro won't connect iPhone hotspot

No matter which device you’re on, whether it is an iPhone or Android, your Surface Pro will work with it, so you can get the most out of them.

When used together, you can access your photos, music, documents, and other favourites, but you can also connect to your mobile phone as a hotspot, via the tethering functionality.

Both the Surface Pro 4 and iPhone work just great together, but there are times when the Surface Pro 4 won’t connect to your iPhone‘s hotspot, either because of network settings, or another underlying cause.

This article looks at how to fix this connection issue using the solutions below.

What can I do if Surface Pro 4 won’t connect to my iPhone’s hotspot?

  1. General fixes
  2. Check special characters on the SSID name
  3. Disable Network Device
  4. Check WiFi settings on your Surface
  5. Check your network on another device
  6. Check the date and time settings
  7. Check to see if MAC address filtering is enabled
  8. Check the signal
  9. Allow roaming

1. General fixes

  • Try to forget the network and reconnect
  • Try connecting to another SSID (service set identifier is the name associated with an 802.11 WLAN including home networks and public hotspots) and moving back
  • Prop up your Surface Pro 4 so that it doesn’t lay flat
  • Ensure you’re on iPhone Personal Hotspot page because if you’re not, then there’s no actual connection as iPhone will switch off the hotspot
  • Change the Wi-Fi channel on your iPhone off of auto, select 1, and then try again
  • Enable or disable Wi-Fi tethering to refresh it so that it can be found. You can do this by going to Settings>Personal Hotspot or Settings>General>Cellular>Personal Hotspot
  • Install the latest version of iOS by tapping Settings>General>Software update
  • Reset network settings by tapping Settings>General>Reset>Reset Network Settings
  • Turn on Personal Hotspot by checking Settings>Personal Hotspot or Settings>General>Cellular>Personal Hotspot. If you cannot find or turn it on, check that your wireless carrier enables it, and your wireless plan supports it
  • Switch internet connections like from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth or USB
  • Restart the iPhone or your Surface Pro 4 device
  • Ensure both devices are in the same range
  • Place your Surface Pro 4 in laptop mode
  • Attach the iPhone via USB to your Surface Pro 4 device, as this will cause the latter to do some additional setup and establish some sort of ‘trust’ between the devices, then go to USB settings and pair the Surface Pro 4 to your iPhone
  • Check Wi-Fi Network Adapter settings for old Wi-Fi networks and delete them all

Surface Pro won’t connect to your TV? Don’t worry, we’ve got the right solution for you.

2. Check special characters on the SSID name

Sometimes your Surface Pro 4 won’t connect with iPhone hotspot because of special characters used in the iPhone name, which makes the device not recognize the characters. To change this:

  • Select General
  • Select About
  • Select Name
  • Change the name of your iPhone without using spaces, then switch on Personal Hotspot on your Surface Pro and it will connect. Numbers are special characters too, so delete spaces, and apostrophes, but numbers as well. E.g. don’t write Bob’siPhone, write BobsiPhone instead.

3. Disable Network Device

  • Go to desktop
  • Swipe from the right and tap Settings
  • Select Control Panel
  • Select Network and sharing center
  • Select Change Adapter Settings
  • Select the Wi-Fi adapter and click ‘Disable this Network Device
  • Wait a few seconds and enable it again. It should show up now
  • Go to Control Panel
  • Select Hardware and Sound
  • Select Devices and Printers
  • Set the iPhone as a wireless network. The password for this is in Personal Hotspot.

You can’t open Control Panel? Take a look at this step-by-step guide to find a solution.

4. Check WiFi settings on your Surface

  • Go to Start and select Settings
  • Select Network & Internet
  • Select Wi-Fi and check if it is On
  • Check that Airplane mode is Off
  • Check that your iPhone hotspot is in the list of available networks but you cannot connect to it.

Don’t know how to turn Airplane mode off? Take a look at this guide and learn how to do it.

5. Check your network on another device

If your iPhone hotspot appears in the list of available networks on your Surface Pro 4 but you can’t connect, ensure the network is working properly on another device.

If it doesn’t work on any other devices, the problem might be with the network or hardware itself.

Mobile hotspot not working in Windows 10? Check out this guide and solve the problem in no time.

6.Check the date and time settings

Check and, if needed, correct your date and time settings on your Surface Pro 4. To do this:

  • Tap Start and select Settings
  • Select Time & language.
  • Make sure the info is correct or make changes as necessary.
  • Try to connect to your Wi-Fi network

Getting the “We can’t set up mobile hotspot” error in Windows 10? Count on us to solve the problem.

7. Check to see if MAC address filtering is enabled

MAC filtering can bring up the Surface Pro 4 won’t connect to iPhone hotspot issue. If it is turned on, try any of the following steps:

  • Turn off MAC filtering temporarily to see if that is preventing your Surface Pro 4 from connecting to your iPhone hotspot
  • Add the MAC address of your Surface to your iPhone’s authorized list.

Here’s how to find the MAC address:

  • Select the search box in the taskbar, enter cmd, and select Command Prompt.
  • At the command prompt, enter ipconfig /all
  • Tap Enter.
  • Find the Physical Address. This is the MAC address for your Surface.

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look at this guide.

8. Check the signal

If you have limited or no connectivity, then you may be out of the range so you need to check your signal. In the taskbar, select wireless network and check to see how many bars are lit up in the cellular icon.

If you have only one lit bar, or none, you are likely on the edge of or out of your operator’s range. To reconnect, you need to move to get back in range.

9. Allow roaming

If you are traveling outside of your mobile operator’s network coverage area and want to use an iPhone hotspot connection, make sure that roaming is turned on.

Roaming allows you to connect to the Internet even when you are away from your mobile operator’s network.

Some operators charge extra for roaming or have a different data plan with this included. Set your Surface so roaming turns on by default when you are out of your mobile operator’s range. To do this:

  • Tap Start and select Settings 
  • Select Network & Internet 
  • Select Cellular.
  • Select the name of your mobile operator, then select Connect automatically.
  • Select Allow roaming.

Did any of these solutions help get your connection back? Share with us in the comments section below.

Also, leave there any other suggestions or questions that you may have and we’ll be sure to check them out.


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