Windows 10 has a built-in mobile hotspot feature that lets users share the internet connection on their desktop with up to eight other devices. It’s a pretty useful feature and it’s incredibly easy to use as well. You only have to flip a switch to set up the mobile hotspot. That said, it can sometimes refuse to turn on. If you’re seeing the ‘We can’t set up mobile hotspot’ message on Windows 10, there may be a network device that is disconnected/disabled. Here’s what you need to do to fix it.
Fix ‘We can’t set up mobile hotspot’
Open Device Manager and expand the Network Adapters group of devices. Under this group, look for any devices that are disabled. A disabled device has an arrow button over its icon. If you see any disabled devices, you need to enable them.
In particular, look for a device called ‘virtual adapter’. If it’s disabled, enable it.
To enable a device, right-click it and select ‘Enable device’ from the context menu. This should do the trick and generally, there’s no need to restart your PC but, if you still cannot turn the mobile hotspot on, give your system a restart.
In most cases, this will fix the problem however, if it doesn’t and you’ve enabled all devices under ‘Network adapters’, then it may be time to examine drivers.
Check if the virtual adapter device’s driver has recently been updated. If it has, it is possible that the update broke something. Uninstall/roll back the driver, and use generic Windows drivers for this device. If you’re already using generic Windows drivers and the mobile hotspot won’t turn on, you should look for drivers from the device manufacturer.
What is a Virtual adapter?
If you’re wondering what the mobile hotspot has to do with the virtual adapter device, the device is basically what allows you to share your internet connection with other devices. If this device isn’t working correctly, or if it’s disabled, the mobile hotspot cannot be created.
Unfortunately, Windows 10 doesn’t have the smartest error messages, and its troubleshooter often falls short of actually fixing anything. This is why running the network troubleshooter won’t point you to this fix, and it’s not the sort of thing a system restart can fix either.
If you’ve never created a mobile hotspot on your Windows 10 PC, it is possible that there is some other reason behind it not turning on. If you have created a mobile hotspot on your PC before, without any trouble, then this is probably going to fix the problem.