Connectivity

Share my connection

Want to share your Internet connection with your laptop or another device? You can turn your Windows Phone into a mobile hotspot by sharing your cellular data connection over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Other devices that have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth can then use your shared data connection to connect to the Internet.

To share you cellular data connection over Wi-Fi

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Internet sharing.

  2. Tap Share over, and then tap Wi-Fi.

  3. Set Sharing to On Toggle On icon.

  4. (optional) To change the broadcasted network name or password, tap Setup Setup icon, do any of the following on the Internet sharing screen, and then tap Done Done icon:

    • In the Broadcast name box, type a network name. This is the Wi-Fi network name that you and others will see and use to connect to your shared connection over Wi-Fi on another device.
    • In the Password (minimum 8 characters) box, type a password. This is the password that's required to connect to your shared connection.

Note

The broadcast name or password can't include these characters: "&'<>

To use your shared Internet connection on a Wi-Fi–enabled device, select the broadcasted Wi-Fi network name, and then enter the password.

To connect on a Windows 8.1 tablet or laptop without entering a Wi-Fi password

  1. Use Bluetooth to pair your phone with your tablet or laptop.

  2. In Internet sharing, tap Share over > Wi-Fi, and then set Sharing to On Toggle On icon.

  3. On your tablet or laptop, open the Settings charm, and then tap or click the network icon.

  4. Pick your network name at the top of the list, and then tap or click Connect.

    You'll be connected and ready to go. The password is already entered, and you can connect even if Internet sharing is turned off. No need to dig out your phone and turn on Internet sharing—it's done for you.

    To connect using this procedure, your phone must be running Windows Phone software version 8.0.10501.127 or later. See How do I update my phone software? for more info about how to update your phone. Your laptop or tablet needs to have Windows 8.1 or later.

To share your cellular data connection over Bluetooth

To use the shared data connection over Bluetooth, the device you're using must support the Bluetooth Personal Area Network User (PANU) role. To find out if your Bluetooth device supports this, check the documentation that came with it or check the manufacturer's website. To learn more about Bluetooth personal area networks (PAN) in general, check out the Microsoft Windows website.

  1. Pair your phone with the Bluetooth device and connect to it over Bluetooth.

  2. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Internet sharing.

  3. Tap Share over, and then tap Bluetooth.

  4. Set Sharing to On Toggle On icon.

You can also start sharing over Bluetooth even when Sharing is turned off. Just connect your device to your phone over Bluetooth, and then Sharing will turn on automatically.

Tip

Trying to decide which connection to share over? First, it depends on the device and whether it lets you connect to a shared connection over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. If it lets you choose either type of connection, consider how much bandwidth and coverage you'll need. If you're doing something that requires a lot of bandwidth, such as watching streaming video, or when you need a wider range of coverage, consider using Wi-Fi. On the other hand, if you're doing something that doesn't use a lot of data, such as email, social networking, or just casually browsing the web, sharing over Bluetooth can work well for that and can help make your battery last a little longer compared to using Wi-Fi.

Notes

  • To share your cellular data connection, this feature must be available from your mobile operator and enabled on your current phone plan. This is also known as tethering or hotspot and often costs extra.
  • When you and others use the shared connection on another device, it uses data from your cellular data plan. You should be aware of any data limits you have on your plan, so you aren't charged extra.
  • If you're sharing your connection over Wi-Fi and then a Bluetooth device that can use a shared data connection connects to your phone, sharing will automatically switch to Bluetooth if the Allow Bluetooth devices to switch sharing from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth check box is selected. If you don't select the check box, you can still switch to Bluetooth, but you'll be prompted first.
  • When you're sharing your cellular data connection, you won't be able to use a Wi-Fi or VPN connection on your phone.
  • The top of the screen has icons that tell you a lot about your phone—including information related to connection sharing. When you're sharing your cellular data connection, the Internet sharing Internet sharing icon icon appears at the top of the screen on the status bar. See What do the icons on my phone mean? for more info about this icon and others that might appear on the status bar.

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