How to connect an iPhone to a Mac

Want to access your iPhone’s internet connection on your Mac? We will show you two methods: wired and wireless.


Most of you have been in a situation where you didn’t have WiFi but needed to connect to the internet. Well, if you have your phone, you can share its cellular connection to access the internet on your computer. This is called tethering.


You can share your iPhone’s Internet connection with your Mac in three ways: USB, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. However, since Bluetooth is slow and unreliable, we’ve focused on the other two in this guide.


Connect an iPhone to your Mac via USB

Connecting your iPhone to a Mac using a USB connection is pretty easy. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using the included Lightning to USB cable.
  2. Go to settings App on your iPhone, tap Personal hotspotand turn on allow others to join.
  3. Open on your Mac system settings and click network from the left pane.
  4. Here you will see iPhone USB underneath Other Services.

System settings menu Network

If you’re already connected to Wi-Fi, the status icon under iPhone USB is a yellow dot with a status of Connected. When you disconnect from WiFi, the status changes to a green dot with Connected. You should now be able to access your phone’s internet on your Mac.

If you don’t see iPhone USB Service in the network menu, click on it Three dots icon bottom right and select add service. Choose iPhone USB as interface and click Create.

Connect an iPhone to your Mac over Wi-Fi

Don’t have your iPhone’s Lightning cable with you? Maybe you use MagSafe for charging, which doesn’t let you connect to your Mac. Don’t worry, you can use the Personal Hotspot feature instead. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to on your iPhone Settings > Personal Hotspot and turn on allow others to join.
  2. Write down the passcode (if you have one) and the name of the iPhone (you can check this in Settings > General > About > Name).
  3. On your Mac, click the Wireless Internet access icon in the menu bar and select your iPhone from the list of connections below Personal hotspots.
  4. Enter the password when prompted and click Connect.

Wi-Fi drop down menu and Wi-Fi password window

If your Mac still can’t access the internet after connecting to your iPhone, check out our Personal Hotspot troubleshooting guide.

Stay connected anywhere with tethering

Tethering your iPhone to your Mac offers a convenient and reliable way to stay connected on the go. Both of the methods we’ve discussed have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages.

USB tethering offers better reliability, speed, and security than Personal Hotspot. Also, your iPhone can be charged while doing the tedious task of sharing its internet. However, if you connect it to a MacBook, it will drain your laptop’s battery instead.

And while Personal Hotspot is handy, it comes at the expense of your iPhone’s battery life, which you don’t want when you’re on the go. Of course, you could leave it plugged in, but we don’t recommend it if you want to preserve your iPhone’s battery performance.

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