How to update Tesla without WIFI: a working method

In this article, we’ll detail how to update Tesla without WIFI, as well as provide helpful tips and advice. Our goal is to cover the main questions people have about using WiFi in Tesla cars and how to update it.

One of the most frequently asked questions is how to update Tesla without WIFI. It is important to understand that it is not possible to physically update Tesla software without WiFi. However, if there is a significant lag in the updates, Tesla will automatically download them over the LTE network. This applies to cars that have not previously been connected to WiFi. LTE is mostly used for in-car services and data streaming.

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Tesla’s WIFI connection

Now let’s break down whether Tesla cars have WiFi capability. All Tesla electric cars have WiFi connectivity to perform Tesla software updates over the air.

It’s important to note that WiFi for Tesla cars is not free. They are equipped with a built-in LTE receiver, which is mainly used for in-car navigation, real-time traffic data, map, and streaming services. In case these services are not available via LTE, you can use your mobile hotspot.

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Usage of LTE

We will take a look at the possibility of how to update Tesla without WIFI, more specifically updates for Tesla vehicles over an LTE connection.

It is important to note that Tesla vehicles cannot perform software updates “over the air” over LTE, requiring a WiFi connection. Previously, some updates were performed over LTE, but currently, your Tesla vehicle will only use the built-in LTE connection to install certain critical updates. You cannot force an update through LTE.

Downloading updates without WIFI

If you ask yourself how to update Tesla without WIFI, then you probably live in an area without WiFi access, and you have several options for downloading updates:

You have a few options for downloading updates if you don’t have access to WiFi.

Mobile hotspot

One solution how to update Tesla without WIFI is to use a mobile hotspot. Simply enable the hotspot feature on your phone and connect your Tesla to it to download the updates.

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Local Tesla service center

Another option is to visit a local Tesla service center, where they can provide the necessary WiFi connection for downloading updates.

Public WIFI

Additionally, you can utilize public WiFi hotspots available in various locations to download the updates. Keep in mind that the size of the updates can be substantial.

It should be noted that updates can be quite large at several gigabytes, and it can take a significant amount of time to download them, especially when using public WiFi networks. It’s also important to know that Tesla does not support web confirmation to connect to public WiFi networks.

For optimal WiFi reception in the Tesla Model 3, the WiFi antenna is located inside the driver’s side mirror. It is recommended that you get as close to the WiFi source as possible to ensure the best signal quality.

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Update Tesla remotely using Tesla app

One option for updating your Tesla vehicle’s software is remotely updating it through the Tesla app. To manually update, the Tesla app will send you a notification when a firmware update is available. To successfully perform the update, make sure your car is in a stable WiFi area, such as at home or a service center. You will also be able to track the update process directly from the Tesla app.

Once you receive a Tesla software update notification in the Tesla app, just click on it to initiate the update installation on the scheduling window. Initializing the installation usually takes about 2 minutes.

It is important to remember that you will not be able to drive the car or use the touchscreen while the update is being installed. The entire update process can take up to three hours, depending on the size of the update and the speed of your WiFi network. Normally, you can only update your vehicle through the center screen in the car, and remote updating is an optional feature provided by Tesla.

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Using Tesla as a WIFI hotspot for software update

Tesla vehicles cannot serve as WiFi hotspots for other devices. It is not designed to transmit WiFi and cannot be used as an internet service provider. Instead, the Tesla can connect to external Internet sources via the LTE network, WiFi, or the WiFi hotspot on your smartphone.

So your Tesla car can’t be used to distribute its own WiFi network, but you can use the WiFi or LTE connection in the car to access the Internet and use online services like navigation, streaming music, or updating software.

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Details about software updates in Tesla

All Tesla vehicles have free access to updates over the air, regardless of connection configuration. You can get updates to certain software features such as Autopilot, Full Autonomous Driving, Acceleration, Compressor Support, or Increased Battery Capacity.

Real-time updates are one of the most compelling and appealing reasons why people buy Tesla in general. Every Tesla car improves over time with each software update and there are some bug fixes introduced.

Tesla is one of the few car manufacturers in the world to offer updates. Typically, traditional car manufacturers pay hundreds of dollars for map updates.

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Updates usually take about 60 percent less time than what is shown on the screen or in the app. For the updates to go smoothly, the car should be near strong and stable WiFi. If you set the Tesla update to a certain time, the clock icon will be white on the controls screen.

However, you cannot make the update if some features are turned on, like dog mode and cruise control, so you will need to turn these functions off first, before making the update. You can still use the Internet or any other apps on the Tesla monitor, so your update will not be tiresome.

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Frequency of updates

Tesla releases updates about 14 times a year and has been doing so on average for the past 4 years. The pace of updates has gotten slower in the last 2 years.

Each Tesla tends to be updated at 30-60 day intervals and gets a monolithic patch cycle compared to other cars. This ensures the safety of the car fleet.

Each update for Tesla vehicles comes with a specific update number to identify specific updates.

As soon as the updates are ready to be installed, you will receive a notification through the Tesla app. These numbers make it easier to tell if your car has been updated or not.

Each Tesla model is updated at a different rate and in different increments. General major updates remain the same. A major update may include updates to various components.

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Tesla Premium Connectivity

It has its own initial cost. Tesla Premium Сonnectivity monthly subscription costs $9.99 and the price is subject to change soon. Depending on your location, applicable taxes may be added. Models S, X, 3, and Y receive these packages on a trial basis.

Standard connectivity features are included in all Tesla cars at no additional charge. This brings features like Navigation, Live Traffic Visualization, Sentry Mode-View Live Camera, Satellite View Maps, Video Streaming, Caraoke, Music Streaming, and Internet Browser.


In conclusion, as Tesla owners, updating Tesla software without WiFi hotspot is not physically possible, but Tesla cars can download updates over the LTE network if WIFI is not available. WiFi connectivity is present in all Tesla cars and is primarily used to install software updates, in-car services, and streaming.

In the absence of WiFi, alternative methods for downloading updates include using mobile hotspot and cellular network, visiting a local Tesla service center for WiFi, or utilizing public WiFi hotspots. It’s important to note that downloading updates through public WiFi may take time due to their large size, and Tesla does not support web-based authentication for public WiFi networks.

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Remote updating through the Tesla app is also an option, allowing you to receive notifications and track the progress during your update software.

While Tesla cars cannot function as WiFi hotspots, they can connect to external internet sources via LTE, WiFi, or a smartphone’s WiFi hotspot.

Software update in Tesla cars are provided over the air and enhance various features and functionalities of the car. Tesla releases updates approximately 14 times a year, with each update tailored to specific models and including improvements and new features. Tesla’s Premium Connectivity subscription offers additional internet services for a monthly fee, while standard connectivity features are included in all Tesla cars at no extra cost.


Can you update a Tesla without WiFi?

It is important to understand that it is not possible to physically update Tesla software without WiFi. However, if there is a significant lag in the updates, Tesla will automatically connect and download them over the LTE network.

This applies to cars that have not previously been connected to WiFi hotspot. LTE is mostly used for in-car services and data streaming.

How do I force my Tesla to update?

You can update Tesla by sending an update to your vehicle through the Tesla app. When the new firmware is available, you will receive a notification in the Tesla app.

You can update Tesla and make sure your vehicle is in a stable WiFi signal area, such as at home or a service center. You will also be able to track the update process directly from the Tesla app.

Does Tesla require WiFi?

Yes, Tesla requires WiFi to perform updates “over the air” and receive various online services such as navigation, music streaming, and map updates. However, if WiFi is not available, you can use the built-in LTE module or create a mobile hotspot (mobile data) to connect to the Internet.

Additionally, Tesla requires a WIFI network for many other purposes, apart from software update, including Internet access and music streaming (via different services like Spotify).

Cameron Mason

I have been fond of cars since childhood. I have always been interested in knowing the principle of their work, as well as the structure. Therefore, I liked to help my father dismantle cars and fix them. Then I went to college with a degree in mechanical engineering. After all, I decided to connect my life with cars.

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