I was surprised to see my iPhone 5's personal hotspot available as a WiFi choice from my iPad. I checked the phone and personal hotspot was turned off. I turned it on and off again and it still appeared. Using Airplane Mode and rebooting the devices did not help - it just would not turn off.

2 Answers 2


This is intentional behaviour since iOS 8.1. It is called Instant Hotspot and is described as a feature of Continuity:

If you’re out of Wi-Fi range, your iPad or Mac can connect to your phone’s personal hotspot when your iPhone is close by. With the new Instant Hotspot feature, you’ll see the name of your iPhone in the list of Wi-Fi networks in Settings on your iPad and in the Wi-Fi menu on your Mac. Just select it and you’re connected. And when you’re not using your phone’s network, your devices intelligently disconnect to save battery life.

  • Good catch. I had not updated my laptop to Yosemite yet, and so I had not noticed. Possible security implications, but I assume the requirement to have both devices registered with the same AppleID prevents others with a Yosemite box from seeing your iOS8 phone. Something to test later.
    – tim.rohrer
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 13:52
  • 1
    Unfortunately once it's activated, your personal hotspot stays on and I can see it draining battery life in the Battery Usage monitor. This is really awful and I had never seen this happen before iOS 11 (I just upgraded from 10). =(
    – JVC
    Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 3:39

I had the same problem on my iPhone 6 with IOS 11. I followed the following & it corrected the problem:

Restart the iPhone or iPad that provides Personal Hotspot. Then restart your other device. Make sure that you have the latest version of iOS on your iPhone or iPad and your other device. On the iPhone or iPad that provides Personal Hotspot, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

Get help with Personal Hotspot on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - ... https://support.apple.com › en-us. Jun 5, 2017

  • It's not a problem, it's by design. Commented Apr 14, 2018 at 5:09
  • It's a 'Feature' not a 'Bug' Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 13:27

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