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Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E Windows 10 Driver Installation Guide: Unlock the 6GHz Band!

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 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 how to upgrade 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 that shenanigans. This method is legit and safe.

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? You can 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.

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 is another story entirely.

What are you talking about exactly?

While we can buy and install the Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E adapter 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.

Consequently, the adapter will work just like any Wi-Fi 6 module. You only get the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands out of it. As it seems, Microsoft has decided to make the support for Wi-Fi 6E (the 6GHz band) an incentive for folks to upgrade to Windows 11.

That said, the best way to get this band 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. And then, you won’t need the driver software I mentioned here.

But if you love Windows 10, that’s when this post comes into play. I extracted the 6GHz-ready driver of the Intel AX210 chip from a briefly-available test version of Windows 10 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 — make sure you update your machine to the latest version first.

That said, this post applies only to those who have:

  • Windows 10 version 20H2 or later (but not Windows 11 — you should use the official driver instead.)
  • Intel AX210-based Wi-Fi 6E adatper — not Intel AX200 or AX20
  • A Wi-Fi 6E broadcaster

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 it if you already have your card running the latest driver.

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 “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.

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, 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

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, this post doesn’t apply to you.

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: “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.

And that’s it! Mission (re)accomplished.

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 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 release newer driver versions that still don’t support the 6GHz band on Windows 10. Again, in my experience, you won’t get this band of this chip unless you use Windows 11.

If you update to one of these versions via Windows Update, you might 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.

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72 thoughts on “Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E Windows 10 Driver Installation Guide: Unlock the 6GHz Band!”

  1. Hi Dong,

    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

    Reply
  2. Hi Dong,

    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,
    Dennis

    Reply
  3. 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.

    Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
  4. 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?

    Reply
    • That’s on the broadcasting side, Petr and it varies from one region to another. You need to check with local regulations.

      Reply
  5. 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?

    Reply
        • Hi that’s what I did before finding your post πŸ˜‚ 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

          Reply
          • 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.

          • 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…

          Reply
  6. Mr. Ngo,
    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.
    Best regards,
    Nick

    Reply
  7. 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.

    Reply
    • Tony,

      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. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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. πŸ™‚

      Reply
    • There is a new version of this driver that intel released early August 2021. Driver version 22.60.0.6

      you probably still need this previous driver and then the Intel driver support assistant download on Win10 should pick up the new driver

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
      • 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.

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

    Reply
  13. 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
  14. 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.

  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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! πŸ™‚

      Reply

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