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Tether manually with Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, or USB

You can share your Android phone or tablet's mobile data connection with another device via portable Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth tethering, or USB tethering. For example, you can connect your laptop to the Internet using your phone's data connection.

If you have a Pixel or Nexus phone running Android 7.1.1 and up, learn how to tether automatically.

Important: Some mobile carriers limit or charge extra for tethering. We recommend checking with your carrier.

Note: Android isn't the same on all devices. These instructions are for devices running Android 5.0 and up. See what version of Android you have.

Set up and use Wi-Fi hotspot tethering

If your phone or tablet has mobile data, you can share its mobile connection as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 10 other devices.

Turn your Wi-Fi hotspot on or off

To turn your phone or tablet on or off as a Wi-Fi hotspot:

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings .
  2. Under "Wireless & networks," tap More and then Tethering & portable hotspot.
  3. Tap Portable Wi-Fi hotspot to switch it on or off.
    Tip: Switching on the hotspot for the first time fills in default settings, like a network name and password. Learn how to customize hotspot settings.

When the hotspot is on, it shows in your Quick Settings. Examples:

  • Wi-Fi hotspot active Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Multiple connections active Multiple tethering or hotspot connections active
Customize your Wi-Fi hotspot settings

To customize your phone or tablet's Wi-Fi hotspot settings:

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings .
  2. Under "Wireless & networks," tap More and then Tethering & portable hotspot.
  3. Tap Set up Wi-Fi hotspot.
  4. Tap and change the option that you want to customize.
    • Network name
    • Security
    • Password
    • AP band
  5. Tap Save.

Tip: If you don't want security, you can choose None under "Security."

Connect a device to your Wi-Fi hotspot

After you turn on your phone or tablet as a Wi-Fi hotspot, you can connect another device to your hotspot.

Step 1: On your phone or tablet, get your hotspot's network name and password.

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings .
  2. Under "Wireless & networks," tap More and then Tethering & portable hotspot.
  3. Tap Set up Wi-Fi hotspot.
  4. Tap Show password.
  5. See the network name and password.

Step 2: On the other device, connect to your hotspot.

  1. Open that device's list of Wi-Fi options.
  2. On that list, select the hotspot network name.
  3. Enter the hotspot password.
  4. Click Connect.

Set up and use Bluetooth tethering

If your phone or tablet has mobile data, you can share its mobile connection with other devices through Bluetooth.

Pair the other device for Bluetooth connection
  1. Pair your phone or tablet with the device that you want to have share your Internet connection. Learn how to pair devices using Bluetooth.
  2. Set up the other device to get its network connection by Bluetooth. We recommend checking the instructions that came with the other device.
Turn Bluetooth tethering on or off

After you pair the other device for Bluetooth, you can set up and use Bluetooth tethering with your phone or tablet.

To turn your phone or tablet's Bluetooth on or off:

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings .
  2. Under "Wireless & networks," tap More and then Tethering & portable hotspot.
  3. Tap Bluetooth tethering.

When the Bluetooth tethering connection is on, it shows in your Quick Settings. You can then connect the other device to the Internet. Examples:

  • Bluetooth tethering connection active Bluetooth
  • Multiple connections active Multiple tethering or hotspot connections active

Set up and use USB tethering

If your phone or tablet has mobile data, you can use a USB cable to share its mobile connection with another device.

Note: Mac computers can't tether by USB.

Set up and use USB tethering

Turn USB tethering on or off

  1. Using a USB cable, connect your phone or tablet to another device.
  2. You'll see a USB icon and a notification ("Connected as a media device" or "Connected as a camera") at the top of the screen. For tethering, the connection type doesn't matter.
  3. Open your device's Settings app Settings .
  4. Under "Wireless & networks," tap More and then Tethering & portable hotspot.
  5. Tap USB tethering. To turn off, you can also disconnect the USB cable.

Connect to USB tethering

When the USB tethering connection is on, it shows in your Quick Settings. You can then connect the other device to the Internet. Examples:

  • USB tethering connection active USB tethering active
  • Multiple connections active Multiple tethering or hotspot connections active
Set up and use USB tethering with Windows XP

If you're using a computer running Windows XP, you'll need to install a configuration file before tethering your computer to your phone or tablet.

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings .
  2. Under "Wireless & networks," tap More and then Tethering & portable hotspot.
  3. Tap USB tethering.
  4. On your Windows XP computer, download this configuration file: tetherxp.inf.
    • Usually, you can right-click on the link and choose Save As.
    • If your browser adds “.html” to the filename, edit to remove the ".html" and replace it with “.inf” instead.
  5. Using a USB cable, connect your phone or tablet to your Windows XP computer.
  6. When Windows XP's New Hardware Wizard opens, select No, not at this time and then Next.
  7. Select Install from a list or specific location and then Next.
  8. To browse to the directory where you installed the configuration file you downloaded, click Browse and then Next.
  9. When Windows XP finishes installing the software for Android USB Ethernet/RNDIS, click Finish.
  10. When the USB tethering connection is on, you’ll see a notification. You can then connect your Windows XP computer to the Internet.

Expect high power use by tethering

Tethering can use a lot of battery. We recommend plugging in your devices while tethering. You can save power by turning off a tethering connection when you're done with it.

Related links

Amy

Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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