Windows 11 adds hotspot support for Android devices

With the upcoming update to Windows 11, laptops and computers gain the ability to automatically turn on the hotspot on your smartphone as part of the “Phone Link” feature, but it only works with select Android phones.

Announced as part of Windows 11 25231 preview build for Windows Insiders, Phone Link will add support for launching the hotspot on your smartphone directly from your laptop. This feature allows Windows laptops and other computers to discover your paired phone and allows you to turn on its hotspot to use as an Internet connection on the go.

Microsoft explained:

We are happy to announce that you can now instantly access your mobile hotspot on your PC via the Phone Link app. The instant hotspot feature allows you to safely start and connect to your phone’s Wi-Fi network without touching your phone. When your phone is within range, it will appear in the Wi-Fi network list on your computer where one click turns on and connects to the phone’s hotspot. No more remembering and typing passwords or searching for hotspot settings on the phone. This provides an easier and faster way to frequently connect to your hotspot while on the go.

This is a feature that has gained traction over the years in other places. Apple supports the option on macOS with iPhones, and Samsung supports the ability to run your hotspot from another Android device using your Samsung account. Google also supports this on Chromebooks with most Android phones.

With the Microsoft app for Windows 11, the ability to start a hotspot will be exclusive to Samsung Galaxy devices.

You’ll need a Galaxy device running Single UI 4.1.1 or higher (Galaxy S21, S22, Fold 3 and Fold 4 as examples) as well as a computer that supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You’ll need Windows 11 22H2 Build 22621 and later as well as Phone Link v1.22082.111.0 or higher, and of course you’ll need to pair your devices together.

Here’s what the Instant Hotspot feature looks like.

For now, this feature is only being tested with Insiders but should make its way to the general public in the coming months.

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