What to Do If My USB Tether Is not Working: Troubleshooting Tips

USB tethering is a convenient feature that allows us to connect our mobile devices to a computer or laptop and share the internet connection. However, there may be instances when the USB tether function fails to work properly, leaving us frustrated and disconnected. In this article, we will explore some troubleshooting tips and solutions to help resolve issues when USB tethering is not working, ensuring a seamless and reliable connection.

Checking The USB Connection

The USB connection plays a vital role in ensuring the proper functioning of USB tethering. If your USB tether is not working, the first troubleshooting step is to check the USB connection. Start by unplugging the USB cable from both the smartphone and the computer.

Inspect the USB cable for any visible signs of damage, such as frayed wires or bent connectors. If you spot any issues, replace the cable with a new one. Connect the USB cable firmly into the USB ports on both the smartphone and the computer, making sure it is inserted correctly.

In some cases, the USB port on either the smartphone or the computer may be faulty. To eliminate this possibility, try connecting the USB cable to a different USB port. If the USB tethering starts working, then there might be an issue with the previous USB port.

Always ensure that both devices are powered on before attempting to establish a USB tethering connection. If you have checked the USB connection and the issue persists, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

Verifying device compatibility

With USB tethering, it is essential to ensure that your devices are compatible with each other. The first thing to check is whether your mobile device supports USB tethering. Review your device’s manual or visit the manufacturer’s website to confirm its compatibility.

If your device supports tethering, but the USB tether is not working, you should also verify the compatibility of the computer or laptop you are trying to connect to. Different operating systems may have different compatibility requirements. For instance, some older versions of Windows may have limitations or require specific drivers to enable USB tethering.

When verifying compatibility, it’s crucial to have the latest software updates installed on both devices. Outdated software can sometimes cause compatibility issues.

If you find that your devices are not compatible, consider alternative tethering methods such as Wi-Fi hotspot or Bluetooth tethering. These options might provide a viable solution if USB tethering is not possible.

Restarting The Devices

Restarting the devices is a simple yet effective troubleshooting step that can resolve many USB tethering issues. Sometimes, a simple glitch or a temporary system error can hinder the tethering functionality. By restarting both your computer/laptop and the tethered device (such as your smartphone or tablet), you can refresh the connection and potentially fix any minor software or hardware issues causing the problem.

To restart your computer/laptop, go to the “Start” menu, click on the power icon, and select “Restart.” Make sure to save any unsaved work before doing so.

Similarly, for restarting your tethered device, you may need to refer to its user manual or search online for specific instructions, as it can vary depending on the device model and operating system.

Once both devices have been restarted, try reconnecting the USB tether. If the issue persists, move on to the next troubleshooting step.

Restarting devices is often the first step recommended by technical support as it is a quick and straightforward method to potentially resolve USB tethering problems.

Updating Drivers And Software

When your USB tether is not working, one common issue could be outdated drivers or software. To troubleshoot this problem, you can start by updating both the drivers for your USB device and the software on your computer.

First, check if there are any available driver updates for your USB device. You can do this by visiting the manufacturer’s website and searching for the latest driver version for your specific model. Download and install the updated driver if available.

Next, ensure that your computer’s operating system and any relevant software are up to date. Outdated software can sometimes conflict with USB tethering functionality. Check for any pending updates and install them accordingly.

If updating drivers and software does not resolve the issue, consider rebooting both your computer and the USB device after completing the update process. Restarting can help apply the changes and potentially fix any software conflicts that were preventing USB tethering from working properly.

Remember to test your USB tethering connection after updating to determine if the problem has been resolved. If not, you can continue troubleshooting using the remaining methods mentioned in the article.

Resetting Network Settings

Resetting the network settings can often solve USB tethering issues. When you reset the network settings, it will remove all network configurations, including saved Wi-Fi networks, VPN settings, and cellular connections. To reset network settings on your device, follow these steps:

1. Open the Settings menu on your device.
2. Locate and tap on “Network & internet” or “Connections.”
3. Look for the “Reset” or “Reset network settings” option.
4. Tap on it and confirm the action if prompted.

After resetting the network settings, your device will restart. You may need to reconfigure your Wi-Fi and VPN settings afterward. It is advisable to take note of important network information or have it readily available.

Resetting network settings can resolve any misconfigurations or conflicts that may be causing the USB tethering issue. It is a simple yet effective troubleshooting step that many users have found helpful in restoring the functionality of USB tethering. If the problem persists, you can proceed to try the other troubleshooting tips or consult technical support for further assistance.

Disabling Firewall And Antivirus Software

Disabling the firewall and antivirus software on your device could potentially resolve USB tethering issues. Firewalls and antivirus programs are designed to protect your device from unauthorized access and security threats. However, they can sometimes interfere with USB tethering, causing it to malfunction.

To disable the firewall on your device, go to the system settings and locate the firewall or security options. From there, you can temporarily disable the firewall or create an exception for USB tethering.

Similarly, to disable antivirus software, look for the antivirus program icon in the system tray or open the program from the Start menu. Once opened, navigate to the settings or preferences section and locate the option to disable or pause the antivirus protection temporarily.

Keep in mind that disabling these security features leaves your device more vulnerable to potential threats, so it is crucial to re-enable them once the USB tethering issue is resolved. If disabling the firewall and antivirus software does not fix the problem, you may need to explore other troubleshooting steps to identify the root cause of the issue.

Checking USB Tethering Settings

When your USB tether is not working, one of the first steps you should take is to check the USB tethering settings on your device. Sometimes, due to misconfiguration or incorrect settings, the USB tethering feature may not work as expected.

To check the USB tethering settings, go to the settings menu on your device and navigate to the network or connectivity settings. Look for the USB tethering option and ensure that it is enabled. If it is already enabled, you can try disabling it and enabling it again to refresh the connection.

It is also recommended to check if any other settings related to USB tethering, such as IP sharing or network protocols, are correctly configured. Make sure the device you are tethering to is set to receive a shared internet connection from your USB tether.

By thoroughly checking and adjusting the USB tethering settings, you can resolve any configuration issues that may be causing the problem and improve the chances of getting your USB tether up and running smoothly again.

Contacting Technical Support Or Seeking Professional Help

If all else fails and your USB tether is still not working, it may be time to reach out to technical support or seek professional help. This is especially important if you have tried various troubleshooting steps without success.

Contacting technical support can be beneficial as they may have specific knowledge and experience in resolving USB tethering issues. They can guide you through additional troubleshooting steps or provide alternative solutions that could potentially solve the problem.

Seeking professional help is another option if you are unable to resolve the issue on your own. An IT professional or technician with expertise in networking and USB tethering can diagnose and fix the problem for you. They may identify underlying issues with your devices or network configurations that you might have missed.

Remember to provide detailed information about the issue you are facing when seeking technical support or professional help. This will help them understand the problem better and provide appropriate solutions or suggestions.


1. Why is my USB tether not working?

There can be several reasons why your USB tether is not working. It could be due to a faulty USB cable or port, incompatible software or drivers, or a problem with your device’s settings or configuration.

2. How can I troubleshoot my USB tether connection?

To troubleshoot your USB tether connection, start by checking the basics such as ensuring that your USB cable is properly connected and functional. You can also try using a different USB port or cable to rule out any hardware issues. Updating your device’s software and drivers may also help resolve any compatibility problems. Additionally, double-checking your device’s settings and configuration for USB tethering can also be beneficial.

3. What if my USB tether connection drops frequently?

If your USB tether connection drops frequently, it could be due to various factors. Firstly, try reconnecting your USB cable securely and see if that improves stability. Moving closer to a stable power source or ensuring a strong and uninterrupted mobile network signal can also prevent frequent drops. It is also essential to close any unnecessary background applications or disable any power-saving settings that may interfere with the tethering connection. If the problem persists, contacting your device’s manufacturer or your service provider for further assistance may be necessary.


In conclusion, troubleshooting issues with USB tethering can be frustrating, but there are several steps that can be taken to resolve the problem. Starting with basic checks like ensuring the USB cable is properly connected and USB tethering is enabled on the device, one can proceed to troubleshoot software-related issues by updating drivers, restarting devices, or trying different USB ports. If these steps do not resolve the issue, seeking assistance from technical support or considering alternative connectivity options may be necessary. With patience and persistence, most USB tethering problems can be resolved, allowing users to enjoy reliable internet access through their mobile devices.

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