I recently encountered a frustrating issue where, despite the wireless access point being just five meters away from my digital picture frame, the Wi-Fi connection kept dropping and failed to reconnect automatically.
Initially, I suspected the SD card or the power supply might be at fault. In my experience with Raspberry Pi, these components are often responsible for unusual issues.
After replacing both the SD card and the power supply, the problem persisted, indicating that the issue lay elsewhere.
Understanding Wi-Fi Power Management
Subsequently, I discovered a straightforward solution on the Raspberry Pi forum that resolved this annoyance. It is well-known within this community that power management settings can sometimes lead to Wi-Fi connectivity issues.
So, the fix was very easy: I had to turn the WiFi power management off.
Wi-Fi power management is a feature designed to reduce power consumption by turning off the Wi-Fi module when it’s not actively transmitting data.
This is particularly useful for battery-powered devices. However, in a Raspberry Pi setup, where consistent connectivity is more critical than power saving, this feature can be more of a hindrance than a help.
While this may not be a solution that works for you, I would give it a try.
By default, power management is turned on.
You can check it by entering the following in the Terminal.
In the answer, you will find the line “Power Management”.
lo no wireless extensions.
eth0 no wireless extensions.
wlan0 IEEE 802.11 ESSID:"yourwifinetwork"
Mode:Managed Frequency:2.432 GHz Access Point: 49:5E:35:19:8F:17
Bit Rate=57.7 Mb/s Tx-Power=31 dBm
Retry short limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
Link Quality=54/70 Signal level=-56 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:160 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0
Disabling Wi-Fi Power Management
As with everything else on the Raspberry Pi, there are many ways to skin the cat.
The one solution that I found to be very reliable, is this one:
In Terminal type
sudo nano /etc/rc.local
A file will come up with something about the IP hostname.
Insert this line right below “# By default this script does nothing”
/sbin/iwconfig wlan0 power off
so that your entire file looks like this
# This script is executed at the end of each multiuser runlevel.
# Make sure that the script will "exit 0" on success or any other
# value on error.
# In order to enable or disable this script just change the execution
# By default this script does nothing.
/sbin/iwconfig wlan0 power off
# Print the IP address
_IP=$(hostname -I) || true
if [ "$_IP" ]; then
printf "My IP address is %s\n" "$_IP"
Save with CTRL+o and exit with CTRL+x.
Reboot and check
iwconfig if the power management is turned off.
After disabling Wi-Fi power management, monitor your Raspberry Pi for a few days to see if there’s an improvement in Wi-Fi stability.
I hope there is!
Was this article helpful?
Thank you for your support and motivation.
- How to find the IP address of a new device in your network with Angry IP Scanner
- How to reduce the wear on your SD card in your Raspberry Pi digital photo frame
- The new way to turn your connected HDMI monitor on and off on a Raspberry Pi
- Check the wifi signal strength of your Raspberry Pi digital picture frame before you hang it up on the wall