How to Increase Hotspot Speed on iPhone

Boost hotspot performance with these simple troubleshooting tips.

Using your iPhone as a mobile hotspot can be a convenient way to access the internet on your other devices. However, various issues can slow down the speed of your hotspot. The good news is that there are simple troubleshooting steps you can try to strengthen your mobile hotspot performance. Below, we've compiled a list of common solutions for how to make a hotspot faster on your iPhone.

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Initial Steps to Boost Hotspot Performance

Before diving into more in-depth settings and troubleshooting, here are some basic first steps you should try to get the fastest hotspot performance possible.

  • If you are using a Wi-Fi router, try shortening the distance between the router and your iPhone.
  • Try shortening the distance between the iPhone and the other device connected to the phone through the hotspot. If you have your iPhone set far away from the device you're working on through the hotspot, this can decrease the strength of the signal and slow down your connection.
  • Restart the computer or other device connected to the phone through the hotspot.
  • Make sure you are using the latest version of iOS. If not, you'll want to quickly update your iPhone software, as this can resolve bugs and glitches that might causing your phone to run inefficiently and slow down your internet connection.

How to Make Hotspot Faster on iPhone: Troubleshooting Steps

If the initial steps above didn't improve your hotspot performance, try adjusting the recommended settings and troubleshooting tips below to strengthen your mobile hotspot signal and speed. For more handy tips on boosting your Apple device performance, consider signing up for our free Tip of the Day Newsletter. Below, we'll cover how to increase the hotspot speed on your iPhone.

Fix #1: Close Apps to Make Your Hotspot Faster on iPhone

If the hotspot on your iPhone is running slowly, it might be because there are unseen processes happening in the background that are taking up bandwidth. Because of this, you should try closing all apps that are running in the background. Here's how to close apps running in the background and (hopefully) improve your hotspot speed:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your Home screen.

    When using iPhone as a hotspot, on the Home screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to the middle.
  2. Swipe up on an app to close it. I recommend closing all apps not currently in use.

    All currently open apps will display. Swipe up on apps to close them. It’s recommended to close all apps that you’re not currently using.
  3. Once you’ve closed all unneeded apps, tap on the blurred-out background to return to the Home screen.

    When you’ve closed all apps not presently in use, tap on the blurred-out background to return to the Home screen.

One or more of these background apps may have been significantly slowing down performance, so check your hotspot speed after closing these apps. You might find that your hotspot speed has improved with only this simple tip! If not, continue working through the tips below to improve your hotspot connection and speed. 

Fix #2: Test Maximize Compatibility to Boost Hotspot Signal on iPhone

Do you have an iPhone 12 or later model? Apple iPhone 12 models and later support Personal Hotspot tethering over 5 GHz Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, if you're connecting to an older device, this can cause compatibility issues. So if you are using your new iPhone as a hotspot for an older device (more than two years old), you'll want to enable this toggle to switch your phone to 2.4 GHz mode. Despite being slower, it will be more compatible with your older device and this might increase hotspot speed. However, if the device connected to your hotspot is less than two years old, you'll likely want to disable this toggle as it might be wrongly slowing down your hotspot speed. Here's how to access the Maximize Compatibility toggle: 

  1. Open the Settings app.

    On the Home screen, tap to open Settings.
  2. Tap Personal Hotspot.

    Tap Personal Hotspot.
  3. Tap the Maximize Compatibility toggle to enable or disable it. (The toggle is green when enabled and gray when disabled.)

    Tap to turn on Maximize Compatibility. This is how to make phone hot spot faster.

Test your internet speed after enabling or disabling this toggle to see if your hotspot performance has improved. 

Related: How to Find Hidden Apps on iPhone 

Fix #3: How to Make iPhone Hotspot Faster by Turning Off Background App Refresh

Background App Refresh is an automatic process that checks for app notifications and updates. However, this can also make your hotspot slow down, so if you need the extra bandwidth, you'll likely want to disable this setting. 

  1. Open the Settings app

    On the Home screen, tap to open Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap General.

    In Settings, scroll down and tap on General.
  3. Tap Background App Refresh.

    Tap Background App Refresh.
  4. Tap Background App Refresh at the top of the screen.

    Tap Backround App Refresh again.
  5. Tap Off to disable Background App Refresh.

    Tap to set Background App Refresh to Off. This will boost hot spot speed.

After completing these steps, I recommend restarting your iPhone. Then, test your hotspot speed to see if it has improved.

Fix #4: Disable Automatic Updates to Boost Hotspot Speed

If you are using your phone on mobile data and have a limited data plan, then disabling automatic software updates may also increase your hotspot speed. Here's how to disable automatic updates:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Scroll down and tap General.

    In Settings, scroll down and tap on General.
  3. Tap Software Update.

    Tap Software Update.
  4. Tap Automatic Updates.

    Tap Automatic Updates.
  5. Tap to disable the Download iOS Updates toggle and the Install iOS Updates toggle.

    Tap to turn off Download iOS Updates and Install iOS Updates. This is how to improve hotspot speed.

This will stop your phone from allocating data to checking for available updates, which may save a bit of extra data for your hotspot.

Fix #5: How to Make Your Hotspot Faster: Disable Low Data Mode

Low Data Mode is a setting that allows you to reduce the network data usage of the apps on your iPhone by pausing automatic updates and background tasks (as we did in the sections above). Unfortunately, while Low Data Mode pauses these processes, it also sets data usage to a lower mode, which can cause the speed of your hotspot to slow down. So if you're struggling with a slow hotspot, it is important to check that this mode is not enabled. 

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Cellular.

    In Settings, tap Cellular.
  3. Tap Cellular Data Options.

    Tap Cellular Data Options.
  4. Tap Data Mode.

    Tap Data Mode.
  5. Tap Standard.

    Tap Standard. This is how to boost hotspot signal on iPhone.

Hopefully, after adjusting one or more of the settings above, your hotspot speed will have increased! Unfortunately, if you've tried all the solutions above and your hotspot speed has not improved, you might have no other option than to move to a spot with better network coverage. 

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Author Details

Devala Rees's picture

Author Details

Devala Rees

Devala Rees has been a writer since the age of eleven, and a loyal user of Apple products for even longer. His writing background is quite eclectic, from freelance professional articles to Hindu religious scholarship to fantasy novels. Much of his writing on various topics can be found on Quora.com.