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How to disable WiFi on Linux

Can’t figure out how to shut off the WiFi on your Linux laptop or desktop? Need help learning how to do it? We can help! Follow along with this guide below to learn how to shut off the WiFi for your Linux PC!

Gnome Shell

Shutting off WiFi connections in Gnome Shell is pretty straightforward, and it starts by looking to the panel. Look at the Gnome Shell panel on the right for the down arrow button, and click on it with the mouse. By clicking on this arrow, you bring up the panel menu for Gnome.

Inside the panel menu, you will see a few things, such as “Settings,” “Lock,” “Power Off/ Log Off,” as well as WiFi, volume, etc. Look for the WiFi logo in the Gnome menu that is visible to you, and click on it with the mouse.

Upon clicking on the WiFi menu entry, you will see three different options. These options are “Select Network,” “Turn Off,” and “WiFi Settings.” Select the “Turn Off” button to instantly shut off the WiFi on your Gnome Shell desktop environment.

To turn the WiFi again, go back into the Gnome Shell menu, select the WiFi menu entry, and click on the “Turn On” button to re-enable wireless connectivity. Alternatively, go to the “WiFi” area in Gnome Shell settings to turn it back on.

KDE Plasma 5

If you’re a KDE Plasma 5 user and you’re looking to shut off the WiFi on the desktop, do the following. The first thing you need to do is look to the panel for the WiFi connectivity icon (the bars) and click on it with the mouse. After clicking on the WiFi icon, a menu will appear.

Inside of the WiFi menu, you will see various WiFi networks available for connection, the airplane mode button, the settings button, search button, and the WiFi enable/disable button.

If you’d like to shut off the WiFi, locate the WiFi checkbox in the top-left corner of the applet menu. Click on the checkbox, and the wireless connection in KDE Plasma 5 should instantly disconnect.

To turn the WiFi back on in KDE Plasma 5, go back into the WiFi menu on the panel, open it and check the box next to the WiFi icon in the top-left. Connectivity should resume once the box is rechecked.

XFCE 4

Using XFCE 4 and need to shut off the WiFi connectivity? Here’s how to do it. First, look on the XFCE 4 panel for the WiFi connectivity applet. If you can’t find it, it’s the app on the panel with the WiFi bars. Once you’ve found the WiFi applet on the desktop, right-click on it with the mouse to bring up the right-click menu for the WiFi applet.

Inside of the WiFi menu, you will see several different options to choose from. Look for the “Disable WiFi” checkbox, and select it to instantly shut off WiFi connectivity for the XFCE 4 desktop environment.

Need to turn wireless connectivity back on? Go back to the panel, and right-click on the WiFi applet. Keep in mind that because WiFi is now off, it may look different. Right-click on the menu and check the box next to WiFi to turn it back on.

MATE

Are you a MATE user and unsure about how to shut off the WiFi on the desktop? Here’s what to do. First, make your way to the upper panel in MATE. On the upper panel, find the WiFi icon in the right-hand corner. Once you’ve found the WiFi icon, click it with the mouse to reveal it’s contents.

Inside of the WiFi menu, there are many, many options to choose from. Inside the menu, look through to the bottom, above “Connection Information” for “Enable WiFi.” Select this option to instantly turn off the Wireless connectivity in the MATE desktop environment.

To turn back on the WiFi in the MATE menu, go back to the WiFi menu on the panel, go to the bottom like before and click on “Enable WiFi” to turn it back on.

Terminal

It is possible to turn off the WiFi right from the terminal prompt. So, if you’re using a Linux desktop environment that does not support WiFi very well (like Gnome, KDE Plasma 5, XFCE 4, or MATE), this is a great way to deal with your WiFi connectivity.

To start the process, open up a terminal window using the Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Once inside of the terminal, make use of the nmcli command below to shut off the wireless connectivity on your Linux PC.

nmcli radio wifi off

As soon as the following nmcli command is run, the WiFi on your Linux PC will shut off. If you want to turn it back on, make use of the nmcli command, but change “off” to “on.”

nmcli radio wifi on

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