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Real Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E Driver that Enables the 6GHz Band: Download It Here!

This post will work you through the process of getting your (newly added) Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E module to work fully on a Windows computer. Specifically, you’ll be able to connect your device to a Wi-Fi 6E router using the new 6GHz band.

(This is a supplement to the piece where I explained Wi-Fi 6E in great detail and the step-by-step guide on how to upgrade your existing computer to Wi-Fi 6.)

And no, you won’t need to mess with the computer’s registry or installing the beta version of the Windows operating system. This is a legit workaround and generally safe method. Before that, I’ll explain why this post is necessary.

(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? You can jump directly to that part!)

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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, for now.

Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E Module
It’s easy to acquire an Intel AX210 module to upgrade your computer. Getting it to work the way it’s supposed to be another story entirely.

What are you talking about exactly?

Well, if you have read the post linked above, you’d understand that as of right now, chances are you can’t use the 6GHz band — the hallmark of Wi-Fi 6E — on almost any Windows computer (let alone a Mac).

The current limited options of 6GHz clients

Specifically, if you get a Wi-Fi 6E router, you’ll end up only using it as a dual-band (2.4GHz + 5GHz) broadcaster. To use its 6GHz band, you’ll need the Samsung S21 Ultra, currently the only official Wi-Fi 6E client on the market.

Another option is the Intel AX210 chip you can buy and install on select computers today — both desktops and laptops. This is a tri-band chip that includes a 2.4GHz, a 5GHz, and a 6GHz band.

See also  Wi-Fi 6/E Upgrade: Here's How You Can Add It To Your PC Today

In this case, though, for now, the new adapter will also work as a dual-band (2.4GHz + 5GHz) receiver. The current official driver software for the chip doesn’t support the 6GHz band.

That’s because Microsoft hasn’t officially supported this Wi-Fi band yet, not until the end of 2021 or so.

The real workaround is to sign up for the Windows Insider program (it’s free) — some pre-release Windows 10 builds (not all) have native drivers for this chip. But test builds of pre-release Windows are (expectedly) buggy and therefore unsuitable for those needing a computer that works.

This is where this post comes into play.

The real alternative, right now

I decided to extract the 6GHz-ready driver of the Intel AX210 chip from a non-public Windows 10 build, per the demand of so many. You’ll be able to download it here. In other words, you’ll get to use the driver without having to install the entire pre-release OS build, that’s if you can figure out which builds actually have this driver.

This software driver is signed — it’s verified and approved by Microsoft — and will work on Windows 10 20h2 or later, including Windows 11.

That said, this post applies only to those who use Windows 10 version 20H2 or later, have Intel AX210-based clients — not Intel AX200 or AX201 –, and one of the following broadcasters:

(Or any other router that supports the new 6GHz band.)

Still, please note: This driver is meant for a pre-release operating system. Use it at your own risk. Consider yourself warned.

How to install the Intel AX210 driver that unlocks 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. For those who are new to this, the steps below will walk you through.

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.

1. Download the Intel AX210 driver software

Here’s the link to download the Zip file that contains the Intel AX210 driver. (Update: On May 18, I moved the file out of this website due to a bandwidth issue.)

Follow the few simple steps and download the .zip file on your computer. (This 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 location you know. For this post, it’s the Desktop of the computer.

Extracting driver from the zip file
Intel AX210 driver: Extracting driver folder from the zip file.

(There are many ways to handle a .zip file, do however that works for your situation. Again, just make sure you know where you place this folder.)

3. Locate the current Intel AX210 hardware within Windows 10

Locating the driver in Windows Device Manager
Intel AX210 driver update: Locating the hardware Windows Device Manager.
  • Right-click on the Start button (or hit Windows + X combo on the keyboard) to open up the 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, then you don’t apply.

Now, look at the Driver Version. If it’s 22.45.1.1 or earlier numerically — that’s 22.45.1.0 or lower — then continue to step #5. Else, click on this link to 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.

Click on the Update Driver
Intel AX210 driver update: Click on the Update Driver.

b. Click on Browse my computer for drivers.

Click on Browse my Compater for Drivers
Intel AX210 driver update: 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.

Navigate to the path of the driver folder
Intel AX210 driver update: Navigate to the path of the driver folder and click on Next.
Finished
If you see this message, the new driver version is now installed and ready.

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 that reads: “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

Check the Driver Version
Note how the current official driver version is newer than the one you’d want to install.

2. Choose to pick the driver yourself

Choose Pick The Driver
Don’t Browse for the driver yet! Instead, 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.”

Select Have Disk
Ignore everything you see on this screen. Just click on the “Have Disks…” button!

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

Enter the driver location and click OK
Enter the driver location and click OK

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.

Select the driver and click on Next
Select the driver and click on Next to install it.

Select it and click on Next to install it.


And that’s it! Mission (re)accomplished. (Seriously, by now, I think I deserve a coffee or two!)

Final notes

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. All that doesn’t affect the performance, however.

8
Intel AX210 driver: The connection status windows of the 5GHz band vs. that of the 6GHz band. Note the missing information.

By the way, if your computer can see the 6GHz band but get the “can’t connect to the network” message, do the following:

  • Make sure you use 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 release newer versions of the driver that don’t support the 6GHz band — not before the companies officially unlock this band on the AX210 chip. (Eventually, an official version will support the new band, but we don’t know when yet.)

So if you update to one of these versions via Windows Update or any other way and subsequently are no longer able to use the AX210 chip’s 6GHz band, you will need to roll 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 above.

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43 thoughts on “Real Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E Driver that Enables the 6GHz Band: Download It Here!”

  1. 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.

    Oh.. no…..

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  2. 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.

    Reply
  3. Hi Dong,

    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 22.45.1.1 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • Yes, I did all the instructions carefully including extra steps (the driver 22.50.1.1 to 22.45.1.1 “un-official” version I’ve downloaded through your post), but failed. Cross-checked three times.

        Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
          • 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.

      Reply
  4. 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…

    Reply
    • 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. 🙂

      Reply
  5. You need to use the driver you download here — it’s not the version number that matters. Read the post carefully, K.

    Reply
  6. 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.

    Reply
  7. So I have the Intel AX210 for my new Lenovo Laptop, 21H1 for Windows 10, and version 22.45.1.1 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.

    Reply
          • I have 21H1 installed. I had a bad experience with a beta version of windows. I used 22.45.1.1 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

  8. Hi Dong,

    Thanks so much for the instructions. But I am having a bit of an issue, I downloaded the driver (current version is 22.45.1.1) 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.

    Reply
      • Yeah I’ve had it on those settings, still getting the error. I have an alienware 13 R3 if that makes a difference.

        Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
    • My guess is that you already did this but reset your network, uninstall your Wi-Fi card and install the provider drivers.

      Reply
  9. 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

    Reply
  10. 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!

    Reply
  11. Do not update to latest intel driver (22.50.0.7) 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 22.45.1.1 (the needed driver)

    Reply
    • 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! 🙂

      Reply

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