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Tether automatically with Wi-Fi hotspot by Instant Tethering

You can automatically share a mobile data connection between certain Pixel and Nexus devices via Wi-Fi when they're signed in to the same Google Account. For example, you can automatically connect your tablet to the Internet using your phone's data connection.

  • Phones that can automatically share their data connections ("host")
    Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P running Android 7.1.1 and up
  • Phones & tablets that can automatically use shared data connections
    Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel C, and Nexus 9 running Android 6.0 and up

If you have other devices, or want to tether devices on different accounts, learn how to tether manually.

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 7.1.1 and up. Check which version of Android you have.

Set up to automatically tether with Wi-Fi hotspot

Instant Tethering is on by default. You can turn it off or back on at any time.

Let your phone share its mobile connection with your other devices

On your Pixel or Nexus phone running Android 7.1.1 and up:

  1. Open your phone's Settings app Settings .
  2. Under "Personal," tap Google and then Instant Tethering.
  3. Tap Provide data connection.
  4. Check that both devices are signed in to the same Google Account. Learn how to add accounts.
  5. Check that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are on. Learn how to connect to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Let your other devices find your phone's mobile connection

On your Pixel phone, Nexus phone, Pixel C tablet, or Nexus 9 tablet running Android 6.0 and up:

  1. Open your phone's Settings app Settings .
  2. Under "Personal," tap Google and then Instant Tethering.
  3. Tap Get data connection.
  4. Check that both devices are signed in to the same Google Account. Learn how to add accounts.
  5. Check that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are on. Learn how to connect to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Tether automatically with Wi-Fi hotspot

With Instant Tethering on, whenever you unlock your other device and it has no Internet connection, but your phone with mobile data service is nearby:

  1. On your other device, you'll get a "Wi-Fi hotspot available" notification. Tap it.
    • To connect, tap Connect. If you have multiple host phones, first tap the phone you want.
    • To not connect, tap Not now. To connect later, open your Settings app and then Google and then Instant Tethering and then your phone and then Connect.
    • To change your Instant Tethering settings, tap Configure.
  2. With some carriers, the first time that you tether, you'll see a verification notification. Tap Continue.
  3. On your phone, when you connect, you'll 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.

Tip: Tethering can use a lot of battery. We recommend plugging in your devices while tethering.

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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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