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How to disable WiFi in Raspberry Pi4, possibly keeping the chip powered off.

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  • 1
    Does one of the answers solve your question? It should. Please accept one to finish the question.
    – Ingo
    Oct 25, 2019 at 9:40

3 Answers 3

43

Raspbian is managing hardware with overlays. In /boot/overlays/README you will find:

Name:   pi3-disable-wifi
Info:   Disable Pi3 onboard WiFi
Load:   dtoverlay=pi3-disable-wifi
Params: <None>

I suggest you just add

dtoverlay=pi3-disable-wifi

to /boot/config.txt to disable wifi. I have tested it with a Raspberry Pi 4B. It is also valid for Pi4. When disabled you will not get a WiFi interface wlan0 as you can check with ip -br addr.

UPDATE:
@JeffAtwood noted in his comment

They renamed it to disable-wifi so you can use that, pi3-disable-wifi was kept as a synonym for compatibility. Same thing with disabling bluetooth.

2019-10-25: seems everything is documented now in /boot/overlays/README.

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  • Has anyone tested this? I don't really want to risk bricking my pi based on an assumption :)
    – Wossname
    Jul 16, 2019 at 18:05
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    @Wossname I have just tested it for you and updated the answer.
    – Ingo
    Jul 16, 2019 at 22:54
  • Excellent, many thanks for your efforts. +1
    – Wossname
    Jul 17, 2019 at 8:38
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    One small tweak, they renamed it to disable-wifi so you can use that, pi3-disable-wifi was kept as a synonym for compatibility. Same thing with disabling bluetooth. Jul 22, 2019 at 9:11
  • 3
    @Ingo Looking in /boot/overlays/README from the September release of Raspbian Buster I can now see disable-bt and disable-wifi documented. Oct 24, 2019 at 21:29
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Use rfkill block wifi and reboot to disable and rfkill unblock wifi and reboot to enable it again.

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Create /etc/modprobe.d/brcm-blacklist.conf with the following content:

blacklist brcmfmac
blacklist brcmutil

Reboot, and WiFi should be disabled. You may find errors in the system log depending on what method you are using to configure the network. You can choose to correct those, or not, of course.

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