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How to Tether your iPhone to your Mac Laptop

written by: Sumiko•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 9/13/2010

The iPhone has amazing browsing capabilities but there are times when you may need to browse the web on your Mac laptop. Without spending an arm and a leg on fees with an Internet Service Provider, you can tether your iPhone and connect to the web with your Mac laptop.

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    Before you Begin

    Before you begin tethering your iPhone to use with your Mac Laptop to browse the web, contact your cell phone provider and have the tethering feature added to your iPhone data package. This allows you to connect your iPhone to your computer to browse the web. Install the latest software versions to your iPhone and your Mac laptop to ensure a successful tethering experience. Check for the latest updates by connecting your iPhone to your computer. Once iTunes populates, select the option to “Check for Update" and download the latest software versions to your iPhone and iTunes.

    Turn the tethering feature on by accessing “Network” on your iPhone. Click "Set Up Internet Tethering," select “Internet Tethering” and click “On.”

    iPhone Tethering 

    Turn Tethering ON 

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    Connect iPhone and Mac Laptop via USB Cable

    Network has been detected You will have the option to connect your iPhone with your laptop via Bluetooth or a USB cable in order to browse the web. Depending on your needs, you may choose either option. Bluetooth is preferable as you don't have to carry a cable around with you which takes up unnecessary space. However, there may be a time when you do need to connect your iPhone and Mac laptop via a USB cable.

    In order to tether your iPhone via USB, connect your laptop to the iPhone with the USB cable. iTunes will automatically populate. If you are connecting your iPhone to your Mac laptop for the first time, a pop-up window will appear displaying “A new network interface has been detected.”

    Click “Network Preferences”, select the iPhone icon towards the left, and click “Apply.”

    Open your Internet browser on your Mac laptop to access the web!

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    Pair iPhone and Mac Laptop via Bluetooth

    Turn Bluetooth On Click Settings > General > Bluetooth and select “On” on your iPhone. The words “Now Discoverable” will display on the iPhone screen indicating you have set up the Bluetooth feature successfully.

    Click “Use Device as a Network Port” in your iPhone settings.

    Click “System Preferences” and select “Bluetooth” on your Mac.

    Check off the boxes at the top of the menu to make the laptop discoverable and to turn the Bluetooth feature on.

    Click “+” in the lower left corner of the Bluetooth menu, on your computer, and select your iPhone to pair with your Mac laptop.

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    iPhone and Mac

    Internet Tethering Follow the prompts on the screen of your iPhone and Mac laptop to pair your iPhone and Mac laptop.

    Enter the passkey that is typically “0000.” You may also obtain the passkey in the iPhone User Guide. Once the pairing is complete, “Internet Tethering” will display on the home screen of your iPhone.

    Open your Internet browser on your Mac Laptop to access the web and start browsing!