Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How to enable Instant Hotspot on an iPhone 5 or newer

Instant Hotspot is a new feature in iOS 8.1. It works by eliminating the need to manually enable Personal Hotspot on an iPhone 5.  Previously when we want to use an iPhone 5 to share its mobile Internet with other devices, we will need to enable it manually, and enter password to connect to it.  But now, that step is no longer needed for some iOS devices to connect to an iPhone 5.  For other non-iOS devices to connect to the iPhone 5 Personal Hotspot, the manual step will still need to be performed.

How to enable Instant Hotspot:
1. Log on to iCloud (in Settings -> iCloud) in your supported iOS devices with the same Apple ID as your iPhone 5's
2. If Bluetooth on the iPhone 5 has not been enabled, enable it in Settings -> Bluetooth
2. Also enable Bluetooth radio of your iOS devices

* You do NOT need to enable the setting in Settings -> Personal Hotspot on an iPhone 5
* Bluetooth radio is required for the devices to find each other in close proximity

How to connect to an Instant Hotspot:
1. On a supported iOS device, go to Settings -> Wi-Fi
2. Wait for the iPhone 5 to show up in the list under Personal Hotspots
3. Connect to it

Instant Hotspot works on a Mac too.  But you need some later models of the computer to use this feature.  Not all iOS devices are supported too.  For the full list of supported devices, visit

Keep in mind that the Mac must be running OS X Yosemite, while the iOS devices must be running iOS 8.1.

Unfortunately, my MacBook Air - a mid 2011 model - is not supported :(

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