How to turn your Android phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot

Android phones have a handy feature that lets you share your cellular connection with other devices, turning your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot. In many situations, this can be a lifesaver. If you own a 5G Chromebook, like the Acer Chromebook Spin 714, or a 5G tablet, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+, getting online won't be a problem. For many devices, a connection to Wi-Fi or a cable is required to access the internet.


There are several reasons why you may not have Wi-Fi. During a power outage, Wi-Fi goes offline unless you have a backup power source. When you travel, you will find that most networks are locked down and require a password. Open Wi-Fi networks are often slow and difficult to connect. Even worse, unknown or unsafe networks could reveal your personal data.

What you need is a way to share your phone’s cellular signal. Google makes it relatively easy to turn your Android phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot or connect to a Chromebook with Instant Tethering.

How to Enable Wi-Fi Hotspot Feature on Your Android Phone

You can create a Wi-Fi hotspot with your Android phone to share the Internet with other devices without mobile connectivity. If you can’t or don’t want to use Wi-Fi, connect a USB cable or try Bluetooth tethering instead.

Before first use, you need to enable a Wi-Fi hotspot. The next time you need it, you can activate the hotspot in just a few taps.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Faucet Network and internet.
  3. Go to Hotspots and tethering.

  4. Faucet Wi-Fi hotspots and set the Hotspot name.

  5. Set a password and activate the Use the wifi hotspot swipe to start sharing.

Going to Settings every time to enable a Wi-Fi hotspot might not be the most efficient way, and that’s when the Quick Settings tiles come to the rescue.

Add a Wi-Fi hotspot link in Quick Settings

Quick settings in Android make it easy to enable and disable essential features on the fly. Here’s how to add the Wi-Fi hotspot tile to your device’s Quick Settings to turn it on or off.

  1. Scroll down twice from the top of the screen to reveal the full QQuick settings panel.
  2. Tap the pageit icon.
  3. Scroll down and find the Access point tile.

  4. Drag and drop the tile Above.
  5. Click the back arrow in the upper left corner.

  6. Find and tap the Access point tile in Quick Settings to start the hotspot.

Enable USB tethering on Android

While most modern devices are equipped with Wi-Fi, sometimes you may experience connectivity issues, especially with older laptops. If so, you can share your data using USB tethering if you have a good quality USB cable. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Connect your phone to your computer using a USB cable.
  2. Scroll down to open QQuick settings and tap the Android system notification.
  3. In the Use USB for section, select USB tethering.

  4. If you don’t see the notification, insert the USB in another port.
  5. Alternatively, go to Settings > Network and internet > Hotspots and tethering is active USB tethering.

Enable Bluetooth tethering on Android

If both USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot aren’t working, Bluetooth tethering is an option, but you should use it as a last resort since it’s slow.

  1. Connect both devices via Bluetooth.
  2. On the device you want to share the internet from, go to Network and internet > Hotspots and tethering is active Bluetooth tethering.

  3. Once done, you can access the internet on the other device.

Bluetooth tethering is slow and potentially unusable compared to a Wi-Fi hotspot. If you must use this method, limit your internet usage to the bare minimum. Avoid streaming videos or updating apps that may take a long time.

Use Instant Tethering to connect your Android phone and Chromebook

Many of the best Chromebooks lack 5G or LTE capabilities, but you can fill that gap with your Android phone. Google’s Instant Tethering feature makes it quick and easy if you’ve already connected your Android device to ChromeOS in Phone Hub. Once done, follow these steps:

  1. Open Phone hub by clicking the phone icon on the right side of the shelf.
  2. Click Enable Hotspots to turn on your phone’s hotspot and establish a private connection with your Chromebook.
    A screenshot of the Chromebook Phone Hub showing hotspot control.

  3. You can also enable it by expanding Chrome OS Quick settingsclicking the arrow next to the network tile and selecting your phone.
    A screenshot of the Chromebook's network quick settings, showing where to enable phone tethering.

You can use this feature to share internet via mobile data and Wi-Fi from your phone. However, you’ll need to turn on mobile data on your Android device for it to appear on your Chromebook. Once connected, turning off mobile data will not disconnect your devices.

Be aware of Android battery consumption and mobile data limits

Using your Android phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot consumes battery at a faster rate. It might also cause your device to overheat, especially in summer. If you turn on the hotspot and forget to turn it off, you will lose a lot of battery.

Charging speed is one area where Android phones have improved over the years, and it can help if your battery gets too low after sharing your internet connection. Some Android phones support fast charging but don’t come with a fast charger. Our guide to the best fast chargers can help.

Another problem is fast mobile data usage. While an Android phone is designed to use the internet sparingly, a laptop preloads web pages you may not visit, refreshes content in the background, and may download system updates. You may have unexpected problems if your mobile Internet plan has limits that cause slowdowns or overage charges.

You may want to periodically check your mobile data usage if you have any concerns.

An Android hotspot can save the day

Your Android phone is a capable device, but sometimes you need a bigger screen. Mobile Internet sharing on a tablet or laptop makes it easy for you to browse a spreadsheet or share a video with a friend.

If you forgot to do something at the office, you might be able to fix something before it becomes a problem by connecting your work laptop to an Android hotspot while you’re between locations. This is more secure than using a public Wi-Fi connection which may not be secure.

In addition to personal use, you could save the day by sharing your Android phone’s mobile Internet as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

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