How to refresh the Wi-Fi Networks in Ubuntu

Refresh feature scans for new wireless networks without having to leave the Wi-Fi Networks dialog box.

To connect to a Wi-Fi network, one would go to the top bar and click on the Wireless icon and then select the Wireless network from the list of displayed SSIDs. It follows with entering the security credentials if any.

Default Wi-Fi Networks DIalog box in Ubuntu 18.04
Default Wi-Fi Networks DIalog box in Ubuntu 18.04

Being an Ubuntu user, you may have figured out that you won’t find a refresh option in the Wi-Fi Networks dialog box.

I think a refresh button or something could help a user to quickly see the wireless network name without having to leave the dialog box.

This is especially useful when the wireless network is activated while in the Wi-Fi Networks dialog box. A typical example is enabling the Wi-Fi hotspot from your smartphone, to share the internet with your PC.

Adding “Refresh” to the Wi-Fi Networks dialog box in Ubuntu GNOME

In this article, I will show you how to add this convenient feature, “Refresh.” This guide is tested on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS but should work on lower Ubuntu versions with a GNOME desktop environment only.

Step 1) Install GNOME Extensions

One of the perks associated with the GNOME desktop environment is access to the world of GNOME extensions. Thousands of extensions will help you tweak your desktop to your needs, including productivity, eye-candy effects, and user experience.

“Refresh Wi-Fi connections” is a GNOME extension that helps in adding the refresh icon to the Wi-Fi networks dialog box. Before you can install this extension, you first need to install GNOME extensions on your Ubuntu PC. If you have done it already in the past, you can skip this step.

Prerequisite: You must have Firefox or Chrome/Chromium Browser installed.

Step 1.a) Launch ‘Terminal’.

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell

GNOME Shell Integration in Ubuntu 17.10
GNOME Shell Integration in Ubuntu 17.10

Step 1.b) Next, click on the below link on Firefox or Chrome browser.

Add GNOME Shell extensions to your Browser

Step 1.c) Click on the link that says “Click here to install Browser extension.” You can open it on Firefox or Chrome Browser.

GNOME Shell Integration Browser Extension
GNOME Shell Integration Browser Extension

Step 1.d) Click “Add extension”.

Add extension
Add extension

That’s it! Your system is now ready to install the GNOME extensions!

Step 2) Go to this URL:

Step 3) Toggle the button to “ON” and install it.

Refresh Wi-Fi Networks
Refresh Wi-Fi Networks

Step 4) The new feature should be added. To check it, click on the wireless icon on the top bar > Your Wi-Fi network name > “Select Network.” You should see the new refresh icon.

Refresh Feature Added
Refresh Feature Added

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here




Create a ClamAV Antivirus Live USB drive, and how to use it

Antivirus Live CD or USB drives come in handy at times when your computer is infected with a virus and other malware. Here is how you can create a ClamAV Live USB drive to scan and remove the malware from a computer.
best linux distros beginners
Making the shift to Linux is not as complicated as some people make it out to be. There is a variety of Linux distributions available that cater to the needs of people who are planning on making the jump to Linux from any other operating system.
Test drive linux online
Enter, a website that allows Linux users to test various distros online, without downloading the ISO or installing the distro. With, you can check a distro with no muss, no fuss.
terminate frozen app
For dealing with a frozen app or desktop, you can't use the CTRL+ALT+DEL in Linux system. Instead, there are powerful alternatives that come in handy in frustrating situations. We pick the best methods available for you.