Download or reinstall realtek rt18821ce 802.11ac pcie adapter driver


Imagine this scenario: You’re sitting down to enjoy your favorite online game or stream a high-definition movie, and suddenly, your Wi-Fi connection starts acting up. The frustration sets in as you experience lag, buffering, or dropped connections. What’s the solution? It could very well be as simple as updating or reinstalling your Realtek RT18821CE 802.11ac PCIe Adapter driver.

In today’s tech-driven world, a stable and efficient Wi-Fi connection is paramount. A driver is the software that allows your computer’s operating system to communicate with and control your hardware. In the case of Wi-Fi adapters like the Realtek RT18821CE, having an up-to-date driver can make all the difference.

This article will guide you through the process of downloading or reinstalling the Realtek RT18821CE 802.11ac PCIe Adapter driver. We’ll explore the potential issues that may arise during this process, common error codes you might encounter, and various methods for driver installation – both automatic and manual. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge and tools to ensure your Wi-Fi adapter operates at its best.

Possible Issues During the Process

Before delving into the steps, it’s essential to understand the potential roadblocks you might encounter when updating or reinstalling your Realtek RT18821CE driver. These issues can include:

  1. Outdated Driver: An outdated driver can cause compatibility issues with your operating system or other hardware components.
  2. Corrupted Driver: Over time, drivers can become corrupted, leading to erratic behavior or complete failure.
  3. Hardware Problems: Sometimes, the driver issues are a result of underlying hardware problems, such as a malfunctioning PCIe adapter.
  4. Software Conflicts: Conflicts with other software or drivers on your system can disrupt the installation process.
  5. Internet Connection Issues: A slow or unstable internet connection can hamper your ability to download the necessary files.

Common Error Codes

While updating or reinstalling your Realtek RT18821CE driver, you may encounter error codes that provide insight into the problem. Here are a few common ones:

  1. Error Code 10: This code usually indicates that the device cannot start, often due to incompatible or outdated drivers.

    Example: “This device cannot start. (Code 10)”

  2. Error Code 28: This error suggests that the required driver is not installed, or it’s corrupted.

    Example: “The drivers for this device are not installed. (Code 28)”

  3. Error Code 31: Code 31 signifies that the driver is missing or corrupted, preventing the device from functioning correctly.

    Example: “This device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device. (Code 31)”

Different Ways to Download or Reinstall Realtek RT18821CE Driver

Now, let’s explore the various methods for downloading or reinstalling the Realtek RT18821CE driver, along with a detailed explanation of each:

  1. Automatic Driver Update:
    • Windows Update: Windows often includes driver updates in its regular system updates. To check for Realtek driver updates, go to “Settings” > “Update & Security” > “Windows Update” > “Check for updates.”
    • Driver Update Software: You can use third-party driver update tools like Driver Booster, which automatically scans and updates your drivers.
  2. Manual Driver Update:
    • Realtek Website: Visit the Realtek website ( to search for the latest driver specific to your adapter model. Download and install it manually.
    • Device Manager: Open “Device Manager,” right-click on your Realtek RT18821CE adapter, select “Update driver,” and choose “Search automatically for updated driver software.”
  3. Reinstallation:
    • Device Manager: In “Device Manager,” right-click your Realtek adapter, select “Uninstall device,” and then reinstall it by scanning for hardware changes.
    • Driver Backup: Before uninstalling the driver, consider backing it up using third-party software like DriverBackup!. You can then restore it if needed.


A smooth and reliable Wi-Fi connection is crucial in today’s interconnected world. By ensuring your Realtek RT18821CE 802.11ac PCIe Adapter driver is up-to-date or properly reinstalled, you can eliminate frustrating connectivity issues and enjoy seamless online experiences.

Remember, the process may involve troubleshooting common issues, deciphering error codes, and selecting the appropriate method for driver installation. Whether you opt for automatic updates or prefer a manual approach, this guide equips you with the knowledge to tackle driver-related problems head-on.


  1. What if I encounter Error Code 43?

    Error Code 43 indicates that a device has reported problems and cannot function properly. Try reinstalling the driver or updating it through Device Manager.

  2. Should I use a driver update tool, or is manual installation better?

    It depends on your comfort level and preference. Manual installation allows more control, while driver update tools can simplify the process for less tech-savvy users.

  3. How often should I update my Realtek driver?

    Check for updates periodically, especially if you encounter connectivity issues. However, avoid constant updates unless necessary, as stability can also be affected.

  4. Can I roll back to a previous driver version?

    Yes, you can use the “Roll Back Driver” option in Device Manager if the updated driver causes issues. This restores the previous driver version.

  5. What if my Realtek adapter still doesn’t work after updating or reinstalling the driver?

    If problems persist, consider hardware issues, such as a faulty adapter or PCIe slot, and consult a professional if necessary.

Sakshi Anant Author