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.


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.

  • 16
    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 '20 at 23:07
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    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 '20 at 23:13
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    @raddevus Yeah, they could definitely word it much better than that. – SyntheticHuman Dec 1 '20 at 0:09
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    @raddevus yes, it's a bad wording, and there is a bug open for that. – Matija Nalis Dec 1 '20 at 19:38
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    @MatijaNalis Thanks for the info on the bug report. In future I will check try to check the Ubuntu bug list first. – raddevus Dec 1 '20 at 19:46

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?

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