Want Wi-Fi 7 on Windows 10? Forget it, Microsoft has confirmed it’s for Copilot+ PCs only

Microsoft has confirmed that the superfast wireless speeds that have arrived courtesy of Wi-Fi 7 – for devices and routers with support – will only be coming to the very latest version of Windows 11.

That’d be Windows 11 24H2, of course, and as you might know, this version is only currently available for Copilot+ PCs, but the big update for 2024 will roll out to all Windows 11 users later this year (maybe in September).

For now, though, the new Wi-Fi support is for Copilot+ PCs only, as Windows Latest spotted a Microsoft support document that confirmed this.

In the document on the latest wireless technology in Windows, Microsoft states: “Wi-Fi 7 is available starting with Windows 11, version 24H2.”

Now, that doesn’t mean that Wi-Fi 7 will always be limited to that specific incarnation of Windows 11 – 24H2 (or later) – just that Microsoft is kicking off availability with this version. It might be the case that it’s added to earlier versions of Windows 11 (well, 23H2) before too long.

However, it looks like Windows 10 users are out of luck though, as there’s no mention of the OS – as was the case with Wi-Fi 6E, the advancement on Wi-Fi 6 that previously came through.


Analysis: Wi-Fi 6E misstep unlikely to happen again

So, it seems like Wi-Fi 7 won’t debut for Windows 10, but that isn’t really a massive surprise. Firstly, Windows 10 runs out of support in not that much more than a year now, so it’s going to be limited in terms of new features being introduced anyway (though there will be some new additions into the mix, we know that much – enough to prompt Microsoft to resurrect the Beta testing channel for the OS).

And secondly, Windows 10 didn’t get Wi-Fi 6E as noted above, so it seems unlikely that it’d receive Wi-Fi 7 support. We can’t completely rule it out, of course – as it’s not explicitly stated that Windows 10 won’t – but that seems to be the heavy hint Microsoft is dropping by only mentioning Windows 11 versions.

Now, there is a slight twist here, in that Windows 10 did receive Wi-Fi 6E in what seemed to be a mistake with a single Intel driver that erroneously added support (somehow) – but that driver is reportedly buggy and not to be used (if you can find it at all). So, you could hope this might happen with Wi-Fi 7, but we’re betting it won’t – and Intel has learned from this mistake.

In short, don’t expect speedy Wi-Fi 7 for Windows 10, and of course remember that even on Windows 11, you need a router and PC that supports the new wireless standard to benefit from Wi-Fi 7.

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Google is working on a faster Android setup process that uses Wi-Fi and a cable

Setting up your Android phone might become much faster in the near future. Industry insider Assemble Debug recently dove into the code of Google’s Data Restore Tool and shared his findings with Android Authority. He found evidence within the files of a potential tool referred to as “MultiTransportD2dTransport” as well as a line of text that reads “Copying using cable and Wi-Fi for fastest speed”. 

Putting two and two together, it appears Google could one day allow users to move data from an old phone to a new one using a Wi-Fi and cable connection simultaneously. Doing so would make the transfer process much faster – at least in theory. We don’t know exactly how much faster data transfers will become when using a wired and wireless connection simultaneously. Assemble Debug couldn’t find a whole lot of information in the files. 

He did, however, discover another line of text stating: “Want to speed things up?” This seems to hint that the faster speeds will be optional. If someone prefers to use the slower method of just connecting a cable between the devices, they will still have the choice.

New restoration tool

Another feature called Restore Anytime was also unearthed from the Data Restore Tool files, but the information surrounding it is rather confusing. 

Looking at the screenshot in the article, users can easily send over photos, contacts, text messages, and more from an old Android smartphone to a newer device. You don’t have to worry about losing any data or perform a factory reset on the older hardware. Nothing will be overwritten. And it even works when transferring from iPhone to Android, so long as the former still has its charging cable.

Here is where the confusion lies. Android Authority claims the donor phone can only send data without incident if it’s already been used to transfer files to your current device. If you try to send files to brand new hardware, you will have to first erase all the data on the recipient phone before moving forward. However, the article contradicts this by stating you can transfer data to new devices “at any point.” 

It’s a strange feature. Perhaps Google has yet to create a clear set of parameters for Restore Anytime. That would explain why the restrictions are so confusing. Or maybe the tech giant is simply experimenting with tech it has no intention of releasing. It’s hard to say for sure, but hopefully, Restore Anytime will launch in some form. Being able to move swaths of data to recently purchased smartphones without hindrances or resetting sounds very helpful.

While we have you, check out TechRadar's list of the best Android phones for 2024.

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You might be waiting a while yet for Wi-Fi 7 support in Windows 11 – but Microsoft is on the case

Windows 11 is now adding support for Wi-Fi 7, those who want to use the much-improved wireless standard will doubtless be pleased to learn – but it’s only in testing currently.

That’s despite the fact that there are already Wi-Fi 7 routers out there, and the standard has been officially finalized by the Wi-Fi Alliance (the Wi-Fi Certified 7 program was announced at the start of January 2024, in fact).

As you might guess, it’ll be some time before official Wi-Fi 7 support comes through to the release version of Windows 11, as it’ll need to progress through testing channels first.

Right now, it’s only in the Canary (earliest) test channel with build 26063, a preview release that flew under our radar somewhat, but an important one in this respect. However, it’s also been added for Dev channel testers, Microsoft informed us in the usual blog post on build 26063 (as flagged up by XDA Developers).

WiFi 7 in Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

As the software giant also pointed out, Wi-Fi 7 (aka 802.11be) is in the order of 4x faster than Wi-Fi 6 and more like 6x quicker than Wi-Fi 5.

If you want to know more about how this new wireless standard takes some big strides forward – and it isn’t just about raw speed, though that is, of course, very important – check out our guide to the ins-and-outs of Wi-Fi 7.


Analysis: Wireless party

In fairness to Microsoft, while it appears to be pretty late to the wireless party, and Wi-Fi 7 may have officially kicked off (at least in some countries, the US, Australia, and UK included), it's still early days for the standard.

The standard may be effectively set in stone now, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be tweaks going forward. There will inevitably be firmware updates for existing Wi-Fi 7 routers to fix or modify things going forward as needed, although all the big cogs in terms of features are now in place.

Windows 11 is one of the final pieces of the puzzle to be added for Wi-Fi 7 support, then, for laptops which sport Wi-Fi 7. And of course as mentioned, you’ll need a Wi-Fi 7 router to benefit from faster wireless speeds. (Those devices are expensive right now, too, it should be noted – though that’s generally true of any cutting-edge tech).

With Wi-Fi 7 we’re getting performance which makes wireless online gaming a reality in terms of it being close to wired (Ethernet) performance, and certainly much better than other fudges for PCs that aren’t plugged directly into the router (such as powerline adapters, which can be notoriously flaky in some scenarios).

What about Windows 10 support for Wi-Fi 7? We’re still not sure on that score, although the last we heard was that it is inbound – but there’s no sign of that yet.

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A new, much more convenient way to join Wi-Fi networks may be coming to Windows 11 and I can’t wait

Microsoft could be releasing a new feature for Windows 11 that would make connecting to Wi-Fi networks so much quicker and easier. Users may soon be able to join new networks by scanning a QR code with the camera app, eliminating the need to muck about searching for (or remembering) complicated passwords and keeping track of which password belongs to each network. 

According to MSPoweruser the feature is part of the latest Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26052. The Windows Insider program is a community that allows Windows enthusiasts and developers to get early access to potential new features and give feedback before they make these features available to regular Windows 11 users. 

The build was made available to the Dev Channels in Preview Build in early February, which demonstrated how users can point their phone camera at a QR code displayed on a laptop or PC already connected to the Wi-Fi, and a pop-up will appear on their phones that will let them connect to the Wi-Fi network without having to enter in any passwords.

This also works with the Camera app in Windows 11, allowing you to connect new Windows 11 devices to the wireless network (either via a QR code displayed on a connected device, or be scanning the QR code that is sometimes included with new routers and printed in their manuals). Of course, those devices will need a camera, which won't be too hard for Windows 11 tablets and laptops, though maybe a bit cumbersome. Desktop PCs will be harder, but you can add a camera to your computer – check out our best webcams guide for our top picks.

Sharing is caring

The feature should also work for mobile hotspots, so you’ll be able to share your connection a lot quicker when you’re working on the go with other team members, or collaborating on group projects for school outside of the classroom. One of my least favorite parts of setting up a new device or working outside is fiddling with the Wi-Fi, so I’m pretty hyped about this feature.

We do have to keep in mind that often some of the features that are put in the Dev Channels don’t actually make it to the public. 

That being said, we do hope the feature does come to regular Windows 11 soon, because it’s an incredibly convenient way to make Wi-Fi sharing much easier and make sure other people can connect to your network without actually having to be given the password, which means this method is more convenient as well. And, if you want to give your wireless network an upgrade, check out our picks for the best Wi-Fi routers.

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These new Intel drivers for Windows 11 fix a major Wi-Fi problem – so download them now

New drivers for Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices have just been released by Intel aimed at resolving several network issues, like the dreaded blue screen of death popping up under heavy workloads or the ‘No Wi-Fi networks found’ pop-up when connecting to Miracast devices. 

According to Neowin, the drivers will also address other bugs creeping up on some user's devices including a Windows System Event ID 5002 and 5010. 

The former code usually appears when the DFS Replication (a role in Windows Server that lets you replicate folders across folders and sites) is unable to establish communication with the desired partner. Windows System Event 5010 refers to an event that is caused when a process serving an application stops responding to a ping. 

Better safe than sorry

The above bugs seem to be triggered after users' PCs are resuming from standby or restart mode, which is… pretty often. You can download the Intel Wi-Fi driver 23.20.0 from the official site and bat the blue screen of death away. Not only are these kinds of bugs relatively annoying to have to deal with – especially if you’re constantly getting blue-screened for no real reason – but they also leave your devices vulnerable to viruses. 

Even if you haven’t noticed these bugs on your device just yet, we still recommend downloading the drivers anyway just to stay on the safe side. 

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HP leaks Windows 11 2024 update with new Wi-Fi 7 and Copilot 2.0 capabilities… but where’s Windows 12?

If Windows 12 (or whatever Microsoft ends up naming it) exists, hardware manufacturer HP is keeping its lips sealed, but it has given us a peek at the next version of Windows 11 it seems.

We thought that we might have seen the last major update to Windows 11 last year, version 23H2, but it looks like that’s not the case. HP has published new documentation that makes references to “Windows 11 2024 Update” and “24H2”, which has Windows enthusiasts buzzing.

HP released spec sheets for its newest Spectre laptops and 2-in-1 PCs, and makes several mentions of the Windows 11 2024 Update, suggesting that it exists and it's coming soon. 

According to Windows Latest, these references suggest the update will bring support for the next iteration of Microsoft’s new artificial intelligence tool, Windows Copilot 2.0, along with cutting-edge Wi-Fi 7 connectivity. Windows Copilot is being branded as the all-purpose digital assistant that will change how we engage with our devices, so it’ll be interesting to see what new features arrive with this update. 

Screenshot of Windows Copilot in use

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Looking at the specifics in the specs

You can have a look at HP’s new specification documents for yourself, but here are some major takeaways: 

According to the documentation, “Windows 11 2024 Update” will be required to be able to use the Spectre devices’ Wi-Fi 7 (802.11BE) functionality, alongside their new Intel Core or Intel Core Ultra processors. Of course, a new Wi-Fi 7-compatible router will also be required. Windows Latest also points out that Wi-Fi 7 will be backwards compatible with devices that have older 802.11 specifications.

While HP has mentioned the Windows 11 2024 update in other documents, Microsoft itself has not officially announced it, so while these references by HP seem legitimate (and likely included by accident), we don’t fully know all of the new features that Microsoft is planning.

However, the updates mentioned by HP certainly hint at a major Windows 11 update, and the upgrade to Wi-Fi 7 is particularly exciting. These are pretty sizable updates and the advancement of the HP devices’ Wi-Fi specs is notable, but we don’t know for sure if we’ll see Windows 12 in the first half of the year or the second. What we do know is Microsoft is making some pretty big steps, especially in the development of Windows Copilot, and I expect this will be the case for most of this year, at least up till the release of Windows 12 and devices with these new specifications.

The absence of any mention of Windows 12 could be a sign that HP is being more careful with keeping secrets about a new operating system than about Windows 11 updates – but it could also hint that Windows 12 may be further off than many of us hoped.

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Microsoft swiftly fixes a Wi-Fi bug that caused havoc for some Windows 11 users

Microsoft has fixed a Windows 11 bug that was causing havoc for students across the globe.

The software giant confirmed that the problem – which meant that university Wi-Fi networks (and those at other educational establishments) failed to work for some students – was caused by patches KB5032288 and KB5033375.

The latter is the cumulative update for December in Windows 11, and the former is the preview version of that upgrade (unsurprisingly, as they are essentially the same thing).

The good news is that the solution came alongside the confirmation of the bug.

Microsoft got in touch with us directly to point out the fix, with the company also announcing on its release health status dashboard: “This issue is resolved using Known Issue Rollback (KIR). Please note that it might take up to 24 hours for the resolution to propagate automatically to consumer devices and non-managed business devices. Restarting your Windows device might help the resolution apply to your device faster.”


Analysis: A swiftly delivered save

It’s great to see Microsoft move quickly with the fix here, as this was a pretty nasty issue for those students affected. It seems that it was mainly universities, businesses, and public Wi-Fi networks where this gremlin struck, with Microsoft telling us that it’s “not likely to occur on home networks” (though that doesn’t rule out the possibility completely).

At any rate, you don’t have to do anything to cure these Wi-Fi blues. The Known Issue Rollback means that Microsoft is rolling back the problematic part of the update, while leaving the rest of it in place (to redeploy that faulty bit at a later date, when it’s fixed up and no longer causing Wi-Fi woes).

The catch is that the issue rollback takes a bit of time to filter through to everyone, up to 24 hours as noted. However, that announcement was made late in the day yesterday, and all affected users should have the fix in around the next five hours or so, all being well. If you’re getting impatient, as Microsoft advises, you can try a reboot to surface the fix.

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Students take note: Windows 11 update reportedly has a bug that’s taking down Wi-Fi at universities

Windows 11 just received a new cumulative update, but apparently Microsoft’s round of patching for December introduces a big problem for some students.

Windows Latest highlights reports from a number of students who are readers of the tech site – and universities themselves – about patch KB5033375 breaking Wi-Fi networks on campus.

Apparently, this isn’t happening to everyone by any means, but it is a serious glitch for some of those running Windows 11 who aren’t getting internet on their own laptop. As Brunel University London (UK), one of the affected unis, informs us, this isn’t happening with official university hardware, but BYOD notebooks (possibly because admins have already side-stepped the issue, perhaps?).

One theory from a system admin at a university, as Windows Latest points out, is that there may be a compatibility issue at play here (involving the Qualcomm QCA61x4a wireless adapter, and maybe others).

Another establishment to warn its students about the December update is the University of New Haven (Connecticut, US), which advises: “A recent Windows update released on 12/12/2023 has caused users to not be able to connect to the wireless networks. This update is known as KB5033375.”

Other reports are present on Reddit, with students in European countries being affected, and the issue seemingly pertaining to other Qualcomm wireless adapters.


Analysis: Update removal seems to be the only way forward, for now

In fairness to the December update, it does contain some useful fixes, including the solution to a longstanding problem with File Explorer randomly popping up on the desktop.

However, if you’re at university, any potential plus points here are likely to be outweighed by the danger of not being able to get on Wi-Fi, which is a nasty problem indeed.

A commonality here seems to be Qualcomm components, and the above mentioned Qualcomm QCA61x4a wireless adapter is a commonly used piece of hardware seen in notebooks such as the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, Lenovo Yoga models, and many other laptops besides.

This problem also affects some business users, but for students, the only realistic way of resolving the bug is to uninstall the update, as the universities in question are recommending. (To do this, go to Windows Update in Settings, and click to view the Update History – that shows all the updates installed, and you can remove KB5033375 from here).

Hopefully Microsoft is looking into this one, and we’ve contacted the software giant to check if there’s an investigation underway. We’ll update this article if we hear anything back as to what’s going on here.

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Windows 11 gets a nifty change to make logging onto Wi-Fi easier

Windows 11 has a new preview version that makes a few marked improvements on the wireless front, including a feature that makes it dead easy for visitors to log on to your Wi-Fi network at home.

Preview build 25977 is out in the Canary channel (the earliest test version of Windows 11) and comes with the ability to let someone join your Wi-Fi just by scanning a QR code.

How it works is you head to Wi-Fi properties, and when looking at the Wi-Fi password, a QR code is now displayed. All guests need to do to log on to the Wi-Fi network is scan that QR code with their device’s camera, and it’s done.

So, there’s no need to manually enter the password for your Wi-Fi router or to have to dive into Settings and the Network and Sharing Center and fiddle around in those submenus either. It’s a much more convenient method, in short.

Another Wi-Fi-related change is happening in this preview build, this time pertaining to privacy.

Microsoft has introduced functionality to let you manage the apps that have access to the list of Wi-Fi networks in your local area (as those networks could be used to pinpoint where you are in the real world). If you don’t want an application to have that power, you can simply block it (this ability lives under Settings > Privacy & security > Location).

There’s more on the wireless front, but this time with Bluetooth, as this Windows 11 preview has ushered in support for using Bluetooth Low Energy Audio hearing aids.

If you own such a device, you can now directly pair it with your PC in order to stream audio, take calls, and so on, which is very cool. You’ll need to own a Windows 11 device that supports Bluetooth Low Energy Audio, though.

For the full list of changes and small tweaks here and there, there’s the usual lengthy blog post provided by Microsoft.


Analysis: A new spin on the globe, too

Some of those extra tweaks include a small but pretty useful one which is also worth noting. You know the internet connection icon in the system tray, on the far right-hand side of the taskbar?

Currently, if there’s no connection, it’s a disconnected globe icon, but the slight change is that if the PC is in the process of connecting – but isn’t yet connected – you’ll see an animation to indicate this. In other words, the globe will only appear if you’re definitely offline and no connection is present, or in the process of coming into being.

There’s some useful work on the network side of things here, then, particularly the addition of quick logins for Wi-Fi with that QR code (something that has been available on Android for some time now, as you may be aware).

While we’re picking up on smaller details, it’s worth mentioning that for testers actually intending to grab this Canary build, there’s a big issue on the gaming front. Microsoft observes that “some popular games may not work correctly” with build 25977 (and indeed possibly recent builds just before it).

We aren’t told which of the best PC games these might be, but it’s certainly something to be aware of if you indulge in a spot of gaming on your rig.

Via Windows Latest

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Panic over: Windows 10 users won’t be left out in the cold with Wi-Fi 7 after all

We’ve been hearing a lot about Wi-Fi 7, the next-gen wireless standard, of late, and one of the bits of chatter was worrying – namely that Windows 10 users may not get the benefit of these faster wireless speeds. Fortunately, we can now put paid to any notion that Windows 10 users will be left out in the cold.

This episode started a month ago when a leaked Intel document appeared on X (formerly Twitter), courtesy of one of the regular hardware leakers on that platform, and it omitted any mention of Windows 10 support for Wi-Fi 7. It listed support for Windows 11, Linux, and ChromeOS, but that was it.

Now, as we commented at the time, that didn’t necessarily mean that Windows 10 won’t support Wi-Fi 7, but it was certainly taken as a hint that the older OS may not, somehow.

The good news is that this isn’t the case, and we’ve now had confirmation – albeit an indirect confirmation – from Intel that Windows 10 PCs will be just fine to benefit from Wi-Fi 7.

Neowin reports that Intel has now listed a pair of Wi-Fi 7 modules on its official Ark product database – the Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 and Wi-Fi 7 BE202 – both of which are marked down as having Windows 11 and Windows 10 support (along with Linux, though ChromeOS is omitted with these product listings, oddly – again, we wouldn’t read too much into that either).


Analysis: Minor panic over, thankfully

So, if there was any panic for Windows 10 users – and there was a bit, for sure – they can now rest easy that when Wi-Fi 7 comes fully into play, they will be able to enjoy those much, much faster wireless speeds (compared to Wi-Fi 6, it’s in the order of a fivefold speed increase).

When will Wi-Fi 7 actually be usable? Well, it’s still relatively early days yet for the standard, and those first Intel modules won’t be in hardware for some time (and you’ll need not just client devices which support Wi-Fi 7, but of course one of the best wireless routers that does, as well). We’re looking at next year for the new wireless standard to be fully formed and certified, with supporting hardware to rollout following that in 2024.

There’s plenty to look forward to then, no matter what version of Windows you’re running.

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