Disable on board Bluetooth & Wi-Fi

The on board Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on a Raspberry Pi 3 is enabled by default. You may wish to disable these if you don’t need them as it’ll save power and CPU resources.

Bluetooth

You can check the status of Bluetooth with the following command:

sudo service bluetooth status

If Bluetooth is enabled then you will get a result similar to this:

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo service bluetooth status
bluetooth.service – Bluetooth service
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/bluetooth.service; enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Fri 2017-05-26 17:29:16 UTC; 52s ago
     Docs: man:bluetoothd(8)
 Main PID: 2535 (bluetoothd)
   Status: “Running”
   CGroup: /system.slice/bluetooth.service
           /usr/lib/bluetooth/bluetoothd

May 26 17:29:16 raspberrypi bluetoothd[2535]: Bluetooth daemon 5.23
May 26 17:29:16 raspberrypi systemd[1]: Started Bluetooth service.
May 26 17:29:16 raspberrypi bluetoothd[2535]: Starting SDP server
May 26 17:29:16 raspberrypi bluetoothd[2535]: Bluetooth management interface 1.14 initialized
pi@raspberrypi:~ $

If Bluetooth is disabled then you will get a result similar to this:

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo service bluetooth status
bluetooth.service – Bluetooth service
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/bluetooth.service; enabled)
   Active: inactive (dead)
     Docs: man:bluetoothd(8)
pi@raspberrypi:~ $

To disable Bluetooth at Boot-up add the following line dtoverlay=pi3-disable-bt (highlighted in yellow below) to the bottom of /boot/config.txt:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

# For more options and information see
# http://rpf.io/configtxtreadme
# Some settings may impact device functionality. See link above for details

# uncomment if you get no picture on HDMI for a default “safe” mode
#hdmi_safe=1

# uncomment this if your display has a black border of unused pixels visible

# Additional overlays and parameters are documented /boot/overlays/README

# Enable audio (loads snd_bcm2835)
dtparam=audio=on

# Uncomment this to disbale Bluetooth
dtoverlay=pi3-disable-bt

ctrl-o to save, ctrl-x to exit.

Wi-Fi

You can check the status of Wi-Fi with the following command:

iwconfig

If WiFi is enabled, then it’s interface is likely to be called wlan0 and you will get a result similar to this:

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ iwconfig
eth0      no wireless extensions.

wlan0     IEEE 802.11  Mode:Monitor  Frequency:2.437 GHz  Tx-Power=20 dBm
          Retry short limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management:off
pi@raspberrypi:~ $

If WiFi is disabled then you will get a result similar to this:

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ iwconfig
eth0      no wireless extensions.

pi@raspberrypi:~ $

To disable WiFi at Boot-up add the following line dtoverlay=pi3-disable-wifi (highlighted in yellow below) to the bottom of /boot/config.txt:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

# For more options and information see
# http://rpf.io/configtxtreadme
# Some settings may impact device functionality. See link above for details

# uncomment if you get no picture on HDMI for a default “safe” mode
#hdmi_safe=1

# uncomment this if your display has a black border of unused pixels visible

# Additional overlays and parameters are documented /boot/overlays/README

# Enable audio (loads snd_bcm2835)
dtparam=audio=on

# Uncomment this to disbale WiFi
dtoverlay=pi3-disable-wifi

ctrl-o to save, ctrl-x to exit.

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