All three judges scored the fight 119-104 for Klitschko, who even had a point deducted for throwing Povetkin to the canvas in the 11th round.
The greatest damage was done in the seventh when Povetkin, unbeaten in 26 previous fights, visited the canvas three times in a demoralising 10-6 round.
It was Klitschko's 15th defence of his belts since regaining a share of the world title and his record now reads 61 victories in 64 fights.
A crowd of 35,000 at the Olympic Stadium watched an efficient if uninspiring win that earned the 37-year-old £10.9million.
Klitschko landed hard shots throughout but was guilty of holding too much and the display will have failed to silence critics of his style.
"I kept landing the punches, but he stayed in there. I believe it was a deserved win, but I think I can improve still," Klitschko said.
David Haye, Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora are seeking a clash with Wladimir or his elder brother Vitali and the British trio are the most lucrative options left open to the Ukrainians.