Gone are the days when people asked, “Does Windows 10 have a mobile hotspot?” The operating system’s mobile hotspot is now a proven helpful feature. It’s one of those handy tools we still have to thank Microsoft for. However, like every Windows component, it has its ups and downs.

You’re on this webpage because you’re getting an error that reads, “We can’t set up mobile hotspot” when you try to turn on the “Share my internet connection with other devices” option in the Settings app. We’ll be going through the different steps on how to deal with the problem.

How to Fix the “Mobile Hotspot Not Working in Windows 10” Problem

The problem can be traced back to several underlying causes. Your network adapter could be out of date. Some background programs could be clashing with the network-related services. Your firewall could be interfering. And the Internet Connection Sharing service could be disabled.

You’ll find out how to resolve these issues and others that might be triggering the error. You just have to fix one or two of these issues to get rid of the error. Follow the solutions below, one after the other.

First of all, if you don’t know how to create a wireless hotspot on your computer, here’s how:

  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. Click on Settings in the menu that shows up.
  3. You can also press the Windows logo key + I shortcut to enter the Settings app.
  4. After Settings opens, click on Network and Internet.
  5. Once you see the Status page, go to “Advanced network settings” and click on “Change adapter options.”
  6. After the Network Connections window opens, right-click on your active connection and click on Properties.
  7. Once the Properties dialog window opens, switch to the Sharing tab.
  8. Mark the box beside “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection…”.
  9. Select your wireless adapter in the drop-down menu.
  10. Click on OK.

Now, head back to the Network and Internet page of the Settings application and click on Mobile Hotspot in the left pane. Switch to the right and toggle on the switch for “Share my internet connection with other devices.”

Make sure the wireless adapter is enabled

The wireless adapter controls your Wi-Fi and hotspot. Your mobile hotspot won’t work if it’s turned off. Follow these steps to turn it on:

  1. Use the Windows logo + S keyboard combo to open the search box.
  2. Type “ncpa.cpl” and click on the first result.
  3. Check your wireless adapter. If it’s turned off, right-click it and select Enabled.
  4. Now, try starting your mobile hotspot.

Confirm that your system supports Hosted Network

Hosted Network is a component that allows you to create a mobile hotspot on Windows 10. If your system doesn’t support the infrastructure, you won’t be able to share your internet access.

Follow these steps to check if your system supports the feature:

  1. Use the Windows logo key + S keyboard combo to open the search box.
  2. Type “cmd” once the search bar opens.
  3. Right-click Command Prompt’s entry and select Run as Administrator.
  4. Select Yes once the User Account Control requests permission to run the Command Prompt as an administrator.
  5. After the Command Prompt opens, type “netsh wlan show driver” (without the quotes) and hit Enter.
  6. Once the Command Prompt lists the properties of your wireless device, navigate to “Hosted Network supported.” If you see “Hosted Network supported: NO,” your wireless adapter does not support the feature.

This could be a driver issue. So, update the problematic driver (more details on that below) and check if the problem goes away. If there’s still no support for Hosted Network, go for a USB device that shares your system’s internet.

Run the Network Adapter Troubleshooter

The Network Adapter Troubleshooter is a built-in utility that looks out for and resolves issues plaguing the network adapter. The program will disable the adapter, enable it, and restart some services related to the network connection.

These steps will show you how to run it:

  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. Click on Settings in the menu that shows up.
  3. You can also tap the Windows + I shortcut to enter the Settings app.
  4. After Settings opens, click on Update & Security.
  5. Head to the left pane of the next window and click on Troubleshoot.
  6. Switch to the main window, go under the Troubleshoot tab, and click on “Additional troubleshooters.”
  7. Once the Additional Troubleshooters screen appears, scroll down to the “Find and fix other problems” section.
  8. Click on Network Adapter, then click on Run the Troubleshooter.
  9. Allow the tool to search for problems and apply fixes.
  10. You can also run the Incoming Connections Troubleshooter and check if that helps.

Enable Microsoft virtual adapters

The Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter is a component that allows your computer to share its internet connection with other devices. The adapter is often hidden, so you won’t see it when you open the Device Manager unless you turn on the Show Hidden Devices feature. Sometimes, there are two virtual adapters.

If your adapter is turned off, your system can’t serve as a mobile hotspot. In some situations, you have to reset all your adapters by disabling and enabling them to get them to work.

These steps will show you what to do:

  1. Right-click on the Start button or tap the Windows flag and X buttons on your keyboard to summon the Power User menu.
  2. After the menu shows up, click on Device Manager.
  3. Once the Device Manager window appears, go to the top of the page, click on View, and then click on Show Hidden Devices.
  4. Now, go to the Network Adapters section and expand it.
  5. Right-click on Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter and click on Disable. Right-click it again and click on Enable.
  6. If there’s another virtual adapter, disable it and re-enable it.
  7. After that, try turning on your computer’s mobile hotspot.

Enable the Internet Connection Sharing service

The mobile hotspot error could be popping up because the Internet Connection Sharing service is turned off or set to Manual. It’s also possible that the service is stuck, even if its status says “Running.” So, turn it off, set it to Automatic, turn it back on, then check if your system can share its internet connection.

Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Right-click on the taskbar and click on Task Manager. You can press the Ctrl, Shift, and Esc buttons at the same time to launch the Task Manager.
  2. Click on More Details if the Task Manager opens without tabs.
  3. Go to the Services tab and click on Open Services at the bottom of the window.
  4. Once you see the Services application, head to the Internet Connection Sharing service and double-click it.
  5. After the Internet Connection Sharing service’s Properties dialog window opens, click on Stop if the service is currently running.
  6. Select Automatic in the Startup Type drop-down menu.
  7. Click on Start.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Try turning on your mobile hotspot.

Update your network adapter driver

Your network adapter communicates with the operating system through its driver. Problems like the mobile hotspot error are indications that the adapter’s driver is damaged or out of date. Installing the latest version of the driver should resolve the problem.

The best way to go about that is by installing a fresh copy of the updated version. That means you have to uninstall the current version. If you don’t know how to remove the driver, follow this guide:

  1. Right-click on the Start button or tap the Windows flag and X buttons on your keyboard to summon the Power User menu.
  2. After the menu shows up, click on Device Manager.
  3. Once the Device Manager window appears, go to the Network Adapters section and expand it.
  4. Right-click on your network adapter and click on Uninstall Device. Since you’re installing the updated version from scratch, check the box beside “Delete the driver software for this device” once the confirmation dialog pops up.
  5. Click on Uninstall.
  6. Restart your computer.

Once you’ve got rid of the current driver, head to Windows Update to download and install the latest updates for your operating system. The updates should include the most recent version of your network adapter’s driver. Here’s how to perform an update:

  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. Click on Settings in the menu that shows up.
  3. You can also press the Windows + I shortcut to enter the Settings app.
  4. After Settings opens, click on Update & Security.
  5. After the Windows Update interface shows up, allow the client to check for available updates. Click on the Download Now button if prompted.
  6. Select Restart Now if Windows Update asks you to reboot your system to install the updates.
  7. Your computer will restart multiple times until the installation is complete.
  8. You can head back to the Windows Update page, click on Update History, and expand Driver Updates to check if the Network Adapter driver has been updated.

Another way to update the driver is by going through the Device Manager. Before you open the Device Manager, you have to go to the adapter manufacturer’s website to download the driver’s latest version. After that, use the Device Manager to find and install it automatically. Follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows flag and X buttons on your keyboard to summon the Power User menu.
  2. After the menu shows up, click on Device Manager.
  3. Once the Device Manager window appears, go to the Network Adapters section and expand it.
  4. Right-click on your network adapter and click on Update Driver.
  5. When you see the Update Driver window, select “Search automatically for updated driver software.”
  6. Allow Windows to search for the driver you downloaded and automatically install it.
  7. Reboot your device after the process is complete.

To ensure that an outdated device driver never sets you back in the future, use Auslogics Driver Updater. The tool is the best remedy for driver-related problems. It scans your system for outdated and corrupt drivers, then installs their updates automatically. It can also save backups of old drivers before installing their updated versions so that you can roll back whenever you want to.

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Here’s how to install and use the tool:

  1. Open the program’s download page.
  2. Click on the Download button.
  3. Once the setup file has been downloaded, run it.
  4. Click on Yes after the User Account Control box requests administrator permission.
  5. After the installation dialog window opens, select a language and preferred install location.
  6. Use the checkboxes to create a desktop icon, allow the program to run at startup, and allow the tool to send anonymous reports to its development team.
  7. After that, click on the “Click to install” button.
  8. Once the installation process is complete, Auslogics Driver Updater will begin to scan your computer for faulty and outdated device drivers.
  9. You’ll see a list of such drivers during and after the scan.
  10. After the scan completes, click on the Update button for your network adapter driver if it’s on the list of problematic driver software.
  11. You can download multiple driver updates at once if you go for the program’s full version.
  12. Once you click Update, the tool will download and install the driver’s latest version.
  13. Reboot your computer after the process is complete.

Temporarily disable your firewall program

There’s a chance that your firewall program is preventing you from using your mobile hotspot. You can try turning off the firewall and restarting the mobile hotspot.

To turn off Windows Defender Firewall, follow these steps:

  1. Head to the right side of the taskbar, where you’ll find the date and time display.
  2. Click on the “Show hidden icons” arrow.
  3. Click the white shield icon once the system tray slides up.
  4. After Windows Security opens, click on Firewall & Network Protection.
  5. Once the Firewall & Network Protection interface appears, go to the bottom of the window and click on Restore Firewall Defaults.
  6. After that, try starting your mobile hotspot.
  7. If the problem doesn’t go away, go to the Firewall & Network Protection window, select Domain Network, and turn off Windows Defender Firewall on the following page.
  8. Head back to the Firewall & Network Protection page and click on Private Network. Turn off Windows Defender Firewall once the Private Network page opens.
  9. Next, click on Public Network in the Firewall & Network Protection interface and turn off Windows Defender Firewall for it.
  10. Now, try starting the mobile hotspot.

If Windows Defender Firewall is the cause of the problem, you should head to Windows Update and install the latest security updates for your system. If you use a third-party firewall program, update or replace it.

Delete the HostedNetwork registry entry

Your HostedNetwork entry in the system registry could be the reason for the error. Some users managed to get their mobile hotspots to work again by removing the entry from the system registry. You’ll be using the Registry Editor to apply this fix.

However, before you begin, you must note that the system registry is sensitive and you could cause severe damage to your operating system if you make a misstep. You can play things safe by backing up the entire registry before you begin. If you’re not comfortable tweaking the registry, get someone to assist you. Here’s how to back up the registry:

  1. Open the Run dialog window by tapping the Windows flag and R keyboard buttons.
  2. After Run shows up, type “regedit” and hit the Enter key.
  3. Click on OK once the User Account Control box requests administrator access for the Registry Editor.
  4. Once you see the Registry Editor, go to the top-left corner and select File >> Export.
  5. When the Export Registry File dialog appears, click on the radio button for All under Export Range.
  6. Select a name for the backup file that you’re creating.
  7. Browse to the folder where you want to save the file.
  8. Click on Save.
  9. That’s how to back up the entire system registry. If you want to back up a particular registry key, navigate to the key, right-click it, select Export, choose “Selected branch” under Export Range, and then save the key.
  10. To restore a registry file, go to the top of the window, click on File > Import. Navigate to the folder where you saved the file and double-click it.

Now, follow these steps to delete the HostedNetwork registry entry:

  1. Launch the Registry Editor, head to the left pane, and then expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
  2. Next, drill down to System\currentcontrolset\services\wlansvc\parameters\HostedNetworkSettings.
  3. Select HostedNetworkSettings, then go to the right pane.
  4. Right-click on the HostedNetworkSettings entry and select Delete.
  5. Once the confirmation box pops up, click Yes to confirm your action.
  6. Restart your PC.

Conclusion

Hopefully, your laptop can now resume its duty as your makeshift wireless router. If you’re confused about anything, leave a comment below.