I have ran into this a few times so I thougt I’d write down the solution as I seem to keep forgetting it. There are probably tons of other problems you can have with iPhone Personal Hotspot and Windows Wifi but this is the solution to one I keep running into.

Problem

I turn on the Personal Hotspot on my iPhone and it shows up fine as an available Wifi network in Windows only the Wifi name looks a little off in Windows compared to the iPhone. My iPhone name is “Max’s iPhone” but in Windows the apostrophe looks “scrambled” and is replaced by two “trash” characters, something like this: “Max¿Ǝ iPhone”.

When I try to connect my Windows laptop over Wifi it just keeps trying to connect – showing message “Checking network requirements” – before I finally get “Can’t connect to this network“. On the iPhone I get the blue Personal Hotspot field on top of the screen flashing on and off while Windows tries to connect.

Solution

Solution is to change the name of your iPhone to remove or replace the apostrophe.

To change name of your iPhone in iOS: Settings – General – About – Name

More info

I just fixed this and unfortunately cannot recreate or remember exact what the scrambled or trash characters in my iPhone name looked like but I think one of the characters was an upside down letter E and/or question mark. So it looks something like this “Max¿Ǝ iPhone”.

So this seems to be what messes things up for Windows.

For me it has worked both to remove the apostrophe or replace it, ie delete it and then type it again. The name will look the same in your iPhone but after this it will also look ok in Windows Wifi selection and Windows should be able to connect to your iPhone Personal Hotspot without any problem.

It seems this problem keeps reoccuring for me. I do not use Personal Hotspot that often so I’m not sure when or why this reoccurence happens but my best guess is that an iOS upgrade or switching to a new device and installing from backup may be the cause.

Currently running iOS 9.0.2 on an iPhone 6 and Windows 10 but I have had this problem in previous versions of both iOS and Windows.

Did this solution work for you?

Please let me and others know by commenting, provide what version of Windows and iOS you are using if you know it.