How can I connect mac to Iphone hotspot without making "personal hotspot discoverable"?


  • get on train
  • on phone, make "Personal hotspot discoverable"
  • open laptop
  • wait for laptop "looking for networks" to see my SSID
  • once laptop sees my SSID, connect to wifi


I want to "connect mac to hotspot" without "doing anything" on my phone.

i.e. remove these steps:

  • on phone, make "Personal hotspot discoverable"
  • wait for laptop "looking for networks" to see my SSID

so the "new usecase" would look like this:

  • get on train
  • open laptop
  • connect directly to my Wifi-hotspot


  • Mac Catalina
  • IOS 13

Some points

  • I could use bluetooth, but prefer to use wifi as my vpn software will automatically reconnect (i.e. if i disconnect from wifi at home and reconnect on the train)


  • 1
    USB stays hidden and connected :)
    – anki
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 15:24
  • Yes. Thanks. I will consider. USB requires taking out phone, cable, fiddling with wires, etc. Perhaps worth the extra step. I will try that also.
    – user331465
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately many useful settings on iOS are simply not there. One of this is the inability to hide your SSID.

If you really care about security you should just use the USB cable, to force this you have to completely disable both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi from you settings and then enable the hotspot. It will ask if it's okay to only share your cellular connection with the USB.

Otherwise you can just use a strong password, if both computer and iPhone are up to date you shouldn't worry about anything. WPA2 is very secure and KRACK was patched a long time ago.

Even if you could hide the SSID everyone you should worry about can still see your hotspot. There is no way to hide any wireless connection.

  • This is incorrect, in fact it is the exact opposite. The iphone hotspot's SSID is usually hidden. You have to explicitly enable "Personal hotspot discoverable" even just to connect to it yourself. Frustratingly, iOS routinely disables this setting after we've enabled it, forcing us to have to go enable it again. This can be rather inconvenient if I want my phone to be on a charger and there is no outlet near where I want to physically be myself.
    – Avram
    Commented Mar 28 at 17:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .