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Share a mobile connection by tethering or hotspot

You can use your phone’s mobile data to connect another phone, tablet, or computer to the internet. Sharing a connection this way is called tethering or using a portable hotspot.

  • Most Android phones can share mobile data by Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or USB using the Settings app.
  • All Pixel and some Nexus phones can also share mobile data by Wi-Fi using notifications.

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

Note: Some of these steps work only on Android 8.0 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Tether by Wi-Fi hotspot

Use the Settings app

Step 1: Turn on your phone’s Wi-Fi hotspot
  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings app.
  2. Tap Network & Internet and then Hotspot & tethering.
  3. Turn on Portable Wi-Fi hotspot.

Step 2: Customize your phone’s Wi-Fi hotspot settings
  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings app.
  2. Tap Network & Internet and then Hotspot & tethering.
  3. Tap Set up Wi-Fi hotspot.
  4. Tap the option that you want to change. Follow the on-screen steps.
  5. Tap Save.

Tip: If you don't want your hotspot to require a password, pick None under "Security."

Step 3: Connect devices to your phone’s Wi-Fi hotspot

You can share your phone’s mobile data with up to 10 other devices via a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Step 1: On your phone, get your hotspot's network name & password.

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings app.
  2. Tap Network & Internet and then Hotspot & tethering.
  3. Tap Set up Wi-Fi hotspot.
  4. Tap Show 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, pick the hotspot network name.
  3. Enter the hotspot password.
  4. Click Connect.

Use notifications

Step 1: Check that your devices can tether using notifications

Phones that can share their connections using notifications ("host")

When running Android 7.1.1 and up:

  • Pixel and Pixel XL
  • Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 6

Phones & tablets that can use connections shared using notifications ("client")

When running Android 6.0 and up:

  • Pixel, Pixel XL, and Pixel C
  • Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 6, and Nexus 9
Step 2: Set up tethering using notifications

This kind of tethering is on by default for most devices that can use it. It's off by default for Nexus 5X. You can turn it off or back on at any time.

Step 1: Sign in to the same account

On all your devices that will share connections:

  1. Sign in to the same Google Account. Learn how to add accounts.
  2. Turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Learn how to turn them on.

Step 2: Let your phone share its connection

  1. Open your phone's Settings app Settings app.
  2. Tap Google and then Instant Tethering.
  3. Tap Provide data connection.

Step 3: Let your other devices use your phone's connection

  1. Open your other device’s Settings app Settings app.
  2. Tap Google and then Instant Tethering.
  3. Tap Get data connection.
Step 3: Tether using notifications

When your devices are set up to tether via notifications, and you unlock a device with no connection, while your phone with mobile data is nearby:

Step 1: On your other device

  • You get a "Wi-Fi hotspot available" notification. Tap it and follow the on-screen steps.
  • If you see a carrier verification notification the first time that you tether, tap Continue.
  • To connect later without the notification, you can open your Settings app and then Google and then Instant Tethering and then your phone and then Connect.

Step 2: On your phone

When you connect, you get a "Sharing data connection" notification.

  • The notification stays as long as you're connected.
  • To disconnect, tap the notification.
  • When you don't use an Instant Tethering connection for about 10 minutes, it disconnects.

Tether by Bluetooth

Step 1: Set up the other device for Bluetooth tethering
  1. Pair your phone with the device that needs mobile data. Learn how to pair devices.
  2. Set up the device to get its network connection by Bluetooth. Follow the instructions that came with the device.
Step 2: Turn your phone’s Bluetooth tethering on or off

After the other device is set for Bluetooth tethering, you can set up and use your phone’s Bluetooth tethering.

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings app.
  2. Tap Network & Internet and then Hotspot & tethering.
  3. Tap Bluetooth tethering.

Tether by USB cable

Use USB tethering

Important: Mac computers can't tether with Android by USB.

  1. Using a USB cable, connect your phone to the other device.
  2. A USB icon and a "Connected as a…" notification show at the top of the screen.
  3. Open your device's Settings app Settings app.
  4. Tap Network & Internet and then Hotspot & tethering.
  5. Turn on USB tethering.

If you’re USB tethering a computer running Windows XP, first download and install this tetherxp.inf configuration file.

Expect high battery use by tethering

Tethering can use a lot of battery. We recommend:

  • Plug in your devices while tethering.
  • Turn off tethering connections when you're done with them.

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Amy

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

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