Windows 7 Drivers for Apple’s USB Ethernet Adapter

Listen up, all you Boot Camp’in Mac users … Can’t find Windows drivers for the Apple USB Ethernet adapter? Want to use use the adapter on another Windows machine? Are you crazy?  Well, it turns out it CAN be done, with a little bit of trickery.

There is a lot to be said for Apple’s simplicity of design.  Even their adapters and cables look as if they were pain stakingly and lovingly hand crafted by an eccentric, gay, Swedish man. Everything just looks better.

Recently, after the onboard NIC died in my Acer Aspire L3600 (which runs Windows 7 x64, and I use as a dedicated Windows Media Centre).  After flashing the BIOS and jumping through several hoops with no avail, I needed to go looking for another way to get a wired >=100Mbit/s network interface into the machine.  Since its ultra-compact form factor makes an internal PCI option impossible, I needed to go looking for an external (USB) option.  It didn’t take long to realise that my options were going to be extremely limited and after checking out my nearby computer retailers, I had only two options.  A reasonably generic SWANN adapter, or Apple’s USB Ethernet Adapter – both were in stock at my local Dick Smith Powerhouse.  The problem with the SWANN adapter, is that its a single solid block, and since my Media Centre lives very close to the wall, it wasn’t desirable, while The Apple adapter can be flexed to a right angle.

Problem is, the Apple adapter says (on the back) that it can ONLY be used with an Apple MacBook.  But the adapter’s drivers ARE included as part of BootCamp, which means it can function when running Windows on a MacBook. So with a little trickery, you can get it working on any old Windows 7 or Vista PC (32 or 64bit editions).

  1. First, you need to download the driver for the adapter, either the 32bit or 64bit version.
  2. Next, extract the zip file and locate the file Ax88722.inf.  It needs to be altered in order to get the device drivers to be installed.  In order to simplify the process, I’ve simply got the tweaked version here, for you to download. Just replace the original Ax88722.inf file with this one inside this zip file.
  3. Next, attach your USB ethernet if you have not done so. Launch device manager (right-click on “computer” and select “Manage”). Locate the lonely unknown device “Apple USB Ethernet” and right-click it to select “Update Driver Software”.
  4. Select “Browse my computer for driver software” and in the file browser dialog select the folder of your recently modified .INI file and continue the wizard. This should bring your Apple USB ethernet to life!

Apparently there are drivers for 32bit versions of Windows XP, put together by the BootCamp community, if you’re an XP user and feeling lucky you can try your luck with this link (but like the rest of this post, use it at your own risk).

64 thoughts on “Windows 7 Drivers for Apple’s USB Ethernet Adapter”

  1. Hey, now that the adapter works for my windows computer it doesn’t work for my mac. do you know the reason for that and a way to fix it?


    1. It worked for me – but I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. I’m also sorry that I cant think as to a possible cause.

  2. Ash, sorry it didn’t work also for me, I got Windows 7. Just cannot find the file in the designated folder. Maybe your Ax88722.inf file is for 32 bit whereas Windows 7 is 64?

    1. hehe, I’m glad it worked for you. I can only speak for myself obviously, but I’ve worked with many USB-Ethernet Adapters before and once you sort this bit out, it really is as good as USB-Ethernet Adapters get! Good luck and thanks for dropping a line and letting me know how your experience went.

  3. Your guide needs a little tweaking to work with Windows 7 32 bit.

    Open the inf file that was provided. We need to remove the 64 bit references.

    %ASIX% = USB, NTamd64
    %ASIX% = USB

    %AX88772.DeviceDesc% = AX88772.Ndi,USB\VID_0B95&PID_7720
    %AX88772A.DeviceDesc% = AX88772A.Ndi,USB\VID_0B95&PID_772A
    %MSI.DeviceDesc% = AX88772A.Ndi,USB\VID_0DB0&PID_A877

    %AX88772.DeviceDesc% = AX88772.Ndi,USB\VID_0B95&PID_7720
    %AX88772A.DeviceDesc% = AX88772A.Ndi,USB\VID_0B95&PID_772A
    %MSI.DeviceDesc% = AX88772A.Ndi,USB\VID_0DB0&PID_A877

    1. Hey I got the same Dell as yours. I followed the instruction above and the driver was fixed, but my laptop still doesn’t find any connection when I plug the cable in. Is any software needed? Thanks!

  4. thanks worked great on windows 7 64bit. and i read a comment here someone saying it stops working on Mac, nope works fine on both. thanks again

  5. Thanks a lot. It worked on Windows 8 Pro 64 bit, but need to Disable driver signature enforcement.
    Charm > Settings > Change PC settings > General > Advanced Start Up > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings

  6. After finished step 4, my one prompted out “Windows cannot verify the digital signature for the drivers required for this device. A recent hardware or software change might have installed a file that is signed incorrectly or damaged, or that might be malicious software from an unknown source. (Code 52)” How to resolve?

  7. I need to be able to do this on windows 8; can you tell me what you did to modify the inf so I can see if this can be done on windows 8, with a newer file?

    1. No idea. If the adapter has an ethernet cable plugged into it, and the drivers are installed properly its just like any other network adapter in the computer. If its not working properly, and you’re sure that its installed and configured properly, then it might be your DHCP or other network settings stopping it from working as intended.

  8. Thank you Ash for the drivers and the tweak. and thank you togino for the fix on using the drivers for a windows8 machine. I bought a acer aspire s3 ultrabook and was stuggling to get Ethernet with the apple adapter. it works now. acer support is as good as non existent. thanks guys .

  9. Download bootcamp 4.1.4586 and use 7zip to extract the exe in Bootcamp\4.1.4586\Download\WindowsSupport\Drivers\Asix. Job done

  10. Holy crap. This may have been the funniest thing I read all day. But it’s only 10:12 local time, so it might get better. But this seems unlikely. I think it’s tying for something that I heard last Friday.

    “There is a lot to be said for Apple’s simplicity of design. Even their adapters and cables look as if they were pain stakingly and lovingly hand crafted by an eccentric, gay, Swedish man. Everything just looks better.”

  11. Tried this on Lenovo Lynx Windows 8 tablet. 32bit version works great. I had to click the have disk and manually select the modified file and tell the system to ignore the untested driver but it works very well.


    1. Okay so I tried this on my Acer Aspire v5 122p-0643. Going into it I feared that it would probably not work with the new windows 8 operating system. However I felt it was worth a shot as I am desperate for internet at college. Would you have any suggestions as to how I might get this to work with windows 8?

  12. Thanks for providing the Apple USB Ethernet dongle drivers for W7. They don’t run on my Surface Pro, which badly needs an Ethernet port. Any ideas of how the .inf file might be tweaked? When I go to install, it says the hash is incorrect.

  13. Just tried to get 64-bit to work on Windows 8.1 but Windows refuses, complaining that “The hash for the file is not present in the specified catalog file. The file is likely corrupt or the victim of tampering”. Any ideas?

  14. Great information.
    If you can’t install the driver at first, try this:
    Select the device in the Device Manager
    Right click, Update Driver
    Browse for driver on your computer
    **** Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer****
    Select the driver (64 bit or 32 bit) ASIX AX88772 USB2.0 to Fast Ethernet Adapter.


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