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iPhone personal hotspot is listed in the list of WiFi networks on my mac even though Allow Others To Join is off and personal hotspot is off. MacOS turns on Modem mode on iPhone when I click on "connect". How would I disable enabling personal hotspot by any means other than exoplicit enablement in the iPhone settings? (Just got a bill for mobile internet traffic so that's no idle curiosity)

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What you describe shouldn’t happen if hotspot is actually off (and not just showing off in the settings app).

Assuming you need other continuity features, I would power cycle the phone and retest. If it still connects, you could turn off WiFi or Bluetooth on either device to block the Instant Hotspot feature.

Also, if you connect the device over USB, tethering will happen regardless of WiFi settings. You might have to not trust the phone and go through the reset network settings or reset the device to get a new USB trust token if you want USB connection but no chance that cellular data gets consumed.

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    Rebooting the phone resulted in the hotspot finally not listed in macos list of wifi networks. Thank you Commented May 6 at 14:19

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