I'm trying to disable the wireless power save on my RPI3, but can't do it:

$ sudo iwconfig wlan0 power off
Error for wireless request "Set Power Management" (8B2C):
    SET failed on device wlan0 ; Invalid argument.

Is it possible, or simply not supported?

Regardless, if I don't get any problems while using the wifi card as Soft AP, is there any advantage is disabling power management?


4 Answers 4


upgrade to "next" firmware branch:

sudo BRANCH=next rpi-update

mine is now kernel 4.4.3 and firmware 41f8b4812ad653abf321b8c54cb4bee57ebdb129 and now accepts the power off command. My connection was constantly dropping, this appears to have sorted it!


I'm running current kernel (4.1.19-v7+ #853), which exhibits the problem. Updating to BRANCH=next didn't help, so I rolled back.

For me, although iwconfig wlan0 power off doesn't work, the alternative iw dev wlan0 set power_save off does work.

So I've commented-out wireless-power off in /etc/network/interfaces, and replaced by:

allow-hotplug wlan0
iface wlan0 inet manual
#   wireless-power off
    post-up iw dev $IFACE set power_save off


sudo iw dev wlan0 set power_save off
  • when you say sudo iw dev wlan0 set power_save off do you mean I open terminal and type the above words and it will not automatically shut off my wifi?
    – 6suns
    Apr 4, 2017 at 21:44

Here's a way I used that should work on any Pi- or any Debian Based distro on a Pi- to PERSISTENTLY disable Power Management as a systemd service.

Just copy the below bash script into a file, chmod 700 it and sudo ./fileName will setup a service that ensures Power Management stays down across reboots. Tested and known to work correctly on Raspbian Buster:

if [ -d /root/scripts ]; then
    mkdir /root/scripts

apt-get -y install iw
apt-get -y install wireless-tools

cat <<EOF> /root/scripts/pwr-mgmnt-wifi-disable.sh
iw dev wlan0 set power_save off

chmod 700 /root/scripts/pwr-mgmnt-wifi-disable.sh

cat <<EOF> /etc/systemd/system//pwr-mgmnt-wifi-disable.service
Description=Disable WiFi Power Management




chmod 644 /etc/systemd/system/pwr-mgmnt-wifi-disable.service

systemctl enable pwr-mgmnt-wifi-disable.service
systemctl start pwr-mgmnt-wifi-disable.service
  • User=root and Group=root is not needed, that's default. Why using a bash script? ExecStart=/sbin/iw dev wlan0 set power_save off will do the same job. Installing iw and wireless-tools is not needed. They are available out of the box.
    – Ingo
    Aug 27, 2019 at 11:47
  • Anytime I'm giving technical guidance, I avoid ambiguity like the plague. If it's not expressly defined, a user my decide to specify the "pi" user as service owner. As for installing the tools, since iw is key to the solution, I expressly describe it as required. The bash script is merely to install the service.
    – F1Linux
    Aug 27, 2019 at 11:54

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