How to fix Wi-Fi USB tethering not working in Windows?

Issue: I was trying to get the USB tethering to work with my phone, but it simply doesn't. I've tried reconnecting my Android phone several times but to no avail. Any tips on how to deal with this problem? I'm using Windows 10.

Solved Answer

In the digital era, staying connected to the internet has become a necessity rather than a luxury. However, for users who have a smartphone with an active internet connection, this problem can be easily bypassed using a process known as tethering. Tethering allows one device to share its internet connection with another, essentially turning the former into a portable modem or hotspot.

The most common tethering methods include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB. Among these, Wi-Fi USB tethering stands out for its simplicity and speed. This method involves connecting a smartphone to a computer via a USB cable, allowing the computer to use the smartphone's internet connection. The feature is particularly useful when other connectivity options fail or are unavailable.

However, some users have reported encountering difficulties when trying to use Wi-Fi USB tethering with Windows systems. The problem manifests differently for different people. For some, the issue arises when attempting to establish tethering for the first time. For others, the functionality might cease suddenly after having worked perfectly fine previously.

There are several reasons why tethering might not work. One common cause could be outdated or incompatible drivers. Windows relies on drivers to communicate with your phone during tethering, and if these are not up-to-date or if they don't align with your phone's specifications, the process may fail.

How to fix Wi-Fi USB tethering not working in Windows?

In some cases, the problem might stem from the operating system itself. Windows settings or configurations may interfere with tethering, or recent updates might have introduced compatibility issues. It could also be a matter of incorrect setup, as tethering requires specific settings both on the computer and the phone.

In some instances, the issue may be with the phone's operating system, perhaps due to a bug or glitch that prevents the tethering functionality from working properly. Lastly, physical issues, like faulty USB cables, cannot be overlooked. Below you will find several tips that should help you fix the Wi-Fi USB tethering not working issue on Windows. We also recommend scanning the system with a powerful, automatic PC repair tool FortectMac Washing Machine X9 before proceeding.

Quick checks to make

Before proceeding with more advanced resolutions below, we recommend you make some basic checks that might resolve the issue for you:

  • Restart your computer if you haven't done so yet.
  • On your phone, make sure that the Wi-Fi connection is disabled.
  • Check your USB cable for damages, or try another USB cable.
  • Try using a different USB slot on your PC. In some cases, USB 3.0 (blue slot) might not work if not configured correctly.

Fix 1. Run hardware troubleshooter

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  • Type cmd in Windows search.
  • Right-click on the Command Prompt result and pick Run as administrator.
  • Copy and paste the following command, pressing Enter after:
    msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic
  • Follow on-screen instructions to run the troubleshooter and apply the suggested fixes.
  • Restart your PC.

Hardware troubleshooter

Fix 2. Run network troubleshooter

  • Right-click on the Start button and select Settings.
  • Go to Network & Internet section.
  • Here, locate the Advanced network settings section.
  • Click the Network troubleshooter to run it.
  • Wait for the scan to finish, and apply the fixes.

Network troubleshooter

Fix 3. Manually select the NDIS driver

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  • Open Device Manager.
  • Navigate to the Network Adapters section.
  • Find and right-click on the Remote NDIS based Internet Sharing Device, then select Update driver.
  • From the options, select Browse my Computer for driver software.

Select to install driver manually

  • Proceed to Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
  • Make sure to deselect Show compatible hardware.
  • Within the manufacturer list, find and select Microsoft.
  • Finally, pick the Remote NDIS Compatible Device model, then hit Next.

Install driver manually

Fix 4. Update your network drivers

Outdated network drivers could cause this issue. Thus, you should update them, and there are several ways you can do this. You could employ an automatic tool, such as DriverFix, which would significantly speed up the process. You can download the latest network driver from your device manufacturer or simply employ the Windows update feature (the latter is less reliable):

  • Type Updates in Windows search and press Enter.
  • Here, click Check for updates, and Windows will check if there are new updates available.
  • If optional packages are offered, install them too.
  • Once done, restart your PC and see if your problem is resolved.

Install updates

Fix 5. Reset your internet connection settings

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Note that this will reset all your internet settings to default.

  • Run Command Prompt as administrator.
  • In the new window, copy and paste the following command links, pressing Enter each time:
    ipconfig /flushdns
    ipconfig /registerdns
    ipconfig /release
    ipconfig /renew
    netsh winsock reset
  • Close Command Prompt.

Reset internet

Fix 6. Modify Windows Registry

Modifying Windows Registry might be risky if incorrect steps are performed, so we recommend you make a backup of it before proceeding. First, start by disabling Net Setup Service in Command Prompt:

  • Open Command Prompt as administrator.
  • Paste in the following command and press Enter:
    sc.exe config netsetupsvc start= disabled
  • Close down Command Prompt.

Disable NetSetupService

Next, reinstall the default Remote NDIS based Internet Sharing Device:

  • Open Device Manager.
  • Right-click Remote NDIS based Internet Sharing Device and pick Uninstall device. Confirm with Yes when prompted.
  • Click on Actions (at the top) and select Scan for hardware changes.
  • Close down Device Manager.

Reinstall Remote NDIS based Internet Sharing Device driver

Next, modify the registry:

  • Type regedit in Windows search and press Enter.
  • In the UAC window, click Yes.
  • Navigate to the following location:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
  • You'll see several numbered subfolders after expanding the key. Your goal is to go through each of them and find the DriverDesc column. Once found, you need to look at its Data column – its description needs to be Remote NDIS-based Internet Sharing Device.
  • In this pane, right-click on the empty space and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Repeat this three times and name each of them as follows:
    *IfType
    *MediaType
    *PhysicalMediaType

Find Remote NDIS based Internet Sharing Device

  • Now double-click each of these and set the values of each as follows:
    *IfType = 6
    *MediaType = 0
    *PhysicalMediaType = 0xe
  • Close down Registry Editor.

Set correct values

Finally, perform some finishing touches:

  • Open Command Prompt as admin again and paste in the following command:
    sc.exe config netsetupsvc start=demand
  • Press Enter and close down Command Promot.
  • Open Device Manager.
  • Expand Network adapters, right-click on your device, and pick Disable device.
  • Right-click again and pick Enable device.

Re-enable service and device

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About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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