How to turn your Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 device into a WiFi hotspot

If you have used Windows 7 or Windows XP, you know that these operating systems allow you to create ad-hoc wireless connections between computers. You could use them to create a wireless network between multiple computers or to share the internet connection that was available on one of them. If you have Windows 10 Anniversary Update or newer, then you are in luck as you can create your mobile hotspot with just a few click or taps, as you will see later in this guide. Unfortunately, if you use Windows 8.1 or a Windows 10 version that was released before Anniversary Update, then you might have noticed that you cannot do that quickly, at least not by using a visual interface. Even so, with the help of the Command Prompt and a few commands, you can still turn your laptop into a Wi-Fi access point. Here is how:

How to turn your Windows 10 device (with Anniversary Update or newer) into a Wi-Fi mobile hotspot

First of all, you should know that this method is the easiest way of turning your device into a mobile hotspot, in all the Windows operating systems. However, for it to work, you must meet a few requirements:

  • Your machine must be running Windows 10 with Anniversary Update or newer (released after August 2nd, 2016)
  • It must have at least one Wi-Fi network card connected to it
  • It must be connected to the internet, using either its Wi-Fi card or any other means, like an Ethernet connection, USB internet modem or SIM card

If all these prerequisites are met, go ahead and open the Settings app. There are many ways to do that, but one of the easiest is to click or tap on the cogwheel button from the Start Menu.

In the Settings app, open the "Network & internet" settings category.

On the left side of the window, select "Mobile hotspot."

Now, on the right side of the window, a settings page called "Mobile hotspot" is loaded. The first thing on it is a switch also called "Mobile hotspot." Enabling this switch turns on the mobile hotspot. However, before you do that, you should first check the settings and see whether you would prefer using a custom network name, password or radio band.

If you have more than one internet connection working on your Windows 10 laptop or device, make sure that you select the one that you want to use, in the "Share my internet connection from" list.

Then, you get to see the default "Network name", "Network password" and "Network band" values that have been automatically generated by your Windows 10 device. If you are OK with them and want to use them as they are, just go back and enable the "Mobile hotspot" switch.

If you prefer customizing these values with your own, click or tap the Edit button.

Enter the "Network name," "Network password" and "Network band" that you want to use, and then click or tap on the Save button.

Your custom values are saved instantly, and you can now see them on the "Mobile hotspot" page from the Settings app.

If your device also has Bluetooth, you also get a setting that lets other devices you own turn the mobile hotspot on and off remotely. You can do that if you enable the "Turn on remotely" switch, but you must know that both devices must have Bluetooth on and they must be paired before that.

Now that everything has been sorted out, you can go ahead and turn on the "Mobile hotspot" switch at the top of the page. Once you do that, the hotspot's settings turn grey and cannot be changed, as they are effectively in use. Also, right under them, you can now see a new piece of information: the number of "Devices connected." Note that the maximum number of allowed connections is 8.

Now that you have configured the "Mobile hotspot" to work as you want, you should also know that there are two other, much faster ways to turn it on or off. The first is to open the "Action Center" and click or tap on the "Mobile hotspot" button.

The second method is to open the network icon from the system tray and click or tap on the "Mobile hotspot" button.

However, neither of these two methods show the mobile hotspot settings, so you have to know beforehand what the network name and password is.

If your device uses Windows 8.1 or a Windows 10 version that was released before the Anniversary Update, go to the second page of this guide.