How can you share Windows 10 laptops’ internet connection?

share Windows 10 laptops' internet connection
If you have an internet connection on your laptop, share it with your phone, tablet and branch

It’s ridiculously easy to share Windows 10 laptops‘ internet connection once you know how. Here, I’ll share two methods to create a mobile hotspot using your laptop: one quick but tricksy, one slow but steady.

Why might you want to turn your laptop into a hotspot? For starters, because your laptop may be the best device in your house at accessing Wi-Fi. Or perhaps it’s plugged into your network via a cable, so has access to faster network speeds that you can then share.

Or perhaps you’re using a Wi-Fi hotspot somewhere. Rather than sign your various mobile devices up to the same hotspot, you can connect your laptop and then share its internet connection.

What’s more, after you’ve set up a mobile hotspot on your laptop, and connected your phone or tablet for the first time, they will then automatically connect to the hotspot whenever it’s activated. A simple, hassle-free way to save on data costs and boost speeds.

Share Windows 10 laptops’ internet connection: the slow but steady way

Type “mobile hotspot” into your Windows search bar, at the bottom-left of your screen. The top option will be “Change mobile hotspot settings”. Click this.

share Windows 10 laptops' internet connection

You’ll see a screen similar to the above, where the “Network name” is automatically generated based on the name of your laptop. Windows will automatically create its own password, but you can change this (and the name of the network) by pressing the Edit button.

If you’re happy with the chosen names then hit the toggle underneath “Mobile hotspot” to On. You’re all set.

Share Windows 10 laptops’ internet connection: the quick but tricksy way

You don’t want to bother with that faff every single time you switch on the mobile hotspot, though. Instead, turn your attention to the collection of icons at the bottom right of your taskbar. They’ll look something like this.

share Windows 10 laptops' internet connectionYou’ll notice that my network connection is showing – the three curved lines stemming from a single point – but if it hadn’t been then I would have only needed to press the upwards arrow (to the left of the blue Bluetooth symbol in this example) to reveal it. If I had been on a wired connection, my icon would have looked like a monitor with a network cable on its left-hand side.

Click the network icon and an expanded menu appears showing your connection and, at the bottom, three “buttons”. One for Wi-Fi, one for Airplane Mode and the final one for mobile hotspot. You just need to hit this to activate it.

(I’m assuming at this point that you’ve already set up your mobile hotspot; if not, follow the instructions above in the “slow but steady way”.)

Now, your mobile devices will be able to see your hotspot in the usual way.

Although I’ve described this as the tricksy way, it soon becomes second nature. The only annoying thing is that there’s no way to automatically share your internet connection, and it will switch off if unused.

Read this next: How do I get images from my camera or smartphone onto Windows 10?

About the author

Tim Danton

Tim Danton is editor-in-chief of PC Pro magazine and has written about technology since 1999. He enjoys playing with gadgets, playing with words and playing tennis. Email

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