Most mobile OSes have a button to re-check for new Wifi networks. In Ubuntu I know I can

  • type iwlist wlan0 scan and see the results printed

  • disable and re-enable Wifi in the Network indicator

  • type sudo service network-manager restart and restart the whole thing.

  • wait for it to automatically re-scan for new networks

Q: Is there a way to nudge Network-Manager to re-scan for networks, besides nuking it as above?

3 Answers 3


Networks are re-checked automatically. You do not need to press anything. You can wait for some seconds to see a new network.

To re-check immidiately you do not need to restart Network Manager. You can click "Disable Wi-Fi" and "Enable Wi-Fi", if you are so impatient.

  • 1
    I know the checks are automatic. I'll edit the question to reflect this, thanks for the reminder.
    – philsf
    Jan 29, 2016 at 15:19
  • 1
    "You can wait for some seconds to see a new network.". You mean wait for minutes (or at least, it feels like minutes). The wait is too long; that is the problem. What should be implemented in all Linux distribution is that when a user clicks on the Wi-Fi applet, automatically a new scan should be performed. Dec 29, 2017 at 17:34

You can try out WiFi Radar if you are looking for a more windows like wifi manager that has a scan button. You can download it from the software center or click here enter image description here

  • The version coming with Ubuntu 16.04.03 LTS Xenial Xerus, 2.0.s08+dfsg-1.1ubuntu1, does not have a scan button. Not sure if it continuously scans or not. Dec 29, 2017 at 17:39

Ever since Ubuntu switched from Unity to GNOME, we can enhance the GUI shell with GNOME extensions.

Without the overhead of installing a new app and using only Network-Manager, the simplest solution is to install the Refresh Wifi Connections extension.

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