Fix Internet Tethering on Lollipop – Xperia Z3 (plus other Android devices!)

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After upgrading my Sony Xperia Z3 to Lollipop my portable Wi-Fi Internet tethering stopped working – DNS resolution would fail, meaning all connected devices couldn’t use the phone’s Internet. Doh!

I found a fix I thought would be worth sharing if you’re having similar issues and have come across this post looking for help. I have only tested it with my Z3 – it may work for other Android devices, it may not. As always with these things, make sure you backup your phone first.

  1. Enable developer mode (Go to Settings -> About phone, and press on the build number multiple times until the developer mode is enabled).
  2. Click back – you should see a new ‘Developer options’ menu entry. Inside this option enable USB debugging
  3. On a computer, install ‘15 seconds ADB Installer’ – available from the XDA Developers forum here. I selected ‘Yes’ for each install option. ADB Installer
  4. Connect the phone with a USB cable to the computer, ensuring you press ‘Allow’ to trust your connected computer from the phone
  5. Open a command prompt (cmd.exe) and navigate to the ‘adb’ folder directory (C:\adb if you installed system-wide – C:\%UserProfile%\adb if it was installed for the current user only). Type, for example: cd C:\adb\
  6. Start an adb shell by typing the following command: adb shell
  7. At the adb shell prompt, run this command: settings put global tether_dun_required 0ADB Command Prompt
  8. Type exit, then disconnect your phone and reboot

This worked for me on the Three UK network but shouldn’t be network operator specific.

Still having issues? A tip from MHawksey in the comments (thanks for sharing!):

You might also need to install your phone’s USB driver http://developer.sonymobile.com/downloads/drivers/

In addition, Paul commented below another fix that may help!

Hi I didn’t need to use your fix all had to do was go to settings then more then mobile networks then access point names then click the 3 dots at the top left corner, a bubble appears saying “reset to default” and tethering is working, two new apns appear one for three (my network) and one under saying “3hotspot”

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About Author

Luke is a Citrix & Microsoft IT consultant based in the UK. His Citrix qualifications include CCE-V, CCP-N and CCP-M. He also holds an MCSA in Windows Server 2012 and is a certified MCITP on Windows Server 2008. He loves cats but hates spiders and the cold.

123 Comments

  1. Sam Matthews on

    I had this issue with the LG G3, Took me a while but resetting the APN fixed this for me. Using the Vodafone Network.

          • OK so it’s working but download speeds are painfully slow was getting 1.4m/sec aVg before now it’s down to 4kb/sec tried different laptop etc still same..any ideas?

          • I just done a test and got 1.2Mbps down, 1.8Mbps up (3G not 4G), so for me this speed is fine.

            I’d double check your phone has downloaded it’s Internet settings correctly. Go to ‘Settings’ -> ‘Wireless & networks’ -> ‘More’ -> ‘Internet Settings’ -> ‘Accept’.

            Then reboot your phone, and try again. Otherwise I’m not too sure! Of course make sure your phone has decent signal 🙂

      • Hi I didn’t need to use your fix all had to do was go to settings then more then mobile networks then access point names then click the 3 dots at the top left corner, a bubble appears saying “reset to default” and tethering is working, two new apns appear one for three (my network) and one under saying “3hotspot”

      • i already done this but when i restart my phone the tethering turns on but in the couple of seconds it goes back saying ‘error occurred during tethering pls help me …. 🙁

  2. Many thanks for your help. I tried several sites to try to get this to work but yours was the clearest and easy to follow. I can now re tether to my z3 compact.

  3. Bloody brilliant, great! Thank you so much Luke, I had started to regret installing Lollipop. One thing you could add to the article is explain that to change directory you use “cd C:\adb\”. Other than that, this is a foolproof guide. And speaking as a fool, I should know!

    • That’s a fair point – although this blog is quite IT focussed this issue affects everyone, including those who have careers away from IT! I’ve added that bit in to help those unsure. Thanks for the kind words!

  4. I do all the stuff when say yes to all the download files on adb then it just says all done and shuts down so I cant get past that point

  5. Hi I’m so Pee’d off with this whole problem where it seems Three decided to restrict tethering once they got the OS from Sony and now they can’t help me as they blame Sony and Sony blames Three.

    Three transfered me to Sony after their waste of time attempt to help me fix the problem failed (rename the wifi hotspot) now Sony then told me to go through Sony Bridge and repair phone which took so long left me still with no tethering capabilities at all and now back to square one.

    I’m on a mac and don’t have access to a PC can anyone help with simple step by step instructions on sorting out this tethering issue that seems to only affect Three customers on the One Plan.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Don’t know if ADB works on a MAC, or if there is a Mac version.

      I’d recommend as a worse case scenario to install a virtualised Windows 7/8 virtual machine on your Mac, then run the above. You won’t need to purchase a Windows license as you will only be using it to perform this task.

    • Hi I didn’t need to use your fix all had to do was go to settings then more then at the bottom click download internet and mms settings and wait till confirmation this is done then tap mobile networks then access point names then click the 3 dots at the top right corner, a bubble appears saying “reset to default” tap it and tethering is working, two new apns appear one for three (my network) (I tapped the dot next to this so it went orange) and one under saying “3hotspot”

      • Hi Paul, I tried this but only an APN for Three seems to appear not the 3hotspot one. Would creating an APN with the name 3hotspot work? Also are there any links with further information about this method? Thanks!

    • Hi try this it worked for me on two Z1c’s go to settings then more then mobile networks then access point names then click the 3 dots at the top left corner, a bubble appears saying “reset to default” and then tethering should be working,

  6. At point 6 it says that the device is not found. I did everything properly (have the software installed, the drivers, the device is in allow mode and so on).

    • Hi Martin,

      Please try using a different USB port and wait for Windows to finish installing the device. You may need to go into Device Manager, find the phone under ‘Portable Devices’ then right click -> uninstall. Then reboot and try again.

      Also try running the command prompt with Administrative rights (right-click the icon -> run as Administrator).

      • After I tried 3 times to do it, I made it. Now the tethering is working again. You are The Man, Luke! Thank you very much for telling how this works and also for the fast reply. There are still good people in this world !!

  7. Thank you very much Luke, It’s the only thing that worked for me, and I’ve been at it all day.
    Sony xperia x2 on three.

  8. FINALLY IT WORKED!!! After much screaming and hissy fits on my end, threatening to throw the phone and laptop out the window if it said device not found one more time, it worked!!! Connection is slow but I’ll take it over none at all!! Thanks again!

  9. I had exactly the same issue (Z3 compact Lollipop and 3 UK) and this worked! It was very easy to follow your instruction one by one.

    • That likely means you haven’t followed step 4 by telling your phone to trust your computer. Disconnect the phone, reconnect and check for the prompt on your device.

  10. Hi Luke, thanks for this clear and easy to follow guide, only fix I could find on the web! Unfortunately it didn’t work for me and I’m still showing limited access on tethering to my Xperia Z2, any idea what else it could be?

    • Hmm, only thing I can think of is to try again unfortunately. It sounds like you have the same issue as everyone else, the above task should resolve it. Some people have commented it took them a few goes to get it exactly right.

  11. Luke,
    Many, many thanks for for this – solved my problem. The ever helpful 3 Store staff were as flumuxed as I was. I’ll point them in your direction as they would like to know a fix.

    Best regards,

    Richard

  12. yet another software update… yet more problems with tethering but this fixed it again. damn you Sony!

  13. You sir are an absolute legend! Thanks so much. Worked first time xperia z3 three UK. Wonder when sony / three will fix this ?/

  14. I’ve tried this a few times now and still no joy.
    All the steps are correct and the cmd.exe results are the same as the screenshot above. I’ve also tried the app resets like other posts suggest.
    Any ideas what might be going wrong? It’s an Xperia Z3 on the three network.

  15. Thank you so much for this Luke. I just purchased a new unlocked Z3 compact and had the tethering issue. After making sure it wasn’t a network issue with the the new nano sim card (by trying in an old HTC phone) I then followed your instructions and tethering is now working fine. Such a shame that Sony haven’t seen fit to update their software. I’m a complete novice with command prompt so it came as such a relief to find out the process worked & didn’t break the phone. NB. I didn’t need to use the sony update drivers & used v1.4.2 of the 15 seconds ADB installer

  16. Worked for me on Asus Zenfone 5 LTE on Three.co.uk

    Only issue i did have was after an automatic lockscreen the moving wallpaper stopped me unlocking or using the phone after tethering… Slightly unrelated but tethering and wallpapers don’t seem to play well

  17. Thank you, Luke!

    Worked like a charm 🙂 Actually, I had to do it twice: first time was after first update from Android version 4 to version 5, and second time was today as there was a new update.

    Sony Xperia Z3 compact, Android version 5.1.1, Three UK network.

    • Glad it worked! I had to do the same on mine again last weekend – amusing I had to refer to my own article again to get things fixed…

      • I did the same – refered to your article and followed steps 🙂
        It seems guys at Sony keep messing around with each update…
        Until now I thought of Sony as reliable tech company 🙁

  18. Thank you very much for this information Luke. Your procedure worked perfectly to fix this Hotspot tethering problem on an Xperia Z1 on the Canadian Telus cellular network.

  19. You are a legend mate! I have spent 6 months trying to find a solution and came across this article which fixed the problem first try on my Xperia Z2 in Australia on the Telstra network. Thanks again!

  20. I have to say that I really struggled with this until I landed on your log!…..You are a genius….Thank you so much!…BTW I am U.S. AT&T and it worked

  21. Luke your a legend mate, battled to get it working at first, but it was my error with not having developer driver installed correctly, thank you very much , I now have tethering again on my sony Z1 compact, even my PS4 is downloading again, finally my boat is online again.

  22. Best fix on non root device. On three and using Android 5.0.2. Just to mention the 0 is numerical zero not letter o.

    Other workaround I tried was apn reset and DNS change but this fix is best.

  23. Hi Luke ! It works on ANdroid 5.1.1 with Xperia Z1 C6903. Incredible ! After so many unsuccesfull research on the net ! I was a little bit afraid about going into developper’s mode. But all was fine and smoothly. The phone was connected to a computer running on Windows XP for the upgrade with adb. Many many thanks !!! Alain

  24. worked for me on my z3 compact , z2 and z3 . when my phone updates to marshmallow, will i still be able to do this same precedure for my tethering. My tethering works better when i use this precedure rather than 3’s stock settings so dont want to lose it by upgrading my phones OS.

  25. Sorry Luke by it doesn’t work with my phone Sony Z3+/Z4
    If you have any other solutions will be very appritiated for your help.

  26. OMG thank you for taking the time to post this I upgraded my Tmo galaxy note 3 to the new 5.0 and tether quit working. I searched for days I was about to revert back to 4.4.2 til I found this and tried it. Worked as soon as I turned Hotspot on. .

  27. G R E A T!!!!! thx very much man! worked like a charm on my zenfone 2 laser ze500kl with Vodafone sim! not even firmware downgrade worked and I was wandering on internet, blogs and forums for a month.

  28. Thank you so much for this!! I’m not tech savvy really and i had been searching for a fix since October!! First comprehensive & to-the-point article I’ve come across. I did Paul’s fix →thanx Paul!! (less intimidating for a first trial effort , plus I have a Mac & the Windows visualisation thing made it seem too complicated) . I had to manually input the APN, shortly after Hotspot went “on” without rebooting or me turning it, works as it is supposed to since! Thanx again! (Xperia Z2 running 5.1.1 on Wind mobile Greece)

  29. Thankyou! This worked for me. I have a new Xperia z5 compact running Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop). After much scouring of the Internet I came across your article. Worked like a charm!
    Cheers!!

    • Did you go into the adb shell? You should get a response like in my screenshot in point 7 if everything has been followed correctly.

    • Always been using the “settings put global tether_dun_required 0” after each software update since I own my z3.
      Always worked fine, however with last update, I have to do it almost every day or every 2 days, it’s getting somehow reseted…

    • Hi, I didn’t get the echo back in the adb shell, but it works on my experia Z3 compact. Just make sure you put “0” (zero) not “o” at the command

  30. Thanks for the post, for me de described solution didn’t work. I added option “dun” to the “apn type” setting in the apn setting (in the selected apn). For some reason this is missing in the samsung S6 default vodafone firmware. This solved the tether issue on a samsung S6 Marshmallow (vodafone firmware and provider)

    • Thank you so much.. I added option “dun” to the “apn type” setting in the apn setting (in the selected apn).

    • Is your z5 running marshmallow? I’m currently using lollipop and worries about upgrading to marshmallow on my z3.

  31. Londrie kosia on

    hi, i have tried this method and it worked, but after restarting my phone tethering does not work.
    my Phone Xperia Z3 Android 6.0.1

  32. Luke.. many thanks dude..
    i’ve tried flashing different firmware but not fixing this issue, then i try your suggestion and “voila” my tethering working again

  33. hello members. I done the needful and able to access tethering but now i’m unable to open Google, youtube website. it seems like something related to google isnt opening. what could be the possible reason . im on os 6

  34. i already done this but it goes back saying ‘error occurred during tethering’ in a coupe of seconds when i open hotspot it work but it goes back please help me!! 🙁

  35. Christopher Carr on

    This worked a treat on bluetooth tethering with my Tomtom go 500 sat nav. I got a new Sony Xperia XA and it would conect to traffic for 5 mins then not connect and only after I turned off the phone and on again it would repeat the same situation. Since doing this I am connected to traffic all the time and if my phone loses signal – it connects to traffic gain automatically. This has been driving me mad for 6 months and now solved

  36. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    Try everything on my Z5 Compact, reset APN, add dun, hours on Google… And here was the solution!!
    Grazie!! 🙂

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