A mobile hotspot allows you to share your phone’s cellular data connection with other devices through Wi-Fi. This gives you portable internet access anywhere you have a cell signal. However, sometimes an AT&T hotspot may stop working properly, failing to provide an internet connection. There are various reasons an AT&T hotspot may not work, from device incompatibilities to network issues. This comprehensive troubleshooting guide will walk you through potential fixes to get your AT&T hotspot functioning again.
What to Do When Your AT&T Hotspot Isn’t Working
When your AT&T hotspot isn’t providing internet connectivity, there are some initial troubleshooting steps to take:
- Check the mobile hotspot settings on your AT&T phone. Make sure the mobile hotspot feature is enabled and broadcasting a WiFi network.
- Ensure your AT&T cellular data is working on the phone providing the hotspot. Try browsing the web or using an internet app to confirm.
- Check the other devices connecting to the hotspot. Make sure WiFi is turned on and they can detect the AT&T hotspot WiFi network name.
- Reboot the AT&T hotspot device and try reconnecting the other devices. Restarting can resolve temporary software issues.
- Check if the hotspot works in a different location in case the issue is area coverage related.
- Contact AT&T customer support for troubleshooting if you still can’t get the AT&T hotspot to work properly.
Following some structured troubleshooting steps can quickly narrow down the cause of an AT&T hotspot failure.
AT&T Hotspot Troubleshooting Steps
If your AT&T hotspot isn’t working as expected, here are some systematic troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue:
1. Verify the Hotspot Feature is Enabled
The first step is to check the mobile hotspot settings on your AT&T phone providing the hotspot connection.
On iPhone devices go to Settings > Personal Hotspot and confirm the feature is on. The network name and password should be visible.
For Android phones, go to Settings > Connections > Mobile Hotspot and Tethering. Make sure the Mobile Hotspot switch is turned on.
If hotspot is disabled, turn it on and try reconnecting devices. This resolves many connectivity problems.
2. Check Cellular Data is Working on the Hotspot Device
It’s important to verify your AT&T phone has a cellular data connection before troubleshooting further.
On iPhones, confirm cellular data is enabled under Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data.
On Android devices check Settings > Connections > Mobile Networks > Mobile Data and make sure cellular data is turned on.
Try loading webpages or using internet connected apps on the AT&T device providing the hotspot. If cellular data isn’t working, contact AT&T to resolve this issue first.
3. Reconnect Devices to the AT&T Hotspot
When troubleshooting a non-working AT&T hotspot, also check the devices attempting to connect:
- On phones, tablets, and laptops ensure WiFi is enabled in the settings menu.
- Scan for nearby WiFi networks and select the AT&T hotspot SSID when it appears.
- Enter the AT&T hotspot password when prompted to connect.
- If the WiFi network doesn’t appear, try manually connecting using network settings and entering the hotspot SSID and password.
Reconnecting devices forces them to re-initialize the WiFi connection. Try rebooting the devices as well if there are still issues.
4. Restart the AT&T Hotspot Device
If you’ve verified the hotspot feature is on and other devices still can’t connect, try restarting the AT&T phone providing the hotspot.
Power the phone off completely, leave it off for 30 seconds, then boot it back up. Once restarted, re-enable the hotspot feature and try reconnecting devices.
Restarting the hotspot clears temporary glitches that may be preventing connectivity. This simple step resolves many AT&T hotspot problems.
5. Try a Different Location
Cell signal strength and coverage varies based on location. If an AT&T hotspot works intermittently or only in certain areas, network availability may be the issue.
Try moving the AT&T hotspot device to different locations and retesting connectivity. Stand near windows or go outside if in a building. Changing physical position can improve signal issues.
If the hotspot only works in some locations, you likely have area coverage problems. Contact AT&T support to see if they have coverage in that region and discuss options.
6. Reset Network Settings
For persistent AT&T hotspot problems, try resetting the network settings on the mobile device providing the hotspot connection.
On iPhone, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This will clear any problematic configurations causing hotspot failures.
On Android, go to Settings > General Management > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Like iPhone, this resets network parameters that may fix hotspot issues.
After resetting network settings, reconfigure the hotspot and try connecting devices again. Often this resolves stubborn connectivity problems.
7. Check Hotspot Data Usage
Most AT&T wireless plans have hotspot data limits, typically 15GB per month. If you exceed the monthly hotspot data allowance, AT&T may throttle speeds or disable the hotspot feature entirely.
Go to your AT&T account online to check hotspot data usage for the month. If you exceeded the limit, restrict usage until your plan resets the next billing cycle. Contact AT&T to see if they offer hotspot data extensions for additional cost.
Monitoring hotspot data usage helps determine if throttling or limitations disabled the hotspot due to overage fees. Adjusting your usage habits can prevent this in the future.
8. Update the Hotspot Device Software
Outdated device software can sometimes disrupt functions like mobile hotspots. Always ensure your AT&T phone providing the hotspot connection is updated.
On iPhone, connect to WiFi and go to Settings > General > Software Update to install the latest iOS version.
For Android devices, open Settings > System > System Update to check for and download new software updates.
Updating to the newest firmware ensures maximum compatibility and performance for mobile hotspot features. Perform updates routinely to avoid software related hotspot issues.
9. Factory Reset the Hotspot Device
If you’ve tried all other troubleshooting steps without success, a factory reset of the AT&T hotspot device may be necessary. Backup data first, then:
On iPhone, go to Settings > General > Reset and choose Erase All Content and Settings. This completely resets the device to factory defaults, which often resolves technical issues.
For Android devices, open Settings > General Management > Reset > Factory Data Reset. Like iPhone, this totally wipes the device and restores factory settings.
After completing a factory reset, reconfigure your device and try using the mobile hotspot again. As a last resort, a full reset commonly fixes elusive software problems interfering with hotspot functionality.
AT&T Hotspot Connection Issues
Some common AT&T hotspot connection problems and fixes:
Hotspot Not Broadcasting
If other devices can’t detect your AT&T hotspot WiFi network, the hotspot may not be broadcasting. Verify hotspot settings on your phone, reset network settings, or reboot your device. This usually resolves broadcast issues.
Unable to Connect Devices
Devices may fail connecting to an AT&T hotspot due to incorrect password, signal issues, or device incompatibilities. Recheck the password, move locations to improve signal, or try connecting alternate devices.
Frequent AT&T hotspot disconnections are often due to poor cellular coverage. Switching locations or cellular bands may provide better stability. Contact AT&T support to check area service.
Slow Speeds/Data Throttling
If AT&T hotspot speeds are consistently slow, you may be experiencing data throttling after exceeding monthly hotspot data limits. Check account usage and upgrade your plan if needed.
No Internet Access
An AT&T hotspot not providing internet access can stem from cellular network outages or plan restrictions if hotspot data limits were exceeded. Check service status and account usage.
AT&T Hotspot Compatibility Issues
Lack of device compatibility can cause AT&T hotspot problems. Ensure your devices are approved for AT&T hotspots:
Most modern Android smartphones and tablets are compatible with AT&T hotspots. Check your Android OS version supports hotspot tethering. Update if needed.
Current iPhone models and iPad tablets should work with AT&T hotspots. Older iOS versions may experience issues – update to the latest iOS for best performance.
Windows 7, 8, and 10 laptops can generally connect to AT&T hotspots successfully. Install all the latest Windows updates on your computer.
MacOS versions High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina, and Big Sur allow MacBooks to connect with AT&T hotspots. Keep your Mac operating system up-to-date.
If you experience AT&T hotspot issues with certain devices, try toggling airplane mode, rebooting, or resetting network settings to troubleshoot.
Contacting AT&T Customer Support
If you still can’t resolve AT&T hotspot problems after troubleshooting, reach out to AT&T customer support through one of these options:
- By Phone: Call 800-331-0500. AT&T support agents can assist with hotspot issues over the phone.
- Online Chat: Start a live chat session on att.com for fast help with hotspot troubleshooting.
- AT&T Forums: Post questions on the AT&T community forums to get help from AT&T moderators and other users.
- Twitter: Tweet requests to @ATT or @ATTCares to receive hotspot troubleshooting assistance.
- Tech Support Email: Send an email to [email protected] describing your hotspot problem.
When contacting AT&T support, provide details like make/model of your phone, other connected devices, locations tested, troubleshooting steps taken, and any error messages seen. This helps them diagnose and quicker resolve your hotspot issues.
Key Takeaways on Fixing AT&T Hotspot Issues
Having trouble getting your AT&T mobile hotspot working properly? Keep these tips in mind:
- Double check basic settings like verifying hotspot mode is enabled and broadcasting SSID.
- Reboot the AT&T hotspot device and reconnect other devices to refresh connections.
- Perform updates on the hotspot device and connected devices to ensure maximum compatibility.
- Try moving the hotspot device and connected devices to improve signal strength issues.
- Reset network settings to clear any problematic configurations disrupting hotspot functionality.
- Check account status and hotspot data usage to confirm you haven’t exceeded monthly limits.
- Contact AT&T customer support for troubleshooting help if problems persist after trying fixes.
With some dedicated troubleshooting following these steps, you should be able to get an AT&T mobile hotspot working again properly. Hotspots provide great convenience accessing the internet on WiFi devices anywhere a cell connection is available.
FAQs About AT&T Hotspots Not Working
Why does my AT&T hotspot keep disconnecting?
Frequent disconnections are often due to poor cellular signal from the hotspot device. Changing locations and positions may help stabilize connectivity. Contact AT&T to check service coverage in your area.
Why is my hotspot not showing up as an available WiFi network?
If other devices can’t detect your hotspot SSID, the broadcast feature may be disabled. Go into hotspot settings on your AT&T phone and make sure broadcasting is enabled.
How do I troubleshoot when my AT&T hotspot has no internet access?
Start by verifying cellular data is working on the hotspot device itself. Then reconnect devices and try toggling airplane mode on the hotspot. Check account status for any hotspot data overages.
Why is my AT&T hotspot speed slow?
Throttled speeds often indicate you’ve exceeded the monthly hotspot data allowance on your plan. AT&T may throttle speeds after you use 15GB or more hotspot data depending on your plan details.
How do I change the AT&T hotspot password and SSID?
On iPhone go to Settings > Personal Hotspot and edit the network name and password fields. For Android go to Settings > Connections > Mobile Hotspot and Tethering and edit the network name and security sections.
Why can my friend’s phone connect to my AT&T hotspot but my laptop cannot?
This is likely a device compatibility issue. Try updating your laptop’s operating system or rebooting the hotspot device and router if using one. Check for any firewall restrictions blocking the connection.
How do I configure AT&T hotspot settings?
On iPhone go to Settings > Personal Hotspot to manage settings like password and maximum connections. For Android go to Settings > Connections > Mobile Hotspot and Tethering. Enable sharing, set password, adjust timeouts as needed.
Where can I find my AT&T hotspot usage for the month?
Log into your AT&T account online or through the myAT&T mobile app. Go to Usage > Hotspot Data to see monthly usage. Compare to your plan allowance to avoid overages or throttling.
Why does my AT&T hotspot disconnect when idle after some time?
By default AT&T hotspots disconnect idle devices after 5 minutes. Go into hotspot settings on your phone and adjust the timeout to “Never” under Connected Devices to keep idle connections open.