Support Forums

Full Version: How to Enable Personal Hotspot Feature [No Jailbreak] iOS 6.1.6 and Less
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
How to Enable Personal Hotspot Feature

  • On most carriers, users are required to pay a hefty amount to have access to the Tether features that are built in with their device.
    This thread will cover step-by-step on how to enable the tethering feature for free, without a jailbreak.
    This method uses a technique to edit a system .plist and changes the iDevice's hotspot APN, to it's web APN, which allows tethering.
    (There is a way to do this by simply installing an APN, but I don't know how to make that automatic yet, so this will do)


    • A computer running Windows or OS X.
    • A device that has the Hotspot feature.
    • iTunes
    • A .plist editor program, which includes:
    • A backup extractor program, which includes:
    • Some patience, this may take a bit if you have never used these tools.

Steps for getting Preferences.plist (iExplorer)

    1. Backup your device using iTunes
      • Plug your device into your computer.
        On the 'Summary' tab, click "Back Up Now"
    2. Download and install a plist editor (plist Editor), and iExplorer.
    3. Run iExplorer, and under 'Browse iTunes Backups' click the device backup that you just backed up, using iTunes.
    4. Select the device backup, and then click "Backup Explorer".
    5. From there navigate to "SystemPrefrencesDomain"
    6. Then select "SystemConfiguration"
    7. Then right click on "preferences.plist" and click "Export to Folder...". Save the file on your desktop. Minimize iExplorer.

Steps for getting Preferences.plist (iBackup Bot)

    1. Backup your device using iTunes
      • Plug your device into your computer.
        On the 'Summary' tab, click "Back Up Now"
    2. Download and install a plist editor (plist Editor), and iBackup Bot.
    3. Run iBackup Bot, and under left handed window "iTunes Backup" click the device backup that you just backed up, using iTunes.
    4. Click the [+] button, to the left of the selected backup name.
    5. Select "SystemPrefrencesDomain" drop the menu.
    6. Then click on "SystemConfiguration"
    7. Then check the file called "preferences.plist", and click "File" (located at the top toolbar of the program), and click "Export".
    8. A window will popup, check "Export Only Checked File(s)." and un-check the prompt saying "Export with backup information, for import to another backup"
    9. Now save the file on your desktop.

Steps Editing Preferences.plist and Restoring the Edited Backup

    1. Right click on the preferences.plist file and open it with the plist editor you downloaded.
    2. In the plist editor, search(CTRL+F) "apn", the first result should be around line 32 of the file (could be 10 lines off depending on your device, do not worry).
    3. Now highlight the following code, and delete it:
    4. Now we must change the Tethering APN, to the normal APN that your device uses to access internet.
      The location of the APN that has to be edited can be found here:

      This is located just under the APN field, found in step 2.
      Change 'phone' to the web apn domain of your network.
      NOTE: For CDMA carriers, they may be referred to as DUN APNs.
      Examples of APN's used to browse the web for the following carriers include:
      • T-Mobile - |
        AT&T - wap.cingular
        All I could find - If your carrier's web APN isn't listed here, you can find it yourself!
    5. Save the Preferences.plist file with the new web APN.
    6. Now drag the new Preferences.plist file into the iExplorer window, so the new file(Preferences.plist) replaces the old one.
    7. Save the extracted backup file.
    8. Close iExplorer and launch iTunes.
    9. Plug your device in, and go the the 'Summary' tab, hold shift and click "Restore From Backup". From there, browse to the backup that was edited with iExplorer. Select it, and confirm the restore.
    10. Wait for your device to reboot, and go into settings to see the newly enabled Tethering feature.

Things to Remember

    • If you have not paid for the native tethering feature, and use it excessively, your carrier can tell. And will warn you that they will charge you for it, if you continue to use it. Use it at your own risk.
    • This method involves editing a property list to fake an APN the system needs to Tether internet.
      This means that Apple will patch it in the iOS 7 beta/GM releases, so backup your devices while you can, so an edit can be done in the future!
    • When tethering, it uses your device's data, so if you have a limit or cap with your mobile data, be sure to monitor it after each use.
    • You are responsible for your own actions.
A well written tutorial on how to enable a hotspot, I am sure many people will find value in this.