Home How TOs How to use Google’s Instant Tethering Feature on Your Phone / Laptop

How to use Google’s Instant Tethering Feature on Your Phone / Laptop

12 min read

” With this feature you can connect to the internet via a paired Android phone’s cellular network connection, as long as tethering is enabled on your mobile data plan. “

The Instant Tethering is currently available on Chrome OS, which turns on the hotspot on the connected phone automatically and tethers it to the Chromebook. This feature was restricted only to Chromebooks and the Pixel smartphones but Google is lmaking this feature available for newer all Chromebook and Android devices.

Connecting to your phone’s hotspot is a multistep process one that involves switching on the hotspot on your phone, specifying a network SSID and password, opening the other device’s settings to connect to the hotspot, then disabling the hotspot manually when you no longer need it. But with Instant Tethering, you can pair your Android phone with your Chromebook during an initial set-up process (check below), then accessing the internet only takes a single click.

Get connected to the using your Android phone

When you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, Instant Tethering uses your Android phone’s mobile data to automatically connect your Pixelbook to the internet through a simple notification shown on your Pixelbook.

Instant Tethering requirements

For your Chrome OS device, you’ll need:

  • A connected, compatible Android phone
  • To be signed in to the same Google Account as your phone

For your phone, you’ll need:

  • A compatible phone with Android version N-MR1 and up.
  • Tethering enabled on your mobile data plan.
  • Bluetooth turned on.

List of Phones With Instant Tethering Compatibility

  • HTC U11, U11+
  • HTC U12+
  • Huawei Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro
  • Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X
  • LG G7 ThinQ
  • LG V30, V30+, V30S ThinQ, V30S+ ThinQ
  • LG V35 ThinQ
  • LG V40 ThinQ
  • Motorola Moto Z
  • Motorola Moto Z2 Force
  • Motorola Z3
  • Nexus 5X
  • Nexus 6, Nexus 6P
  • OnePlus 5, 5T
  • OnePlus 6, 6T
  • Pixel, Pixel XL
  • Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL
  • Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL
  • Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Active, S7 Edge
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8
  • Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9
  • Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+
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  • Acer Chromebook 13
  • Acer Chromebook 14
  • Acer Chromebook 15
  • Acer Chromebook R11
  • Acer Chromebook Spin 13
  • ASUS Chromebook C423
  • ASUS Chromebook Flip C302
  • Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14
  • HP Chromebook 11 G5
  • HP Chromebook x2
  • HP Chromebook x360 14
  • Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630
  • Samsung Chromebook 3
  • Samsung Chromebook Plus V2
  • Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 LTE

Connect your phone during Chromebook setup

When you set up your Chromebook for the first time, you can connect your Android phone by following the steps on the screen.

  1. When prompted on your Chromebook, select Accept & continue.
  2. Select Done.
  3. You’ll get a confirmation on your phone that Smart Lock is turned on.
Credit: Verge / Instant Tethering

Connect your phone anytime

If you didn’t connect your phone to your Chromebook during setup, you can at any time:

  1. At the bottom right, select the time.
  2. Select Settings .
  3. Under “Connected devices,” next to “Android phone,” select Set up.
  4. Enter your password and follow the steps. Once completed, you’ll get a confirmation on your phone.
  5. On your Chromebook, under “Enabled,” select which features you want to turn on.

Disconnect your phone

  1. On your Chromebook, at the bottom right, select the time.
  2. Select Settings .
  3. Under “Connected devices,” select your phone.
  4. Turn off features:
    • To turn off all features, select Enabled.
    • To turn off individual features, select that feature.

Note: If you don’t want to connect your Chromebook to this phone again, remove it by selecting Forget phone  Confirm.

Credit: Google

Once Chromebook detects that it has no Wi-Fi connectivity, it provides a notification that a data connection is available through your mobile device. Instant Tethering is activated once you click the “Connect” button on that notification. Additionally, Instant Tethering will automatically disconnect if it detects 10 minutes of no activity to save you power and data.

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