When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

You may have to upgrade your Windows 10 PC to Windows 12 or 11 if you want Wi-Fi 7 (6GHz)

A Windows 12 concept image

A month ago, towards the end of August, a report surfaced that suggested that Intel and/or Microsoft could be limiting upcoming Wi-Fi 7 to Windows 11 and newer. The speculation was a result of a leaked Intel document that did not mention Wi-Fi 7 supporting Windows 10, whereas Windows 11 was specified.

Interestingly, such speculation was seemingly put to rest by Intel as it listed its first Wi-Fi 7 modules (BE200 and BE202) which denote support for Windows 11 as well as Windows 10 on their spec sheet. The sheet does not mention much else though and the latest drivers from Intel also do not support these modules either which means some more compatibility-related questions will remain for the time being.

However, despite Intel officially listing Windows 10 on the supported OS list for these devices, there is a very good chance that full support for Wi-Fi 7 on Windows 10, just like with Wi-Fi 6E, may not be officially available. Right off the bat, we know that the BE200 and BE202 will not work with Wi-Fi 7's ultra-wide 320MHz channel as the highest listed frequency on it is 160MHz on the 6GHz band. This means these new modules won't potentially be able to support extremely high throughputs (EHT) of 46Gbps, assuming the Intel spec sheet is not incorrect.

The table below shows the comparison between the new Wi-Fi 7, Wi-Fi 6/6E, and Wi-Fi 5:

Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)

Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)

Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax)

Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be)



Dual-band (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

Tri-band (2.4, 5, 6 GHz)



20, 40 , 80, 80+80, 160MHz

20, 40 , 80, 80+80, 160, 320MHz








4096 (4K) QAM


DL MU-MIMO (4 x 4)

DL + UL MU-MIMO (8 x 8)





Key Innovations

40MHz mandatory

TWT, BSS coloring, Beamforming

Multi Link Operation (MLO),
Multi-RU, Puncturing

Besides the lack of 320MHz mention, it is known that Windows 10 does not support Wi-Fi 6E's 6GHz band which means it is unlikely for the OS to support Wi-Fi 7's 6GHz. An Intel support article notes:

All Intel® Wi-Fi 6E (Gig+) products support the new 6GHz band for Wi-Fi. Usage of the 6GHz band relies on Microsoft Windows* (Windows® 11) Operating System support .

Meanwhile, a Netgear knowledge base (KB) article says:

The 6 GHz wireless band was introduced with the WiFi 6E standard and is exclusive to devices that support WiFi 6E and newer standards, including WiFi 7 and successive future WiFi versions.

Microsoft Windows PCs must use the latest Windows 11 operating system release and have a 6 GHz WiFi-capable network adapter with the latest drivers installed to access the 6 GHz wireless band.

NOTE: Microsoft recently announced that they are not backporting 6 GHz support to Windows 10. Even if you have a 6 GHz-capable network adapter, if your PC uses Windows 10, you can't use 6 GHz WiFi until you upgrade to Windows 11.

The rather bizarre thing is that there seems to be a way to work around the 6GHz limitation on Windows 10. Although Intel claims that the Wi-Fi drivers must be version 22.70.0 or newer for 6GHz to work, an older driver version apparently removes this block. This unofficial workaround was discovered by XenuIsWatching on Intel forums.

Wi-Fi 7-based routers are landing next year in 2024 as confirmed recently by EE and Qualcomm which means the new technology could likely become one of the selling points for the next major Windows OS (also seemingly happening next year), which is casually referred to as "Windows 12" by the community.

Thanks for the tip, Alpha_Tay!

Edit: Incorrectly stated that the BE200 does not support 320MHz. Thanks to d5aqoëp for pointing it out.

Report a problem with article
Next Article

A third game in the Star Wars: Jedi series may have been confirmed by its lead actor

A Sharepoint logo with blue concentric circles on the right on a blue background
Previous Article

Microsoft 365 Roadmap Weekly: Outlook web dictation support, Teams branded meetings and more

Join the conversation!

Login or Sign Up to read and post a comment.

34 Comments - Add comment