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


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


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.

As @JeffAtwood noted in his comment it may also be possible to use dtoverlay=disable-wifi but could not find an official source for this. @JeffAtwood don't tell us where he got the information, so just try it.

  • Has anyone tested this? I don't really want to risk bricking my pi based on an assumption :) – Wossname Jul 16 at 18:05
  • 1
    @Wossname I have just tested it for you and updated the answer. – Ingo Jul 16 at 22:54
  • Excellent, many thanks for your efforts. +1 – Wossname Jul 17 at 8:38
  • 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. – Jeff Atwood Jul 22 at 9:11
  • @JeffAtwood I cannot find it in the official documentation /boot/overlays/README. Where do you get it? – Ingo Jul 22 at 10:40

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.


Use rfkill block wifi and reboot to disable and rfkill unblock wifi and reboot to enable it again.

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