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

By: Radu Tyrsina
7 minute read

More trouble for Apple user as it seems that iPhone users, especially those that have iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s can’t connect their WiFi hotspots to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 laptops. We go through the problems and try to offer working fixes.

Many iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s users have been complaining that they can’t manage to connect their Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 laptops to the WiFi hotspots they have created on their iPhones. Recently, we have reported iTunes crashes in Windows 8.1, failed Retina Macbook installs and Bluetooth problems for BootCamp users.

Now, here’s what one iPhone user is saying:

I am currently running Windows 8.  However, it did not work with Windows Vista either.  When I use the USB, I can use the hotspot without any issue.  itunes is installed. Its only when I try to connect wirelessly that it fails to connect.  It shows up as an available wireless connection though. Ideas?  Ive been fighting it for a week now….need some help.  It also did not work with my iPhone 4, before the upgrade.

Windows 10 doesn’t connect to iPhone WiFi hotspot, how to fix it?

Many users tend to use their iPhone to create wireless hotspots, but sometimes issues with wireless hotspots can occur. Since this is such a common problem, we’re going to cover the following issues:

  • Windows 10 can’t connect to iPhone hotspot – This is a relatively common problem with Windows 10, but you should be able to fix it using one of our solutions.
  • Laptop won’t connect to iPhone 6, 7 hotspot – This issue affects both laptop and desktop PCs. It’s also worth noting that you can experience this problem with both iPhone 6 and 7.
  • Windows 10 iPhone hotspot Can’t connect to this network – This is a relatively common problem with WiFi. We already covered how to fix Windows 10 Can’t connect to this network message in one of our older articles, so be sure to check it out.
  • Windows 10 iPhone WiFi won’t stay connected, turns off, randomly disconnects – If your Wi-Fi frequently disconnects on Windows you can experience many problems. However, we already wrote how to fix this problem in one of our earlier articles, so be sure to check it out.
  • Windows 10 iPhone WiFi yellow triangle, exclamation mark – If you have a problem with your Wi-Fi network you’ll see a yellow triangle or an exclamation mark in the bottom right corner. To see how to fix this problem, we advise you to check out our article on how to fix Wi-Fi exclamation mark on Windows 10.
  • Windows 10 iPhone WiFi hotspot not working – Not being able to use your Wi-Fi hotspot can be a big problem. However, we already wrote a guide on what to do if your mobile hotspot isn’t working on Windows 10.

As we can see, this has happened in Windows Vista, as well, and also with an iPhone 4. First of all, to make sure that the Windows 8 computer is the culprit, try and connect another device to the WiFi hotspot that you created using your iPhone. If the problem persists, here’s what you can do:

Solution 1 – Troubleshoot the Personal hotspot problems

  • Confirm that your iOS device, computer, and wireless plan all meet the system requirements for Personal Hotspot.
  • Verify that Personal Hotspot is enabled by tapping Settings > General > Cellular > Personal Hotspot.
  • Verify the Internet connection on your iOS device by tapping Safari and loading a new webpage.
  • If one connection type doesn’t work, try another (for example, instead of connecting using Wi-Fi, try using USB or Bluetooth).
  • Try disabling and reenabling Personal Hotspot from Settings > Personal Hotspot or Settings > General > Cellular > Personal Hotspot.
  • Install the latest version of iOS. Tap Settings > General > Software Update.
  • Reset network settings by tapping Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
  • If none of the previous steps resolves your issue, restore the iPhone.

Solution 2 – Troubleshoot the WiFi hotspot problems

  • Turn Personal Hotspot off.
  • Verify Wi-Fi is on in Settings > Wi-Fi.
  • Turn Personal Hotspot back on.
  • If another device is unable to join your Wi-Fi network, ensure that the user enters the Wi-Fi password correctly. If the device cannot see your Wi-Fi network, verify your device name.
  • Note: Windows may not properly display a device name that uses non-ASCII characters.
  • Verify how many devices are currently using your Personal Hotspot. Depending on your wireless carrier and, the maximum number of Wi-Fi connections may be limited to three at one time.
  • If the other device still cannot connect, try turning Wi-Fi off and on again on the device. Verify that your device can see other Wi-Fi networks.

If you still have issues connecting your iPhone WiFi hotspot to your Windows 8 laptop, try also the following:

  • Got to Settings > FaceTime and scroll down to the bottom.
  • Set Use Cellular Data to off.
  • Turn your phone off. This is important as otherwise this solution does not work.
  • Turn the phone back on.
  • Go to Settings > General > Cellular > Personal Hotspot and switch it on.

Solution 3 – Change the name of your iPhone

According to users, if Windows doesn’t connect to iPhone WiFi hotspot, the problem might be the name of your hotspot. Many users reported this problem, but after removing characters such as numbers and apostrophes from the name of their hotspot the issue was resolved. To change the name of your iPhone, do the following:

  1. Go to Settings > General > About > Name.
  2. Now click on X icon to remove your current name.
  3. Enter a new name and you’re good to go.

Few users reported that removing extra spaces from the hotspot name fixed the problem for them, so be sure to try that as well. Once you change the hotspot name, your PC will be able to connect to the iPhone WiFi hotspot again.


Solution 4 – Forget your hotspot WiFi

According to users, this problem can occur if you change your hotspot password. If you used your hotspot WiFi before, Windows will regard it as a known network and try to connect to it automatically.

However, since the password is changed, you won’t be able to connect at all. In addition, you won’t get a dialog message asking you to enter the new password. To forget a network on Windows 10, you need to do the following:

  1. Click the Wi-Fi icon in the bottom right corner.
  2. Now locate your Wi-Fi hotspot, right click it and choose Forget from the menu.

You can also forget a wireless network by using the Settings app. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + I shortcut to quickly open the Settings app.
  2. When Settings app opens, navigate to Network & Internet section.
    Windows 10 can't connect to iPhone hotspot
  3. From the menu on the left select Wi-Fi. Now click on Manage known networks.
  4. List of memorized Wi-Fi networks will appear. Select your Wi-Fi network and click the Forget button.

Lastly, you can also forget your Wi-Fi network by using the Command Prompt. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Select Command Prompt (Admin) or PowerShell (Admin) from the list.
    Laptop won't connect to iPhone 6, 7 hotspot
  2. Optional: Enter netsh wlan show profiles command to see the list of all memorized wireless networks. If you already know the name of the network you want to remove, you can skip this step.
    Windows 10 iPhone hotspot Can't connect to this network
  3. Now enter netsh wlan delete profile name=”WIFI NETWORK NAME” command and run it. Be sure to enter the actual name of the wireless connection in between the quotes.
    Windows 10 iPhone WiFi won't stay connected

Once you forget your Wi-Fi network, try to connect to it again and you’ll be asked to enter a password. After doing that, the Wi-Fi network will start working.


Solution 5 – Change the iPhone hotspot password

According to users, if Windows doesn’t connect to iPhone WiFi hotspot, the issue might be your hotspot’s password. However, you can fix this problem simply by changing your hotsport’s password.

After doing that, the problem should be resolved and you’ll be able to connect to the iPhone’s hotspot again.


Solution 6 – Uninstall Intel Proset wireless software

If Windows doesn’t connect to iPhone WiFi hotspot, the problem might be your wireless software. Sometimes this software can interfere with Windows and cause this and other problems to occur.

If you have this problem, you just need to uninstall the wireless software by doing the following:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Apps section.
    Windows 10 iPhone WiFi yellow triangle
  2. Select Intel Proset wireless software from the list and click on Uninstall button.
    Windows 10 iPhone WiFi Unidentified network
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen to remove it.

Once you remove the software, restart your PC. If you don’t use Intel Proset software, be sure to remove your wireless software and check if that helps.

Let us know if this has done the trick for you. If not, maybe you can share with us your detailed problem and we’ll try to find a solution together. Also, if you did manage to get over this, do share it with us to help those in need.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2013 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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