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How to Tether Your iPad to Your iPhone (via Bluetooth)

Avoid a second data plan

How to Tether Your iPad to Your iPhone (via Bluetooth)

Apple has made is relatively simple to create a WiFi hotspot on the iPhone. Unfortunately to save battery life, the hotspot is automatically deactivated if it's not in use. This means you need to pull out your phone and activate the hotspot each time you want to use your iPad.

This limitation does not exist when tethering via bluetooth.


  • Ÿ  iPhone 3G or higher
  • Ÿ  iOS 5.0 or higher
  • Ÿ  Tethering is allowed by your mobile carrier

Set up your iPhone

1. Settings | Personal Hotspot | On | (Turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth)

2. Important: Make sure your iPhone stays on the Personal Hotspot screen

Pair your iPad with your iPhone

1. Settings | Bluetooth

2. Turn Bluetooth ON

3. Wait for your phone to appear (if it doesn't make sure it is in the hotspot screen)

4. Select it and Pair

Connecting to your iPhone

1. On your iPad | Settings | General | Bluetooth

2. Select your iPhone and "Select your phone"

3. Within a few seconds you should have access to the Internet to visit your favourite sites

Connecting your iPad with the USB cable will also activate the hotspot and transfers will be as fast as the 3G connection.

Unfortunately location services (like maps) will not work because of a recent software change by Apple. Hopefully this will change soon.


Tethering to your phone is not without its dangers ...

Make sure you have an adequate data plan

  • Ÿ  Modern news web sites can load 1MB per page and videos can range up to 100MB in HQ mode
  • Ÿ  Make sure you have organised roaming data when travelling
  • Ÿ  It's best to turn off cloud services (e.g. Dropbox, iCloud, iMatch, etc)

Battery life will suffer maintaining both a 3G and Bluetooth connection

  • Ÿ  Pay attention to your battery life
  • Ÿ  Have a recharging strategy in place
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