Fixing the iPhone’s Disappearing Personal Hotspot Setting

In Miami I was able to get online with the assistance of my wonderful iPhone 4. The iPhone, like Android and Windows Mobile phones, has the ability to be setup as a personal hotspot. All this entails is using the iPhone’s Wi-Fi interface as an access point that grants any connected device to use the phone’s cellular data connection. Unfortunately due to some cruel twist of fate the iPhone has a problem that sporadically appears: the setting to enable and disable the hotspot functionality disappears entirely. This happened to me and after getting it figured out I decided to write a little guide.

For me the fix was very simple. Open the Settings app and navigate to General->Reset. On this screen simply look for the button labeled “Reset Network Settings” and tap it. You’ll get a dialog box asking you to confirm this decision and after you do the phone will restart. After doing this my hotspot functionality returned much to my joy.

One thing to note is that every Wi-Fi network configuration you had previously saved on your phone will be gone so you’ll have to reenter the passkeys. Besides that the rest of your data will be preserved so this is a much less painful route to take than doing a complete reset of the phone.