On the internet sharing panel, there is an option to share the connection from Thunderbolt Ethernet to iPhone USB.

Share Internet > iPhone USB

It would be really cool to provide internet access to the iPhone via the USB cable, but unfortunately it doesn't seem that it works.

Does anyone know what's the purpose of that option though?


2 Answers 2


Yes, you can share the internet connection on your Mac with your iPhone using a USB cable. I just used it a while ago, with cellular and wi-fi off.

  • Indeed, it seems that it now works! Awesome :)
    – nuc
    May 29, 2018 at 11:12

This panel that you are viewing just shows all available network interfaces, whether they work or not. Theoretically it should work. However, I don't think it works Mac to iPhone but I have tested it reversed with Personal Hotspot and it seems to work. Albeit very slowly.

Hope this answers your question. Cheers! :)

UPDATE: The iPhone USB network interface is only for showing whether iPhone USB is connected or not. As a side-effect it shows up in the Network Sharing pane. The Network Sharing pane just shows ALL interfaces whether they work or not (even if the interface is not meant to work with Network Sharing it will still show.)

  • But these settings don't concern Personal Hotspot at all. These settings are for the other direction. So this doesn't answer why the setting is there in the first place. Mar 10, 2016 at 19:51
  • @JohnBachir The setting does pertain to Personal Hotspot, the network interface is not meant to be from Mac to iPhone, it's purely for iPhone to Mac. However the option shown in the OP's screenshot is clearly a menu that only shows network interfaces (whether they work for that task or not).
    – Tre S
    Mar 12, 2016 at 6:14
  • @JohnBachir Basically the "iPhone USB" network interface was created not for the settings pane shown in the screenshot but for the network pane that shows the status of your current connections.-> snag.gy/cMOES.jpg The interface's purpose is to show whether "iPhone USB" is connected or disconnected, however as a side effect of it is shown in the Network Sharing tab even though it is not meant to be used as a vehicle for sharing internet from Mac to iPhone.
    – Tre S
    Mar 12, 2016 at 6:20
  • @JohnBachir I hope this solves the confusion, sorry about that! Cheers!
    – Tre S
    Mar 12, 2016 at 6:24

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