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For the past 18 months (perhaps 2 years) I've been sharing Internet from my Mac Mini M1 to my iPad, over USB. So this is a new issue in a setup that was previously working.

It worked fine up until about week or so ago.

I did do an update from macOS 14.4.1 to 14.5 around the time I first noticed this issue, although I can't say with total certainty the update caused it.

I also have a Macbook Air M1, which I've also updated to 14.5, and sharing Internet with the iPad over USB works fine with that. This fact also suggests it's an issue with the Mac Mini, and not the iPad.

The iPad is runnging iOS 17.5.1.

When I plug the iPad into the Mac Mini, it shows up in Finder and can be managed there, as per normal.

It also shows up in the list of connections I can share my Internet with (as "iPad USB"). Basically, everything else with the USB connection seems normal.

The two devices are talking to each other. Clipboard is sharing between them, Hand-off (in Safari, for instance) works normally (not that I can then browse the handed-off page, but the hand-off itself is occurring).

It's only the Internet that's not passing through to the iPad over USB.

I've done all the obvious things:

  1. Restarted the Mac.
  2. Restarted the iPad.
  3. Turned Internet sharing off, and then on again.
  4. Re-applied all the Internet Sharing settings (disable sharing to "iPad USB", and re-enabled).
  5. Switched over to trying to use the Internet sharing feature in Content Caching.
  6. Checked iPad is otherwise connected okay with the Mac.
  7. Checked iPad is able to share Internet over USB with my other computer.
  8. Tested Internet sharing over WiFi works normally.

I'm not sure what else to try here.

Sharing the Internet connection over WiFi works fine, although I am not interested in that as a "solution" the sharing over USB not working.

Any suggestions on how to further troubleshoot Internet sharing over USB would be greatly appreciated.

UPDATE - ADDITIONAL FINDINGS (Post title also updated)

I've now figured out that if I activate Internet sharing over WiFI (and ensure the ad hoc network has actually activated, because it seems to be hit and miss whether it turns on), then Internet sharing over USB to the iPad starts working.

This is the case even if I don't connect the iPad to the Mac Mini's ad hoc WiFi network. In fact, WiFi is disabled on the iPad.

Also, if I then disable the ad hoc WiFi network (by turning off the WiFi on the Mini, although I'm leaving "Wi-Fi" selected in the "To devices using" list in Internet Sharing settings), the sharing over USB continues to work.

If I unplug the USB connection, and plug it back in, it reverts to not working again.

So this is for sure something odd going on with the Internet sharing on the Mac Mini.

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