Turn your Samsung Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot to share internet with your laptop wirelessly Marshmallow vs Lollipop vs Connect to a Mobile Hotspot with a Windows Laptop ... and 1 more

Edited by Mark Joel Cristobal, Leomar Umpad, Eng, Melsan and 17 others

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Have you ever wanted to browse the web on your Laptop or Tablet but couldn't because there was no WiFi signal around? If you have a Samsung Galaxy S4, you're in luck: through a process called tethering, you can create a WiFi network using your phone as a wireless router.

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There are several important things to remember when tethering. Be sure to read the Tips Tricks & Warnings section after you read through the rest of the guide.

*Please Read* Not all cell phone carriers allow their users to use mobile hotspots. If you follow the steps below for your operating system and notice the Tethering/Mobile hotspot option isn't available, your carrier may not offer with your plan. Contact your customer support branch for further inquiries.

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Method 1: Marshmallow

The steps below will take you right through the entire process of setting up and configuring a WiFi Mobile Hotspot on your Galaxy S4. The first thing you need to do is turn your data on.

Please remember to watch your data usage carefully when you share your device's network connection.

  1. 1
    From the home screen, tap the "apps" icon.
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 01M.png
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  2. 2
    Inside Apps, tap "Settings".
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 02M.png
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  3. 3
    On the Settings screen, scroll down to and tap "Data usage".
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 03M.png
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  4. 4
    Here inside Data usage, make sure the little box is checked.
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 04M.png
    Once data is enabled, tap the white arrow in the upper left corner to head back to Settings.
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  5. 5
    Back on the main Settings screen, scroll to and tap, "Tethering and Mobile Hotspot".
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 05M.png
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  6. 6
    Inside Tethering and Mobile Hotspot, tap "Mobile hotspot", then tap "OK" when the message pops-up.
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 06M.png
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  7. 7
    With Mobile hotspot enabled, you can either use the default network name and password (located halfway down the screen) or, you can set a custom name/password
    .
    If you use the default credentials, skip to #connect to a mobile hotspot with a windows laptop.
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 07M.png
    To customize your Mobile Hotspot, continue to the next step.
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  8. 8
    To change the network name/password, tap the three-dot menu in the upper right corner, followed by "Configure hotspot".
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 08M.png
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  9. 9
    Now you can configure your Mobile Hotspot further
    .
    Change the name and choose a new password, or change "Security" to "Open" if you don't want a password at all.
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 09M.png
    You can also hide your device/hotspot. This will make your connection invisible to devices within range. You'll have to search for it specifically on your laptop/tablet to connect.
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  10. 10
    You can also set your Hotspot to only allow certain devices to connect
    .
    From the Mobile hotspot screen, tap the three-dot menu in the upper right corner, then tap "Allowed devices".
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 10M.png
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  11. 11
    On Allowed devices, tap the "+" symbol in the upper right corner
    .
    Enter the name and mac address of the device (laptop/tablet), then tap "OK".
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 11M.png
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  12. 12
    To adjust your Hotspot's Timeout settings, tap the three-dot menu in the upper right corner, followed by "Timeout settings".
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 12M.png
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  13. 13
    Here you can select how long you want your device to wait before disabling Mobile Hotspot
    .
    When no devices are connected, the timeout timer will begin.
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 13M.png
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Method 2: Lollipop

Follow the steps below to enable and configure a WiFi Mobile Hotspot on your Samsung S4. We'll first ensure that your data is turned on.

Please be very careful with your data usage when you share your device's connection. Unless you have an unlimited data plan, you'll want to watch your usage with a careful eye.

  1. 1
    On the home screen, tap "Apps".
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 01L.png
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  2. 2
    While on Apps, tap the "Settings" gear.
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 02L.png
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  3. 3
    On the Settings screen, tap the "Connection" tab, followed by "Data usage".
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 03L.png
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  4. 4
    Inside Data usage, make sure "Mobile data" has a checkmark next to it.
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 04L.png
    When data is turned on, head back to Settings by tapping the white arrow in the upper left corner.
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  5. 5
    On Settings, tap "More networks".
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 05L.png
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  6. 6
    Inside More networks, tap "Tethering and Mobile hotspot".
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 06L.png
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  7. 7
    Here in Tethering and Mobile hotspot, tap the switch in the upper right corner.
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 07L.png
    When the pop-up appears, tap "OK" to enable a Mobile hotspot.
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  8. 8
    Now that Mobile hotspot is turned on, you have the choice of creating your own network name and password, or using the default
    .
    Tap "Mobile hotspot" at the top to get the default password or configure your Hotspot further.
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 08L.png
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  9. 9
    If you go with the default network name and password, skip to #connect to a mobile hotspot with a windows laptop
    .
    If you wish to use a custom password, continue to the next step.
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 09L.png
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  10. 10
    From Mobile hotspot, tap the menu button below the screen, followed by "Configure".
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 10L.png
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  11. 11
    Here you can add a custom network name and password, or, use no password and switch Security to "Open".
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 11L.png
    You can also hide your hotspot from other devices within range
    .
    To use it you'll have to manually search for your Mobile hotspot from your laptop/tablet.
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  12. 12
    To only allow certain devices to connect to your Mobile hotspot, tap the menu button below the screen, followed by "Allow devices".
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 12L.png
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  13. 13
    To add a device to your Allowed list, tap the "+" sign in the upper right corner
    .
    Enter the name and mac address of the device and tap "OK".
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 13L.png
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  14. 14
    You can also adjust Timeout settings
    .
    On Mobile hotspot, tap the menu button below the screen, followed by "Timeout settings".
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 14L.png
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  15. 15
    When nothing is connected to your Mobile hotspot, it will disable after the amount of time you select here
    .
    If you never want your device to disable Mobile hotspot, select "Never time-out" from the list.
    Turn Galaxy S4 into a wifi hotspot 15L.png
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Method 3: Connect to a Mobile Hotspot with a Windows Laptop

  1. 1
    When your Mobile Hotspot is active, click the Internet Access icon on the taskbar
    .
    When the list of available connections opens, locate your network and click "Connect".
    Wifi laptop 01m.png
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  2. 2
    When prompted for the Security key, enter the password for your Mobile Hotspot and click "OK".
    Wifi laptop 02mm.png
    This password will be either the default or one that you created inside Configure hotspot.
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  3. 3
    Once your computer is connected, your hotspot will display at the top of the list.
    Wifi laptop 03m.png
    By default, Windows will create a profile for your new network connection, allowing you to connect quickly in the future without entering the password.
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Method 4: Jelly Bean/Kitkat

Turning A Samsung Galaxy S4 Into a WiFi Hotspot

Using your Samsung Galaxy S4 for tethering consists of three major steps: configuring your phone's wireless hotspot, activating the hotspot so your phone will push a signal out, and connecting your devices to the newly-activated hotspot.

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Configuring a WiFi Hotspot on the Samsung Galaxy S4

  1. 1
    Go to your Galaxy S4's Home screen by pressing the Home button
    .
    HOME MENU press home button- Configure Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy S4.PNG
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  2. 2
    From your Home screen, drag the notification bar from the top of the screen to the bottom
    .
    This will open your notification panel.
    NOTIFICATION PANEL press home button- Configure Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy S4.PNG
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  3. 3
    From the notification panel, tap on the Settings icon to open the Settings app
    .
    Settings icon press home button- Configure Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy S4.PNG
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  4. 4
    Within the Settings app, tap on the Connections tab
    .
    Settings connection TAB button- Configure Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy S4.PNG
    CONNECTION PANEL press home button- Configure Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy S4.PNG
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  5. 5
    In the Connections tab, tap on More Networks to show the Wireless and Networks page.
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  6. 6
    From the Wireless and Networks page, tap the Tethering and Portable Hotspot panel.
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  7. 7
    From the Tethering and Portable Hotspot screen, tap on Portable WiFi Hotspot
    .
    Portable wifi hotpost press home button- Configure Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy S4.PNG
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  8. 8
    You will be taken to the welcome page
    .
    Take a second to read through the descriptions. After you've read them, tap the Configure button (lower-right part of the screen) to start configuring your WiFi hotspot.
    Configre hotpost press home button- Configure Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy S4.PNG
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  9. 9
    In the Configure menu, type your desired Network SSID
    .
    The SSID will be your network's name; you can name it anything you'd like.
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  10. 10
    In the same menu, under Security, you can choose the kind of security you want for your network
    .
    Pick one of the options, and be sure to set (and remember!) a secure password.
    SECURITY tethering and portable hotpost press home button- Configure Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy S4.PNG
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  11. 11
    Double-check your SSID and security settings, and tap the Save button when you are done
    .
    You have now successfully configured your phone to share its internet connection via WiFi.
    SAVE tethering and portable hotpost press home button- Configure Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy S4.PNG
    .
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Activate a WiFi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy S4

After configuring your WiFi Hotspot settings, you can follow these steps to activate a Samsung Galaxy S4 WiFi hotspot.

  1. 1
    Go to your S4's Home Menu by pressing the Home button
    .
    This is the rectangular button located on the lower-middle part of the front of your Samsung Galaxy S4.
    HOME MENU press home button- Configure Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy S4.PNG
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  2. 2
    From your Home Menu, drag the notification bar from the top of the screen to the bottom
    .
    This will open your notification panel.
    NOTIFICATION PANEL press home button- Configure Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy S4.PNG
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  3. 3
    From the notification panel, tap on the Settings icon to open the Settings Menu
    .
    Settings icon press home button- Configure Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy S4.PNG
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  4. 4
    Within the Settings Menu, tap on the "Connections" tab
    .
    Settings connection TAB button- Configure Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy S4.PNG
    CONNECTION PANEL press home button- Configure Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy S4.PNG
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  5. 5
    From the Connections tab, tap on "More Networks" to show the "Wireless and Networks" page.
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  6. 6
    From the Wireless and Networks page, tap on "Tethering and Portable Hotspot."
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  7. 7
    Tap on the switch to the right of "Portable WiFi Hotspot" to turn your hotspot on
    .
    The switch will turn from gray to green, indicating the WiFi hotspot is turned on. Your phone is now ready to share its internet connection via WiFi.
    Turn on hotspot tethering and portable hotpost press home button- Configure Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy S4.PNG
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Connect to a Samsung Galaxy S4's WiFi Hotspot

After setting up and turning on your Galaxy S4's hotspot, you'll want to connect your devices to the network. Follow the steps below to do just that:

  1. 1
    Turn on your Laptop or Tablet's WiFi.
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  2. 2
    Navigate to your device's list of available WiFi networks.
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  3. 3
    A list of available WiFi networks will appear
    .
    Find the name you gave to your Galaxy S4's network and open it. If you have set a password for the hotspot, enter it when prompted.
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  4. 4
    Repeat the steps above for any additional devices you wish to connect to your new hotspot.
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Hide the device

If you wish to hide your network from view while you're in public or when you just don't want the network to show up for anyone around you, just tap Hide My Device and then Save. The network will still exist, but it won't appear in the list of WiFi networks on any device nearby.

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Optional: Limit access to specific devices only

It is possible to limit access to your hotspot to specific devices' MAC addresses. A MAC (Media Access Control) address is a unique identity code assigned to laptops, tablets, and other WiFi connected devices. Without enabling MAC filtering, any device with your network's password can connect to it. The simple guide below will show you how to allow access only to approved MAC addresses.

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  1. 1
    Tap the name of your wireless hotspot.
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  2. 2
    Change the connection mode to Only allowed devices.
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  3. 3
    Tap the Allowed devices button at the bottom-left corner of the screen.
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  4. 4
    Tap the plus sign in the upper right corner of the screen
    .
    From here, you can add the MAC address for the device you want to be able to connect to your hotspot. Repeat each step for each new device.
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Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Tethering will drain your battery quickly. You may want to keep your phone plugged into its charger while you're tethering so it doesn't die, and you'll want to make sure you turn tethering off when you're done using it.
  • The data you use while tethering will count against your data plan. Be sure to watch your data usage carefully so you won't be charged with overages by your cell phone carrier.
  • Set a password! If your network doesn't have a password, anyone within the network's range will be able to connect and browse the web.

Questions and Answers

How do I set up my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4's hotspot?

Sprint requires that you pay a monthly fee to use your Samsung Galaxy S4 as a WiFi hotspot. Call Sprint's customer service line or visit your local Sprint store to sign up for a tethering plan that fits your needs. Once you've signed up, just follow the same steps listed here to turn your WiFi hotspot on.

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See more questions like this: How do I add Allowed devices on my S4

My hotspot configuration is okay on the phone but my computer is unable to detect this hotspot?

If your computer doesn't have a WiFi chip or card, you won't be able to detect the network. You can buy a WiFi dongle that allows your computer to connect to a WiFi network, though. You can buy one from PC World, eBay, or Amazon.

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See more questions like this: My Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy 4 does not have the hotspot option under settings

How can I get a free hotspot without paying Sprint for it?

Sprint said I had to pay for a hotspot, but I don't want to.

Unfortunately, you need to pay Sprint for tethering. Using a free tethering application is against the Terms of Service you signed for in your contract and will result in termination of your service and possible fees.

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See more questions like this: How to activate the connection button on the Samsung Galaxy S4 WiFi network

See more questions like this: How can I prevent phone calls from interrupting my VPN connection when using my phone as a hotspot

My Samsung Galaxy S4 finds the Laptop, but no response or action is made by Laptop.

If you're using Windows, you'll need to go to the bottom-right part of your task bar, find your WiFi settings, and click your Galaxy S4's hotspot network name. If you're using a Mac, go to the top-right of your screen, find your WiFi settings, and click your Galaxy S4's hotspot network name.

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See more questions like this: Same issue for unlocked AT&T Samsung G870A (Galaxy S5 Active). (No hotspot functionality)

Cheapest internet signal for S4?

I have a friend with an S4 who recently let her contract with AT&T lapsed, so she currently has no data plan, and no open WiFi networks in her neighborhood, I would like to at least restore her inter capabilities until she can make a payment, I was wondering what is the cheapest way to do that? WiFi app? or just caving and buying basic internet, I think it is only 20 bucks a month here anyway.

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Your least expensive option sounds like just getting basic internet. You have no risk of exceeding your plan. Alternatively you could use one of the 'pay as you go' plans from Verizon or T-Mobile, but they can quickly chew through .

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Was just looking to see if I could use my blackberry with Galaxy 4. Can access internet through blackberry but wanted to connect video chatting with grandson

Have blackberry Q5, Galaxy tab 4 - just curious re above question

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After I tap Mobile Networks, I go to a screen which has 6 choices

Default messaging app. printing. mobile networks. mobile hotspot. tethering. VPN. say Mobile Hotspot AND Tethering, so I am unsure which to choose with this menu. Any help is appreciated

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Doubt in making S4 as WiFi hotspot?

Unable to see 'WPS' option, how to do that

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Hi the screen of my Samsung S4 is totally black means I have to change the LCD and ribbon but I want to get all photos and contact from my phone please help?

I want to view all my contacts and photos

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Need support on obtaining password for tethering?

Trying to set up tethering from my S4 onto laptop - went to settings & set up tethering. However, I've not come across a screen to set up a password. WiFi on laptop shows Android availability but is asking for a password which I don't have. Help!. I have tried: Followed online guide, Tried attaching USB cable to see if that would work

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

What kind of PCI WiFi adapter do I need for WiFi from Galaxy S4?

Which desktop adapters work with Galaxy S4 hotspot?

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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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