iPhone No Instant Hotspot with eSIM only

Lakshman M N

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2018
9
1
Hi everyone,

I have my eSIM activated and working well on my iPhone Xs Max. This is my primary number with Voice and Data activated on it. I am on iOS 12.1.1. I have noticed that if there is no physical SIM, instant hotspot using my iPhone does not show up on other Apple devices. When I insert a SIM into the physical SIM slot I see instant hotspot and my device listed on my MacBook.

I would like to use the eSIM for the instant hotspot since I have an abundant amount of data on my plan. I want to keep the physical SIM slot empty and use it when I travel. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 
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chabig

macrumors 603
Sep 6, 2002
5,879
3,140
The ability to set up and use a personal hotspot depends entirely upon your data plan.
 

Lakshman M N

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2018
9
1
I have an active Data plan. I am able to setup personal hotspot. I am referring to Instant Hotspot.
 

ManuCH

macrumors 6502a
May 7, 2009
528
156
Switzerland
Same here, has been like that with iOS 12.1 as well, and the bug remains in iOS 12.1.1.

The Instant Hotspot feature only works if there is a physical SIM inserted and enabled. As soon as you either remove the SIM, or disable it (new setting in iOS 12.1.1), Instant Hotspot disappears. It is still possible to enable the hotspot manually, however.

I need to report this in the Apple Bug Reporter as this is clearly a bug. And yes, the data plan I have on my eSIM definitely supports the hotspot feature.
 
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ManuCH

macrumors 6502a
May 7, 2009
528
156
Switzerland
When it’s disappeared for me in the past, signing out of iCloud and then back in has fixed it.
That doesn't help in this case (I tried and spent half a day struggling with iCloud Photo Library doing its thing). Also, Instant Hotspot can be restored by plugging in a physical SIM. It's 100% reproducible: with a physical SIM it works, without it doesn't.

I have now reported the bug to Apple.
 

cwosigns

macrumors 68000
Jul 8, 2008
1,792
1,442
Columbus,OH
That doesn't help in this case (I tried and spent half a day struggling with iCloud Photo Library doing its thing). Also, Instant Hotspot can be restored by plugging in a physical SIM. It's 100% reproducible: with a physical SIM it works, without it doesn't.

I have now reported the bug to Apple.
I'm in the long, unnecessarily painful process of switching my Verizon account to eSIM, but I will have my AT&T SIM card as my secondary number. Will the Instant Hotspot feature work by the mere presence of a SIM, or does it have to be the primary SIM?
 

ManuCH

macrumors 6502a
May 7, 2009
528
156
Switzerland
I'm in the long, unnecessarily painful process of switching my Verizon account to eSIM, but I will have my AT&T SIM card as my secondary number. Will the Instant Hotspot feature work by the mere presence of a SIM, or does it have to be the primary SIM?
Instant Hotspot works by mere presence of an unlocked SIM (meaning you have to enter the PIN, you can't leave it locked). It doesn't have to be the primary SIM (neither for voice nor for data).

I keep a random prepaid SIM from a different carrier in the SIM slot as a workaround.
 

popcorn-in-sac

macrumors regular
Jan 30, 2008
103
23
Seattle, WA area
I just switched my Verizon line to the eSIM also. I have an AT&T prepaid SIM in the physical slot. I found that although Instant Hotspot works in this configuration, my Mac shows the AT&T physical SIM network status (# bars, connection type) instead of the Verizon eSIM network status, even though Verizon is configured as the cellular data "provider".

Seems a couple of issues with this in 12.1.1, although mine is just cosmetic, as I get Verizon for the hotspot, regarding of being shown status for AT&T.

Mark
 

ajayjp

macrumors member
Oct 30, 2016
71
12
I have T-Mobile as eSim. The instant hot spot works. I think it’s just about the iCloud ID Sync. Log off the Apple ID on the devices and sign in back.
 

BasicGreatGuy

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
11,671
10,707
In the middle of several books.
I have T-Mobile as eSim. The instant hot spot works. I think it’s just about the iCloud ID Sync. Log off the Apple ID on the devices and sign in back.
My iMac seems to connect to the phone, as the phone symbol turns blue but no data seems to be moving.Was that your experience before signing out and back in on iCloud? Using T-Mobile SIM doesn't work with hotspot either.
 

ajayjp

macrumors member
Oct 30, 2016
71
12
I did not have to do the sign out and back. It just works. I am now connected on the


I just tried on my iPad. Can check my MacBook Pro later but don’t think it’s an issue.
 

BasicGreatGuy

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
11,671
10,707
In the middle of several books.
I did not have to do the sign out and back. It just works. I am now connected on the


I just tried on my iPad. Can check my MacBook Pro later but don’t think it’s an issue.
I signed out and back in and both devices and still now working.

I have the Verizon eSIM set as primary cellular data when trying to hotspot. The time on the iPhone in the right corner turns blue and the connect symbol showing on the iMac but no data seems to be flowing with the hotspot. Same returns if I make the T-Mobile SIM the primary data.

I just tested connecting to another iPhone to hotspot and it connected and worked. For some reason, the iMac isn't connecting properly.

Edited to add: Got it working. I forgot I had my VPN still running on my iMac. Turned off the VPN and iMac and phone connected hotspot. lol Dummy me.
 
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Apple TarHeel

macrumors member
Mar 23, 2012
71
25
Hi everyone,

Just curious if the problem has been fixed in the latest beta
I must be missing the point, but my Instant Hotspot is working fine on iPhone XS Max with ATT as primary eSim and Verizon as secondary physical SIM - iMac Pro shows iPhone and connects right away even with Hotspot turn off on iPhone
 

Lakshman M N

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2018
9
1
I must be missing the point, but my Instant Hotspot is working fine on iPhone XS Max with ATT as primary eSim and Verizon as secondary physical SIM - iMac Pro shows iPhone and connects right away even with Hotspot turn off on iPhone
The problem is that Instant Hotspot does not show up on other devices if you use only an eSIM and don’t have a physical SIM in the SIM tray.
 

dmccombs

macrumors regular
May 13, 2013
160
124
What a PITA. I logged out of iCloud to try to fix the issue and it disabled all the Apple Pay stuff on my phone and watch. Now its taken 30 minutes so far to log back into iCloud. WTH??? Using Apple products is really becoming as bad as Windows. You have to stand on one foot while hoping counterclockwise, in rhythm to a metronome, while rebooting all your devices.

Sorry, for the rant. It just seems like I spend half my life trying to keep the apple products talking to each other. What happens to the Apple slogan "It Just Works"???
 

George Knighton

macrumors 65816
Oct 13, 2010
1,303
287
The Instant Hot Spot feature works fine for me.

I wonder what's the difference with people for whom it will not work.

My Primary is an eSIM, and that is the data line.