This post will work you through getting your Intel AX210 or AX211 Wi-Fi 6E module to work fully on a Windows 10 computer. Specifically, you’ll be able to connect your device to a Wi-Fi 6E router using the new 6GHz band.
This post supplements the piece where I explained Wi-Fi 6E in great detail and the step-by-step guide on upgrading your existing computer to Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E.
And no, you won’t need to mess with the computer’s registry or any of those shenanigans. This method is legit and safe. And I’ll also explain why this post is necessary.
By the way, you should read the entire post. But if you believe you’re already in the know and want to get the driver software without other details, jump directly to that part!
Dong’s note: I first published this post on April 28, 2021, and updated it on May 11 with additional extra steps for those needing to downgrade their official driver to make the 6GHz band work.
Table of Contents
What are you talking about exactly?
While we can buy and install the Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E adapter, or one of its variants, and upgrade your computer to it, the official driver software for this chip on a Windows 10 computer keeps the 6GHz band locked — you can’t use it.
Intel AX200 vs AX210 vs AX211 vs AX411
The Intel AX200 chip supports Wi-Fi 6 — it’s a Dual-band adapter (2.4GHz, and 5GHz). On the other hand, the Intel AX210 chip features Wi-Fi 6E — it’s a Tri-band adapter with an additional 6GHz band.
These two are generic and will work on any computer that has the supporting slot and supporting software drivers.
There are variants, including the AX201, AX211, and AX411 with addtional requirements:
- The AX201 is a Wi-Fi 6 chip that only works on a computer running an Intel 10th Gen (or later) CPU.
- The AX211 and AX411 both are Wi-Fi 6E chips. They respectively require a computer running at least an Intel 10th Gen or 12th Gen.
Of these options, the AX210 is the most versatile. Still, its 6GHz band is only officially supported in Windows 11. A special software driver is necessary to make it work with Windows 10. That’s also the case with the AX211 and AX411.
It became evident in the past few months that Microsoft has decided to make the support for Wi-Fi 6E (the 6GHz band) an incentive for folks to upgrade to Windows 11. Windows 10 will not support this band — not officially.
The best way to get this band to work is to upgrade your computer to Windows 11. Have an old Windows 10 computer that doesn’t meet the hardware requirement? You can still upgrade to Windows 11 via this trick.
In this case, you won’t need the driver software I mentioned here. Just get the latest software from Intel (or via Windows update), and the 6GHz will be there.
By default, on a Windows 10 computer, the Intel AX210 adapter will work just like any Wi-Fi 6 module. You only get the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands out of it and will not see the 6GHz band at all.
And we’ll change that.
The 6GHz-ready software driver you’ll find here is one that was once available briefly for Windows 10 before it was pulled permanently — it’s the pilot driver originally intended for the OS before Microsoft changed its mind. I extracted it and recompiled it as a manual download.
As a result, this software driver is signed — it’s verified and approved by Microsoft — and will work on Windows 10 20H2 or later.
To sum up, this post applies only to those who:
- want to keep using Windows 10 and have version 20H2 or later.
- have a computer with a Wi-Fi 6E adapter based on the Intel AX210 or Intel AX211 chipset (Intel Gen 10th CPU required.)
- have a Wi-Fi 6E broadcaster (router or access points.)
Intell AX210 driver software: Steps to unlock the 6GHz band
If you’re an advanced user, download the driver via the link below and install it manually — you might need to force it if you already use the latest official driver.
For those who are new to this, the steps below will walk you through it.
Generally, it’s a good idea to download the software (step 1) before installing the hardware on your computer. But this post assumed that you had gotten the AX210 adapter already running with an official driver.
While the steps below use an Intel AX210, they will work if you have an Intel AX211 — as long as your computer runs an Intel 10th CPU or later.
1. Download the “special” Intel AX210 driver software
Here’s the link to download the Zip file that contains the Intel AX210 driver.
Follow the few simple steps and download the .zip file on your computer. (The file’s name might be randomized). Generally, the browser will save it in the Downloads folder of your Windows profile, but you can place it anywhere — make sure you know where it is.
2. Extract the software driver folder from the zip file
Open the downloaded file and drag the “AX210Driver” folder out onto a known location. For this post, I used the Desktop area of the computer.
There are many ways to handle a .zip file, so pick the method that works for your situation. In any case, make sure you know where you place this folder.
3. Locate the current Intel AX210 hardware within Windows 10
- Right-click on the Start button (or hit Windows + X combo on the keyboard) to open up Menu X. (A)
- On the menu that pops up, click on Device Manager to bring up the Device Manager window. (B)
- On the Device Manager window, open up the Network adapters and double-click on the adapter in question. In this case, it’s: “Intel(R) Wi-Fi 6 AX210 160MHz”. That will bring up the device’s Properties window. (C)
4. Check the drive version and decide accordingly
This step helps you decide what you should do next. Make sure you pay attention. But it’s safe even if you don’t. You’ll waste a bit of time, though.
First, make sure you’re using the Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX210 chip. If you’re using the Intel AX200 or AX201 Wi-Fi 6 chip, this post doesn’t apply to you.
Now, look at the Driver Version. If it’s 188.8.131.52 or earlier numerically — that’s 184.108.40.206 or lower — then continue to step #5 beneath. Else, jump directly to the Extra Steps.
5. Install the downloaded driver
Now you need to install the driver manually.
a. On the Properties window, click on the Driver tab, then on Update Driver.
b. Click on Browse my computer for drivers.
c. Navigate to the “AX210Driver” folder mentioned above (for this post, it’s on the Desktop) — or you can copy and paste the path of the folder onto the field. Then click on Next and wait for the driver to be installed, which will take a few moments.
And that’s it. Mission accomplished. Now you’ll be able to connect to see and connect your router’s 6Ghz band.
If that’s the case, you can skip the next section and jump to the Final Notes (you don’t want to miss them).
However, if you see a message: “The best drivers for your device are already installed.” then continue with the Extra Steps below.
Extra Steps: How to install the older but 6GHz-ready driver version
These steps apply to those already using the official non-6GHz driver of versions later than the “non-official” but 6GHz-ready version I posted here. The gist is that you want to force Windows to use a version it doesn’t consider “the best.”
1. Click on Update Driver
2. Choose to pick the driver yourself
In this step, instead of browsing for the driver folder, you pick the option to choose the driver yourself.
3. Choose to select the driver from a “Disk.”
In this step, ignore everything you see. Just click on the Have Disk… button.
4. Enter the path of the folder that contains the driver you downloaded
Now enter the path of the folder that contains the driver. For this post, that’s the Driver folder on the Desktop. If you’ve chosen to do the same, replace “Dong Ngo” in the screenshot above with your profile’s name. You can also browse for it. Then click on OK.
5. Pick the working driver and install it
The next screen will show the driver you downloaded: Intel (R) Wi-Fi 6E AX210 160MHz.
And that’s it! Mission (re)accomplished.
You will note that since your Windows version doesn’t officially support the 6GHz band, the status window of this band will include less info than that of the 5GHz (or 2.4GHz) band.
Specifically, there’s no info on the current band, and the channel is shown as zero. However, all that doesn’t affect the performance.
By the way, if your computer still doesn’t see the 6GHz band or gets the “can’t connect to the network” message, check the following:
- Make sure you live in a region where this band is available per regulations.
- You’re using Windows 10 20H2 version or later.
- Change the SSID of the 6GHz band to make sure the computer won’t reuse the old settings.
Finally, Windows and Intel will keep releasing newer driver versions that still don’t support the 6GHz band on Windows 10. If you install one of these versions, you will lose the 6GHz band. In this case, roll the driver back to the version you downloaded here — via the Roll Back Driver button shown in the screenshot of step #4 above — or re-install it as described in the extra steps.
Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E Chip's Rating
Adds Wi-Fi 6 and 6E to a computer; support 160MHz; affordable
Flexible application via NGFF form factor (2230 M.2 slot) or PCIe adapter
Reliable and fast Gig+ performance
No official driver for Windows 10
No USB option
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79 thoughts on “Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E Windows 10 Driver Installation Guide: Unlock the 6GHz Band!”
Hi Dong, Just a note for others struggling with intel AX210 wifi adapter connecting to 6E. I have windows 11 that is running the latest updates, my driver version was 220.127.116.11 and couldn’t see the 6E signal from my asus zenwifipro et12 router. My samsung ultra s22 was hooking up so i knew the signal was good. I tried for hours and installed and re-installed the older 18.104.22.168 driver as you recommended and some other forums had also said worked… well it did not work for me. Luckily my sons laptop, we who also retrofitted the intel ax210 card into, was able to hook up with driver version 22.214.171.124 So I downloaded this driver also and voila, it was fixed!!!
My driver is only applicable to Windows 10 users, Nevin. And you need to use the latest driver when using Windows 11, as mentioned in the post.
I am successful upgrade to Intel AX210 following your step.
Now, I have questions for your advice. I have Sony old notebook(2010) and a Dell desktop(2014), they mini-PCIe. I have studied youtube and some web site, and they said to use a mini-PCIe adapter to M2 2230 (if the motherboard has space for installation) OR Fenvi MPE-AXE3000H (use intel assistance to install the driver).
In my mind, I only believe your comments, do you think is it really works for upgrade to my old computer and has no problem?
That won’t work, Marco, at least not easily. You might be able to install the card but the antenna cables, if there are any, won’t fit. You might be able to get the cables themselves but that’d be too much work, and the support on the software side is not a sure thing, either. I’d wait for a USB adapter instead.
Thank you very much for your great advice.
I will wait for a USB adapter. ^^
I ran into an issue and wondering if you’ve seen it also. I have a GT-AXE11000, a Lenovo Y70015isk touch, installed AX210. The AX210 before the 11000 has run flawlessly for months now. Got the 11000 this week, installed your driver by forcing….all was good immediately….I was accessing the admin panel, just poking around before I brought it online etc…. I rebooted the laptop for some other reason….and when it came back…the AX210 has a yellow exclamation point….could not start or some error…I rolled back the driver for the sake of what happened….of course the 6Ghz is gone using the non Dong driver….so my issue doesn’t seem to be covered in any comments…and wondering if you had any insight on what could be up. The Lenovo has been my main laptop since 2016 when I got it…..zero issues…I’m sure it’s something with the driver…just not sure what I should try next so I don’t corrupt the OS. Any thoughts? Thanks, Chris
You can upgrade your computer to Windows 11 to use the official driver, Chris.
My laptop is getting kicked because the i7 processor is “too old”…6700HQ. I normally would upgrade but there MS is telling me no. Everything else passes. Win 10 resurrected so much hardware, and now they just killed them….crazy.
Oh….I just saw your linked post….LOL. I’ll check that out! Thanks!!
Sure, Chris. And yeah, your computer will run Windows 11 just fine.
I have a Lenovo X1 Gen 7 laptop and it has Intel Wireless AC9560 802.AC Dual 2X2 WIFI + Bluetooth 5.1. I am want to know if it is possible to upgrade to WIFI 6? If I can, then which one should I upgrade to? AX200 or AX210? My product number is 20R1.
Thanks for your help in advance,
Read the post, Dennis. The quick answer is yes, you can upgrade. As to which, I mentioned that in the related post.
I couldn’t get it working with the AX210, and finally found the reason, but no solution – the region for my card gets set to Japan, and since they haven’t approved 6E yet, it effectively disabled 6GHz. It can’t see my router at all. Look into “LAR” – there are some linux related posts where they can disable it, but that only works for older versions that don’t support the AX210 to begin with. If you want to check if you suffer from the problem, you can boot a USB stick and use commands like iwlist chan and iw reg get.
Yes, I mentioned that at the top of the post, David.
Yes, but the article is a bit unclear – it can make it seem like you may just need the right combination of Windows and/or driver to bypass the region restriction. Instead what happens is that Intel actually scans and creates a fingerprint based on the local spectrum usage, and determines your region based on that. Even if you import the AX210 card from a region where 6GHz is permitted, 6GHz will be completely disabled in regions where it’s not. Once it’s locked in the card firmware, there’s nothing you can do until it’s officially approved in the region you’re in, and Intel provides an update for it. This really sucks if the card happens to identify the wrong region (and isn’t unheard of) based on your local radio conditions.
If you want to check your region, you can do that from Linux with a recent kernel that supports the AX210 (5.10+), using `iw reg get`. The official list is here https://www.wi-fi.org/countries-enabling-wi-fi-6e
I don’t know if this is the case for phones (I don’t have a 6E one I can use to test), but it wouldn’t surprise me, given that they have even more sophisticated location awareness hardware.
Thanks for the input, Frode. That makes sense, but more often than not, the restrictions are on the broadcasting side, as I mentioned in the post. Folks travel from one region to another with their laptops and phones, you know.
can you tell me how to do with a usb key to know the region of my AX210 card?
Because I have a Lenovo Xiaoxin 16 Pro and I can’t see the 6Ghz band even with the 126.96.36.199 driver installed.
The support for the client is generally worldwide. It’s only on the broadcasting side (routers/access points) that are regulated.
Can there still be an issue with 6G in countries that dont have 6Ghz allowed yet? I heard that Intel LAR can block our 6Ghz as nearby neighbour router brosdcast region in their SSIDs.
Anyone faced that?
That’s on the broadcasting side, Petr and it varies from one region to another. You need to check with local regulations.
Hi just following up on my email. I followed all the steps and still not working. using W1020H2. Driver installed is correct one and also extra steps. Seems that card is not working in Europe with a European 6E router yet. Intel seems to have disabled the card out of US. ANy workaround to this?
If that’s the case, Paul. The tweaking is likely on the router’s end, not the card. By the way, you should upgrade your computer to Windows 11 which has official support for the 6GHz band.
This is one of the many reasons why I fled europe hehe
Right, and not because they don’t sell Budweiser there. 🙂
@Paul, you can try upgrading your computer to Windows 11, which has the official support for the 6GHz band of that card, just to make sure.
Hi that’s what I did before finding your post 😂 then downgraded back to w10 …. Seems if beacons is Europe card doesn’t deal with 6ghz.. not really an option to change router settings closed firmware.. any other non intel card pci for 6e? Can’t find any
As Dong told you, the problem is at the router level. If you have the possibility to choose a different region like the US, and the hardware is the same, you’ll be able to have 6ghz. But you could be unlucky enough to get the cops at the door because you’re not allowed to used such frequency at such level.
That makes sense.
Nope that’s the only option, Paul. I guess you just have to wait, or join us in the US. 😷
Yeah, talking about that I have to swallow my words for the past several months.
Up to today, windows 10 doesn’t have out of the box support for 6ghz, not even with 21h2. Very weird because they say it does… But windows 11 surely does as you mentioned.
Anyway, I don’t care anymore about Wi-Fi. So frustrated with four failed routers this year. I’m getting the beyond ugly GT-AX6000, and I’ll keep it until Comcast surpasses those 2.5gb speeds. I only need fast speeds on my pc, so ethernet will be my friend now…
Is there a build of Windows 11 that natively supports Wifi 6e? I have the ASUS Z-590-E which comes with 6E. So I thought. Thanks for all the clear info. It’s great to get past the marketing and on to how to get new tech to actually work.
The latest build does, Nick. It’ll work right away.
sorry this might be a little of topic but i was wondering why the gt- ax11000 is known as a wifi 6 modem but has no wifi 6 band.
1. The GT-AX11000 is NOT a modem. It’s a router. More in this post.
2. It’s a Wi-Fi 6 router. Its 5GHz Wi-Fi band does support Wi-Fi 6.
3. Think your question is about Wi-Fi 6E, which uses the 6GHz band, which his router doesn’t have. More in this post.
Networking is quite complicated. You need to pay attention if you really want to understand it. 🙂
Thanks for the instruction.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for me.
I can see only 2.4Ghz/5Ghz not 6Ghz radio on windows 1H21 / lenovo Y540.
After upgrading win11, nothing changed.
It worked, Jason, for hundreds of folks. I myself have used it with dozens of AX210 adapters. Make sure you read the post carefully and in its entirety. You might have missed something.
Thanks Dong. The driver worked for me and I am able to connect to the 6GHZ network via my new Asus ZenWifi 6E ET8 router. Will be sending you a Starbucks coffee gift card.
That’s great, Joe! Have fun! And thanks. 🙂
Works the same as any other band? See the name, write password and connect?
Thank you so much for great details for the instructions.
But unfortunately, I can’t see 6GHz SSID yet.
– 2 desktops with same configuration(none of them can see 6E SSID)
– Netgear RAXE500
– Installed Windows version 21H1
– Installed Intel driver 188.8.131.52 downloaded via your link
The RAXE500 router is working well on 6GHz as I can see and connect successfully 6GHz network using Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Do you have any further advice that I can refer to?
Make sure you install the driver correctly, Irene. Follow the instructions closely. Chances are you missed the extra steps. Read the entire post and you’ll make it work.
Yes, I did all the instructions carefully including extra steps (the driver 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11 “un-official” version I’ve downloaded through your post), but failed. Cross-checked three times.
Interesting. Make sure your keep your 6GHz band separate and try different channels. It should work, unless something is wrong with the card you use itself. You need an AX210 and not an AX200 or AX201 but chances are you already know that.
I tried for all PSCs, but didn’t work.
As I ordered two more AX210 cards and they’re on the way now, after exchanging current AX210 into new one then I will check it again.
It has being mentioned already. It doesn’t work as it is supposed to, period. Is only meant to be used with 21h2.
Yes, I noticed your comment. Maybe 21H2 would be the next step. Thanks.
I got a new 85″ monitor, everything flashy new, reinstalled to the latest stable 21h1, and as I thought, it doesn’t work. Correct driver, wrong OS. You can’t connect normal. You can’t even see the 6ghz band in a normal way.
I was tired of some bugs, so I’ll patiently wait until whenever.
What I don’t understand, this driver was working really well with 21h2. So windows 11 you said still doesn’t have support. So what’s going on here? Are they going to come with 21h2 and other versions of windows 10 while having windows 11 on the market? If 21h2 was supposed to be released at the end of the year, but windows 11 is coming before that, is 21h2 even going to happen? Why windows 11 still doesn’t have 6ghz support? This makes no sense at all. Seriously we can resume all of this by saying that these people are a bunch of assholes…
Windows 10 is supported till 2025, Pitcli, it’s business as usual until then. Windows 11 is still in beta right now. Please watch your language. 🙂
Always found very weird when people said “oh it will be named windows10 forever”. Like anything lasts forever…
It’s Microsoft who said that, repeatedly. But yeah, forever is a very long time…
There is a new version of this driver that intel released early August 2021. Driver version 18.104.22.168
you probably still need this previous driver and then the Intel driver support assistant download on Win10 should pick up the new driver
Yeah it doesn’t work normally. I want to see and connect with a password, like I do with other bands. I don’t like middle grounds where I have to change some router settings and connect improperly and insecurely. You need 21H2 for that.
But it is all good. Is coming soon. I’m actually using the 22.70 and still don’t work. The drivers are ready, windows is not. I already properly tested, and it only properly works if you have 21H2. If you have to use enhanced open or other sort of trickery, that’s obviously not working and should never be recommended.
You need to use the driver you download here — it’s not the version number that matters. Read the post carefully, K.
I’m running Windows 20H2 and was successful at getting all three bands of the AXE11000 working, but WPA3 literally cut my speeds in half on all of them.
Technically, I’m about 80 feet from the router and 3 walls and can get about 850MB’s on the 5G band with WPA2. It dropped to below 400MB’s with WPA3.
At the same distance, I could get about 300MB’s on the 6E band with WPA3 and about 500MB’s with OWE.
It’s nice having it enabled (the extra band), but there are still bugs that need to be worked out. The signal is jittery and up and down with WPA3 enabled. With OWE, it actually runs smoothly. I’m sure if I were closer to the router, it would be better, but this is the only computer I swapped chips in and it’s a monster desktop.
One last thing, if your motherboard has built-in wifi, it’s best to change the chip there if you can. I tried a PCI card first and results were marginal at best and it used the same 210 Intel chip.
For those wondering, I did have to factory reset the router and also do a network reset on Windows to clear all the old data to make it work.
Thanks for sharing Jim. And yes, note the shorter range of the 6GHz band.
Haha you can’t tell is shorter
So I have the Intel AX210 for my new Lenovo Laptop, 21H1 for Windows 10, and version 22.214.171.124 for the level of the driver. While I can see the 6GHz , I have it set to WPA-3, Channel set to auto, and I changed the network key and the SSID, and still get ” Cant Connect to this network”. I made sure I got rid of any previous wifi 6ghz in my manage known networks too. I am using an ASUS AXE-11000. The Laptop is a Yoga 9i as well. Any help would be appreciated.
Try changing the SSID for the 6GHz band, Bill, it’s likely the setting for that SSID is stuck.
I just renamed the SSID and still get the “Cant Connect to this Network” message.
Upgrade your Windows to the latest, and use this driver, Bill.
I have 21H1 installed. I had a bad experience with a beta version of windows. I used 126.96.36.199 and did everything you told me and it did not work with WPA-3. Do you have another driver that will work?
This driver should work, Bill. I’ve used many adapters with it and tested it thoroughly. Try using the Enhanced Open (no password) setting on the router or the 6GHz SSID. If that still doesn’t work, then something is wrong with either your adapter or your router.
You need 21H2. Currently only in developer version.
Having same problem as Bill with AXE-11000. Can connect with Enhanced Open but not with WPA3. Have a fresh install of Win 10 with all the latest updates and tried changing SSID and also adding a known network manually with WPA3-personal, same problem.
The diver only works well with 21h2
That’s really super odd, Leo. I’ll look into this. I personally have no issue with WPA3 in this case. Thanks for sharing, though.
You need 21h2. Not worth your time tinkering, is not going to work properly.
Thanks so much for the instructions. But I am having a bit of an issue, I downloaded the driver (current version is 188.8.131.52) and I am able to see the wifi 6 network, however when I try connecting to it, I get a can’t connect to this network error. I can connect to the to both the 2.4Ghz and the 5Ghz networks. I have a Asus axe1100 router. Any advice would be great thanks.
You need to use WP3 on the 6GHz band and pick the “Auto” for its channel, Dex.
Yeah I’ve had it on those settings, still getting the error. I have an alienware 13 R3 if that makes a difference.
That’s odd. Maybe upgrade your Windows 10 to the latest version. Also, change the SSID to something else. The old settings might have gotten stuck.
I don’t use auto on the developer version and works well, maybe different with a regular windows version then?
Technically it shouldn’t work with a regular windows version. Only the 21h2. It does but I guess maybe a bit crippled.
My guess is that you already did this but reset your network, uninstall your Wi-Fi card and install the provider drivers.
Man I can’t thank you enough. I forgot to extract the drivers and after the last update they forced the 22.50 whatever, and doesn’t work!
So again, thanks a lot!!!
It works really well, but when you download a fast file the signal drops and doesn’t download as fast as it should, at least that’s my case. Too new, but at least we can see the potential. I’m hooked to 6ghz hehe.
By the way, once they come with 7ghz, or 8ghz, 9ghz in the future, I’ll tell you now, it wouldn’t be a problem neither with signal. Simple physics haha
You own me a coffee! 🙂
Hey Mr. Ngo,
Thanks for the detailed write up! I stumbled upon this when looking for why my Linksys Velop Atlas Max 6E Mesh system wasn’t picking up the 6Ghz band on my laptop after buying, and installing the latest driver for my AX210. I wouldn’t have guessed that Microsoft isn’t supporting the 6Ghz band until later this year, but glad you had a workaround for having that drive from the windows insiders program. I spent two hours on support with Linksys trying to figure this out, but solved it in 5 minutes finding your website, downloading the driver and surfing away on 6Ghz band! To help Linksys help others, I gave them a copy of your link so that it may help solve some future users who went through my same issue. Thanks again for this!
Sure, Steven. Glad it worked out. 🙂
Do not update to latest intel driver (184.108.40.206) or rollback to previous driver first, or you may have issues where windows will say it is “picking the best driver” and will not install driver 220.127.116.11 (the needed driver)
Looks like folks didn’t read my warning at the end of the post. I’ll update it with a way to handle this even if they already had the latest (non-6GHz) driver. The things I do for my people! 🙂