Does your iPhone’s personal hotspot turn on by itself? Do not panic. This is normal behavior if you have another iPhone or iPad. Apple streamlined the way Personal Hotspot works with the iOS 13.1 update. So those devices with the same Apple ID have automatic access to the personal hotspot on your iPhone, which means they can turn it on without asking you for permission.
Unfortunately, that added convenience comes at a cost: battery life. You wouldn’t want Personal Hotspot to drain your iPhone’s battery for the last few hours without you knowing it. It’s also not doable if you have a tight cellular data plan.
You will find out what you can do to prevent Personal Hotspot on your iPhone from turning on automatically in this article. You will also learn about other ways that Personal Hotspot can activate without your permission, and what you can do to prevent this from happening.
Disable auto-connect hotspot
Do you have an iPad (or secondary iPhone) without its own cellular data plan? Suppose you are using the same Apple ID on all of your devices. In this case, the iPad (or iPhone) can automatically activate your primary iPhone’s personal hotspot when there is no nearby Wi-Fi hotspot to join. This ensures constant online connectivity, but for the reasons mentioned above, you might not want it.
Strangely, you can’t turn off the Personal Hotspot for devices that use the same Apple ID – it’s still available by design. However, you can prevent other devices from automatically joining your iPhone by diving into the Settings app of each device.
Step 1: Open the Settings app for the device (iPhone or iPad) you want to prevent from connecting to your iPhone. Next, tap Wi-Fi and then tap Automatically connect to hotspot.
2nd step: On the next screen, you have two options to switch to: Never and Ask to Join.
Select Never if you want to completely prevent the device from activating the personal hotspot on your iPhone. You can also select Ask to Join if you want the device to ask for permission to connect to your iPhone.
Repeat the above steps on any other iOS or iPadOS devices (with the same Apple ID) for which you want to prevent the activation of the iPhone Personal Hotspot.
Note: Since the Personal Hotspot is always available on your iPhone, you can still connect other devices manually via Settings> Wi-Fi.
Change family sharing settings
Is family sharing enabled? If so, your family members can activate your iPhone’s personal hotspot from their iOS or iPadOS devices and start consuming cellular data. Yes, without asking your permission. Fortunately, you don’t have to turn Family Sharing off to end this. A brief dive into the Personal Hotspot settings screen should suffice.
Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone. Next, tap Personal hotspot, then Family sharing.
Note: You can also access your personal hotspot settings through Settings> Cellular> Personal hotspot.
2nd step: You can then manage how each family member connects to your iPhone.
Switch from Automatic to “Request your approval” so you can decide whether or not to allow someone to access the personal hotspot.
Don’t want to play favorites? Disable the personal hotspot for all family members by turning off the switch next to Family sharing.
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Disable personal hotspot for other devices
Have you allowed others to connect to the personal hotspot on your iPhone? If so, they can connect to it again without your permission. This is not as widespread a problem as with your own devices (or family members) since the iPhone must actively broadcast the Personal Hotspot (through Control Center or the Settings app) for it happens.
If you don’t want to take any chances, here’s what you need to do to stop it.
Open the Settings app on your iPhone. Next, tap Cellular, then Personal hotspot. Turn off the switch next to Allow others to join. This should prevent others from signing in to your iPhone.
However, it will also prevent your own non-Apple devices from detecting the personal hotspot if you need to connect to it. In this case, go back and re-enable the Allow others to join option.
The iPhone’s permanent personal hotspot is a well thought out concept. But with the battery life and cellular bandwidth on the cards, it just isn’t worth it in most cases, as you can connect your devices manually when needed. Unlimited access to the personal hotspot for family members can also eat fast thanks to a data plan, so be sure to brake too.
So what to do you think about how Personal Hotspot works on the iPhone? Has Apple made it too practical for your liking? Leave a comment and let us know.
Are you using a Windows laptop? Here’s what to do if it can’t find your iPhone’s personal hotspot.
Last updated on August 28, 2020
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