Tips - Disabling Bluetooth on Raspberry Pi

Tips - Disabling Bluetooth on Raspberry Pi

This post shows steps to “1. disable on-board Bluetooth” and “2. disable Bluetooth completely”.
Lee Campbell©

  1. Disabling on-board Bluetooth
    1. Open /boot/config.txt file
    2. Add below, save and close the file
    3. Disable related services
    4. Reboot to apply the changes
  2. Disable Bluetooth completely
    1. Uninstall BlueZ and related packages

Disabling on-board Bluetooth

The steps below shows how to disable on-board Bluetooth and related services. Those steps also disable loading the related kernel modules such as bluetooth, hci_uart, btbcm, etc at boot.

Open /boot/config.txt file

sudo vi /boot/config.txt

Looking in /boot/overlays/README from the September 2019 release of Raspbian Buster I can now see disable-bt and disable-wifi documented

Add below, save and close the file

# Disable Bluetooth
dtoverlay=disable-bt

Info: Disable onboard Bluetooth on Pi 3B, 3B+, 3A+, 4B and Zero W, restoring UART0/ttyAMA0 over GPIOs 14 (pin 8) & 15 (pin10). N.B. To disable the systemd service that initialises the modem so it doesn’t use the UART, use ‘sudo systemctl disable hciuart’.

sudo systemctl disable hciuart.service
sudo systemctl disable bluealsa.service
sudo systemctl disable bluetooth.service

Reboot to apply the changes

sudo reboot

Even after disabling on-board Bluetooth and related services, Bluetooth will be available when a Bluetooth adapter (e.g. Plugable Bluetooth Adapter) is plugged in.

Disable Bluetooth completely

If Bluetooth is not required at all, uninstall Bluetooth stack. It makes Bluetooth unavailable even if external Bluetooth adapter is plugged in.

sudo apt-get purge bluez -y
sudo apt-get autoremove -y


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