The following item in Power...Settings... states:

Wi-Fi can be turned off to save power

wi-fi can be turned off

You can see that the option is currently turned on. That should mean that the system is allowed to turn off the Wi-Fi to save power.

However, when I turn off that option, my Wi-Fi is disabled (turned off).

I'm attempting to tell the system that it is not allowed to turn off Wi-Fi to save power.

However, when I turn off the option it actually turns off the Wi-Fi. It's seems that this item is not described properly in the Power....Settings...

Note: This option was the same under Ubuntu 18.04 also.

2 Answers 2


That's not what it means. Turning that off turns the WI-FI off, not the computer's ability to turn Wi-Fi off. It has the "turning Wi-Fi off can save power" subtitle to tell you why you might want to turn Wi-Fi off. Just leave it on if you want Wi-Fi, or off if you don't.

  • 27
    Oh, wow, that extra subtitle / comment needs to be changed. "Turning off the Wi-Fi functionality can save power." or "If Wi-Fi is turned off, it can save power." Windows(OS) had an option that the system could manage your wi-fi for you and turn it off and that is what led me to believe this meant that.
    – raddevus
    Nov 30, 2020 at 23:07
  • 40
    Oh, also notice that this is under the Power Saving features and under Blank Screen which is set to automatically go blank after 15 minutes. So, it puts you in a mental context that this will be the system deciding that "Wi-Fi can be turned off" to save power. It makes you think it is a system controlled thing like the blank screen is.
    – raddevus
    Nov 30, 2020 at 23:13
  • 17
    @raddevus Yeah, they could definitely word it much better than that. Dec 1, 2020 at 0:09
  • 15
    @raddevus yes, it's a bad wording, and there is a bug open for that. Dec 1, 2020 at 19:38
  • 3
    and that's the reason why I had to travel back to my country to repair wifi of my remote computer that I controlled with TeamViewer or RDC ... sad story... please, ubuntu developers, change that comment to explain first what it does... I just wanted to prevent my pc from turning wifi off to save battery in any situation and this options looked like thats what I needed, it did opposite... or at least, please, make alert message to confirm the action where you warn user.... Apr 2, 2021 at 21:07

For those of you actually trying to do what the feature says, e.g. Disable Power-save for Wi-Fi, you have to... use a text editor.

Edit your /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/default-wifi-powersave-on.conf and change wifi.powersave = 3 to wifi.powersave = 2

Now that the solution is out of the way, let's dwell on the embarrassment to the English language. Wi-Fi can be turned off = Wi-Fi WILL be turned off to save power. Really? Can = WILL?

  • 3
    Thanks for the solution. I was going to give you a down vote for the unnecessary extra comment on the English language. The confusion is that it reads like you are giving Ubuntu permission to turn off WiFi if it deems it necessary to save power (essentially something like "Yes, you can turn off WiFi to save power") since it's a toggle that the user controls.
    – Jazzuzz
    Jun 7, 2021 at 12:55

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