How to enable Personal Hotspot on a carrier unlocked iPhone

This may sound ridiculous. I just bought a carrier unlocked iPhone 4S from eBay, and the APN settings still pointed to O2 UK. Well then, upon trying to enable Personal Hotspot, I got a prompt that said ‘visit blah blah to enable this feature’, and took me straight to O2’s Personal Hotspot/tethering web page, only to be greeted with ‘you don’t have a data plan to enable tethering’.

Switched to the next natural step of deleting the APN info of O2 and changing it to my current service provider, Airtel ( I thought this should be simple enough to get myself started with the Personal Hotspot stuff. I was wrong! The Personal Hotspot button vanished!

Using some intelligent algorithms in my brain, and after going through some forums, I did something that gave me back the freedom of using the tethering feature on my iPhone (running iOS 6.1.3). If you’re facing this too, following the steps below might give you back your Personal Hotspot:

  1. Turn OFF WiFi
  2. Go to Settings-General-Cellular-Cellular Data Network, scroll down, and click Reset Settings – this should revert back to the original service provider settings (O2, in my case)
  3. Get out of settings, and reopen settings to see if you have the Personal Hotspot button – if yes, proceed to the next step
  4. Turn ON WiFi, go to App Store, and install Onavo Extend
  5. Just follow the wizard to install Onavo and its certificate
  6. Now, double-click on the home button, and close all apps (you know how to, right?)
  7. Go to Settings-General-Cellular and turn on cellular data
  8. Open Safari and check if you’re able to browse – you’d see a VPN tag on the top notification bar. If yes, proceed to the next step
  9. Since you’ve already reset your network settings in step 2, you should still be seeing the Personal Hotspot button. Just turn that on!
  10. If you want to tether via WiFi/Bluetooth, you may be prompted to turn ’em on
  11. Enjoy!

These steps just worked for me. If not, you may have to jail-break!? Hope you don’t have to get to that extent. Let me know if this worked for you.

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