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Get online with your Pixel phone

Note: Instant Tethering is currently rolling out to Pixel phones. If you can't use Instant Tethering on your Pixelbook, it's likely that your phone hasn't received the update yet.

When you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, Instant Tethering uses your Pixel phone’s mobile data to automatically connect your Pixelbook to the internet through a simple notification shown on your Pixelbook. You can also set up the connection yourself through the status area (where your account photo appears) or network settings. Sharing a connection this way is called tethering or using a portable hotspot. 

Instant Tethering is available with Pixel phones running Android version 8.0 or higher. Learn how to check your Android version.  

For Instant Tethering to work, your Pixel phone must use the same Google Account you're signed in to on your Pixelbook. Learn how to sign in to your Pixelbook with a different Google Account.

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

Use Instant Tethering

When you unlock your Pixelbook and there is no Internet connection, your Pixelbook should show a notification that a data connection is available from your Pixel phone (this notification will appear once per user session). Click Connect to use your phone’s mobile data to get your Pixelbook online.

You can also tether your Pixelbook to your Pixel phone with these steps:

  1. Click your account photo on the bottom right of your screen.
  2. Click "No network" No network
  3. Make sure that "Mobile data" is turned on. If not, click the toggle to enable it. (If your Pixelbook's Bluetooth isn't already turned on, it'll turn on automatically at this point.)
  4. Your phone should appear. Select it to connect.

Turn off tethering

  1. Click your account photo on the bottom right of your screen.
  2. Click on the mobile data network.
  3. Click Disconnect.

You can also turn off tethering by tapping the Disconnect button on your phone's Instant Tethering notification.

Troubleshoot issues with Instant Tethering

If you're having trouble using Instant Tethering, try these steps to see if one of them resolves the issue:

Step 1: Check to make sure your phone has Bluetooth enabled.

At the top of your screen, a Bluetooth icon Bluetooth shows when Bluetooth is on. 
To turn on Bluetooth:
  1. Open your Pixel phone's "Settings" app Settings app.
  2. Tap Connected devices.
  3. Tap the toggle next to Bluetooth to turn it on.

Learn more about connecting via Bluetooth on your Pixel phone.

Step 2: Make sure your phone has Instant Tethering enabled.

  1. Open your Pixel phone's "Settings" app Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Google.
  3. Under the "Services" section, tap Instant Tethering.
  4. Check that "Provide data connection" is enabled. If not, tap the toggle to turn it on.

Step 3: Make sure Google Play Services notifications are enabled on your phone.

  1. Open your Pixel phone's "Settings" app Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps & notifications and then All apps.
  3. Find Google Play services and tap to open.
  4. Tap App notifications.
  5. Check that app notifications are "On." If not, tap the toggle to enable.

Step 4: Check that you're signed in to Pixelbook with the same Google Account as your phone.

For Instant Tethering to work, your Pixel phone must use the same Google Account you're using on your Pixelbook. 
You can see the account you’re using on your Pixelbook by clicking the status area (where your account photo appears in the bottom corner of your screen). Your signed-in account appears at the top of the status area.
If you’re signed in with a different account than the one you use on your phone, you’ll need to sign out and sign back in using the same account as your phone. Learn how to sign in to your Pixelbook with a different Google Account.

Step 5: Check that your phone has an active SIM card.

If not, contact your mobile service provider to get one.

Step 6: Verify that your phone has reception.

If your Pixel phone isn't getting sufficient cellular reception, try Instant Tethering once you've moved to a location with better reception.

Step 7: Restart your phone's Bluetooth and turn your Pixelbook off and on again.

To restart your Pixel phone's Bluetooth:
  1. Open your Pixel phone's "Settings" app Settings app.
  2. Tap Connected devices.
  3. Tap the toggle next to Bluetooth to turn it off. Tap it again to turn it back on.

To turn your Pixelbook's power off and on:

  1. Click your account photo in the corner of your screen to open your status area.
  2. Click "Power" Power icon to turn your Pixelbook off. (Note that you need to power the device off. Simply restarting won't help resolve this issue.)
  3. Press the power button on the side of your Pixelbook to turn it back on.

 

If you're still having issues with Instant Tethering after trying the above steps, contact Pixelbook support.

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Ali is a Pixelbook expert and the author of this page. Leave her feedback below about this page.

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