Android head unit not connecting to hotspot

Android headunits are reliant on data for the best experience and providing a hotspot is a simple way to do it. But what when the android headunit won’t connect to the hot spot?


A hot spot is a way of sharing your phones 4G or 5G data over the phones wifi. Your phone can’t be connected to the home wifi while in hotspot mode. This is because the phone wifi is now the source of the internet via the mobile data of the SIM card. Hot Spots are ideal when out and about to provide a wifi enabled device some of the phones 4G data.

Android Headunit Data

The Android Head units work best when they have access to the internet. They are android devices, similar to your phone or tablet and you couldn’t use them without data. The android headunit is the same. Streaming songs, getting satnav traffic congestion re-routing suggestions or looking up a local gas price. They all need data and without it your android headunit just won’t be so much fun.

Share the Data

The hotspot mode of your phone can share the data from the SIM to the phone wifi. It is a simple case of connecting the android head unit to the phone hot spot (SSID) and the transaction is complete. Your android headunit can use the phones data as long as the phone has a signal and the phone and android headunit wifi can reach each other.

No connection

When your android headunit refuses to connect to the phone hotspot it can be a very frustrating experience. Luckily there are a few things you can try to get the phone hotspot connected to the android other than switching them off and on.

5Ghz wifi

Modern phones are capable of connecting to the more recently allocated 5Ghz wifi band. Most home routers are 5Ghz enabled. This higher frequency wifi band can be less congested and provides higher speed than 2.4Ghz band wifi. Basic or very early android head units are not compatible with the 5Ghz band. If your phone is hotspotting on 5Ghz then the android head unit may not connect to the phone while it is in 5Ghz mode.

android head unit hotspot fixes

Set the hotspot to 2.4Ghz mode and have the android headunit search for the SSID you have set on your phone. Try to connect the hotspot.


Wifi security encrypts the data sent over the wifi to prevent ‘eavesdropping’. This is where the data sent over wifi can be read and understood by a nearby device. This security is important when you are sending passwords or any sensitive data over wifi where other devices can capture that information.

As the time has gone on, wifi security has improved with better encryption. Your advanced mobile phone being used as a hot spot may well support the very latest wifi security encryption schemes. The android headunit may not support these advanced wifi security schemes.

hot-spot fixes android head unit

In this example WPA2-Personal is a selected wifi security scheme. The scheme is secured with a key. To connect the phone hotspot to the android headunit, try setting the phone wifi Security to ‘None’. This will also remove the option for a password to the wifi.

Hotspot connected, no data

If you hotspot connects but there is no data, check your phone is not set to restrict sharing data. This may be a network provider setting and the SIM may not be permitted to hotspot. Check you phone setting and check your phones data plan allows for sharing of the SIM data plan.

Different phone

To test if there is a compatibility problem with the android head unit and the phone hot spot, try another phone. Any other phone would do. As long as you can set up another hot spot and try the suggestions above to enable the hot spot for the android headunit. If the hotspot works, then the problem is with the other phone. If two different phones, correctly configured don’t work then keep looking into the setting of the android headunit.

Test wifi

To test the wifi of your android headunit try connecting to the home wifi if you can get close enough. You may need to consult the routers instructions to configure the router to 2.4Ghz mode with no security. These settings will only be used for testing the android headunit wifi. You should take a note of the router settings to reinstate them after testing is complete.

Got the hotspot working?

Hopefully these android headunit hot-spotting tips have helped you get the hot spot to work it at least ruled a few things out. Let us know in the comments how you got on and if you were ultimately successful in connecting the hotspot to your android head unit.

An staff blogger. I am a multi-skilled dogs-body and I also make the coffee ☕

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