How to Restart Network in Ubuntu

Here are 6 ways you can restart the network in Ubuntu and other Linux distros. Also learn to refresh wireless network connection in Ubuntu Linux.
Warp Terminal

You’re using an Ubuntu-based system and you just can’t seem to connect to your network? You’d be surprised how many problems a simple restart can fix.

In this article, I’ll go over multiple ways to restart the network in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions, so you can use whatever suits your needs.

The methods are basically divided into two parts:

  • Restart Network in Command Line
  • Restart Network via GUI

Restart the network in Ubuntu via the command line

If you are using the Ubuntu server edition, you are already in the terminal. If you are using the desktop edition, you can access the terminal using Ctrl+Alt+T keyboard shortcut in Ubuntu.

Now you have several commands to restart the network in Ubuntu. Some (or perhaps most) commands mentioned here should also be applicable for restarting the network in Debian and other Linux distributions.

1. Restarting the Network Manager Service

This is the easiest way to restart your network using the command line. It’s equivalent to the graphical way of doing it (restarts the Network-Manager service).

sudo systemctl restart NetworkManager.service

The network icon should disappear for a moment and then reappear.

2. nmcli

This is yet another tool for handling networks on a Linux machine. It is a pretty powerful tool that I find very practical. Many sysadmins prefer it since it is easy to use. This tool is a part of the NetworkManager package.

There are two steps to this method: turning the network off and then turning it back on.

sudo nmcli networking off

The network will shut down and the icon will disappear. To turn it back on:

sudo nmcli networking on

You can check out the man page of nmcli for more options.

3. nmtui

This is another method often used by system administrators. It is a text menu (in a Terminal User Interface) for managing networks right in your terminal. It is also a part of the Network Manager tool.


This should open up the following menu:

The interface of nmtui
The interface of nmtui

Note that in nmtui, you can select another option by using the up and down arrow keys.

Select Activate a connection:

Activate a connection
Activate a connection

Press Enter. This should now open the connections menu.

The list of connections
The list of connections

Here, go ahead and select the network with a star (*) next to it. In my case, it’s MGEO72.

Select the interface highlighted with a star
Select the interface

Press Enter. This should deactivate your connection.

Connection deactivated
Connection deactivated

Select the connection you want to activate and press Enter. This should activate the desired connection.

Activate again by selecting desired connection
Activate again by selecting desired connection

Press Tab twice to select the <Back> button, and exit from the main menu. This is how you can restart a connection with nmtui.

4. ifup & ifdown

These commands handle a network interface directly, changing its state to one in which it either can or can not transmit and receive data. It’s one of the must-know networking commands in Linux.

To shut down all network interfaces, use ifdown and then use ifup to turn all network interfaces back on.

A good practice would be to combine both of these commands:

sudo ifdown -a && sudo ifup -a
Note: This method will not make the network icon in your systray disappear, and yet you won’t be able to have a connection of any sort.

That’s it! You have successfully restarted your network.

Restart the network in Ubuntu graphically

This is, of course, the easiest way of restarting the network for Ubuntu desktop users. If this one doesn’t work, you can of course check the command line options mentioned in the previous section.

NM-applet is the system tray applet indicator for NetworkManager. That’s what we’re going to use to restart our network.

First of all, check out your top panel. You should find a network icon in your system tray (in my case, it is a Wi-Fi icon, since that’s what I use).

Go ahead and click on that icon (or the sound or battery icon). This will open up the menu. Select “Turn Off” here.

Restart network in Ubuntu
Turn off your network

The network icon should now disappear from the top panel. This means the network has been successfully turned off.

Click again on your systray to reopen the menu. Select “Turn On”.

Restarting network in Ubuntu
Turn the network back on

Congratulations! You have now restarted your network.

Bonus Tip: Refresh the available network list

Suppose you are connected to a network already but you want to connect to another network. How do you refresh the WiFi to see what other networks are available? Let me show you that.

Ubuntu doesn’t have a ‘refresh wifi networks’ option directly. It’s sort of hidden.

You’ll have to open the setting menu again and this time, click on “Select Network”.

Refresh wifi network list in Ubuntu
Select Network to change your WiFi connection

Now, you won’t see the list of available wireless networks immediately. When you open the networks list, it takes around 5 seconds to refresh and show up other available wireless networks.

Select another wifi network in Ubuntu
Wait for around 5 seconds to see other available networks

And here, you can select the network of your choice and click "Connect". That’s it.

Wrapping Up

Restarting your network or connection is something that every Linux user has to go through at some point in their experience. These tools can come in handy for doing the same.

But, if you're stranded with not finding any wireless interface to connect with (no Wi-fi hardware detected), you can refer to this article.

[Solved] WiFi not Working in Ubuntu Linux
No wireless network detected by Ubuntu after a fresh install? Here is how to fix the wireless connection issue in Ubuntu.

You can also check out some of the most important networking commands in Linux:

21 Basic Linux Networking Commands You Should Know
A list of basic Linux networking commands that will help you troubleshoot network issues, monitor packets, connect devices, and much more.

We hope that we have helped you with plenty of methods for handling such issues!

What do you use to restart/handle your network? Is there something we missed? Leave us a comment below.

About the author


I'm a student passionate about anything involving creativity, especially music and poetry. I play music with friends, write and code. Linux and coffee are also at the top of my ever-growing list of p

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