Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1.


Tethering: Use your phone’s data connection

Your Surface may be able to share your phone’s Internet connection.


Before you get started

Sharing your cellular data connection with another device is sometimes called tethering (connecting one device to another).
Before you get set up, there are a couple things to know.

  • Sharing your data connection, whether through your phone or through your Surface, could result in extra charges. For more info, see Manage your mobile broadband data use.
  • By default, tethered and mobile broadband connections are metered. Apps and updates may not download over a metered connection. Metered Internet connections: FAQ has more info about this.
  • To share a connection through a phone, tethering must be included with your current phone plan. If you have your Surface connected to a mobile broadband network and want to share that, you can create a mobile hotspot. See Set up a mobile hotspot for details.

Sharing your phone’s Internet connection

Windows Phone: For tethering info, see Share my connection.

iPhone: For tethering info, see iOS: Understanding Personal Hotspot.

Android: For tethering info, check the info that came with your phone or look on the manufacturer’s website.

Surface Pro won’t wirelessly tether?

If you have recently updated your Surface Pro to Windows 8.1 and are having issues wirelessly tethering your Surface, changing a setting can resolve the problem. There are two solutions for this issue:

Switch Airplane mode on and off

Toggling the Airplane mode switch on and off resets the driver that allows your Surface to tether. To do this:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Change PC settings.
Step 3: Tap or click Network, and then tap or click Airplane mode.
Step 4: Under Airplane mode, slide the switch from Off to On and then from On to Off.

Install Surface and Windows updates

An upcoming Windows update will permanently fix this issue. When updates become available, they’ll be installed automatically, but you can check to see if any updates are pending and install them yourself. Here's how:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Change PC settings.
Step 3: Tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap or click the Check now.
Step 4: If there are updates available, tap or click View details.
Step 5: Tap or click to select the updates you want to install, and then tap or click Install.
You may need to restart Surface after the updates have been installed.


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