The 26-year-old Jamaican, who won the 200m titles in Berlin in 2009 and Daegu in 2011 and is also double Olympic champion and world record holder in the event, clocked an easy-going 20.66sec.
After a good start, Bolt was up on the field in a matter of metres and seemed to ease off fully 40 metres from the finish line.
He will be joined by all the main favourites in Saturday’s semi-finals, with the final to round off the evening session of day eight of action at the Luzhniki Stadium.
British duo James Ellington and Adam Gemili both qualified in style after winning their respective heats, the latter in a personal best of 20.17sec.
They will be joined by teammate Delano Williams, the Jamaica-based Turks and Caicos athlete who was confirmed to run for the British team in June.
Bolt has kept a low profile since he powered to victory in Sunday’s 100m final, regaining the title he lost when he was disqualified for a false start in Daegu two years ago.
A gold on Saturday would push him one step further to equalling the present mark of eight world gold medals won by retired American duo Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson.