Windows 10: Infrared IrDA-Stack is removed

Some users are still using infrared receivers (for Media Center remote control or syncing with sports- and scuba watches). After upgrading to Windows 10, infrared devices won't work anymore – even USB IrDA devices.


IrDA is dead …

None of my PCs is supporting an onboard IrDA receiver – some of my devices are using a USB remote dongle for Windows Media Center remote control. Because I haven't plans to upgrade these machines to Windows 10 I did not investigate the IrDA topic. Recently I stumbled about some German Microsoft Answers postings, where users shouting about non functional infrared devices in Windows 10.

Some user wrote: After Upgrading to Windows 10, a SigmaTel USB-IrDA Dongle refuse to work. An attempt to install older IrDA drivers failed, because Windows 10 blocks this install. Or the drivers drops (Code 31) in device manager. My first idea was, that the user need vendor specific drivers for his IrDA device. But it seems more complicated.

Side note: Changed requirements in driver signing may be the reason, why Microsoft has dumped IrDA (see).

IrDA-Stack removed in Windows 10

Just by accident I found an explanation. A lot owners of Polar pulse trackers or other gadgets are using the IrDA interface for syncing. Then I stumbled upon a German MS Answers forum post from August 10 2015, where a missing IrDA functionality is confirmed. Also some German computer news sites mentioned that issue. Here is an explanation:

In the past, many vendors are using the IrDA stack, implemented in Windows. So USB infrared receivers don't need their own drivers or IrDA stack. It simply works. Now Microsoft has removed the IrDA stack in Windows 10 RTM, so all USB infrared receivers/devices are bricked. Only, if a vender already has implemented its own IrDA stack and provides Windows 10 compatible software, the infrared receiver/devices may work.

Unfortunately that seem not bee the case. And more curious: It seems that Windows 10 Preview Builds still has a working IrDA stack. User CoolGear Caleb, who is working for Coolgear, has detailed the situation within a Microsoft Answers forum post.



I work for a company (Coolgear) that sells some of these IR adapters, and even some Polar compatible models.

We were taken completely by surprise by all of this. We had tested all of our IR adapters, even the older (and much better SigmaTel models), and they worked just fine with the Windows 10 pre-release editions and thought nothing further of it.

On launch day, none of them worked anymore. Come to find out, some time between the pre-release edition we tested with, and the final release, Microsoft removed *all* IRDA support from Windows. The entire IRDA stack is gone (imagine a computer coming without TCP/IP support!).

We've been in touch with MosChip/ASIX (the chip used in all of these adapters) and they have assured us that they will be working to provide us (and all of you!) with and updated driver & software, but can provide no ETA. Obviously they have to do a lot more work than simply fixing a few bugs an resubmitting for WHQL certification, so it may take quite a while.

Stay tuned to our website, we'll have the the driver posted there as soon as it becomes available, and in theory it *should* work with any MCS7780 based IRDA adapters, as we do not make firmware or EPROM changes to our units.

For those with the older (and frankly superior) SigmaTel units, I'm afraid that company has been out of business for a long time, so a driver update for Windows 10 is unlikely :(

So users of devices using the MCS7780 chip from manufacturer ASIX/MosChip may hope for Windows 10 IrDA drivers. This may be the case for scuba watches – scubapro is working to provide a driver for Windows 10 (see). I guess, they are using the MCS7780 chip. Users of devices with SigmaTel hardware are out of luck. Vendor Polar has confirmed, that they won't provide new drivers – Windows 7 is the last supported version, because SigmaTel is out of business.

So the solution or the fix is clear: Go back to Windows 7 (or previous Windows). My hope, that Microsoft will add IrDA support to future Windows 10 Build is below Zero.

Other articles:
Win10 Wiki
Windows 10: Upgrade error 0xC1900101-0×20017/0x30017
Windows 10: Upgrade error 0xC1900101-0x2000A
Windows 10: Upgrade error 0x80200013
Windows 10: Upgrade error 0x8007002C-0x4000D
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Is EaseUS Partition Master 10.5 a Windows10 upgrade killer?
Windows 10: Upgrade error 80240020
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Windows 10 upgrade: On-Screen-Keyboard/Touchscreen fix
Trick: How to upgrade to Windows 10 using a clean install

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20 Responses to Windows 10: Infrared IrDA-Stack is removed

  1. heavydawson says:

    Since installing the November update last night, it appears the InfraRed stack has been restored to Windows 10. Device manager is now showing my infrared devices as expected.

    • Frank Howell says:

      Device manager is showing my scubapro infrared usb dongle, but it still isn't working.

    • Stef says:

      Hi heavydawson,

      My machine has just updated to the November update.
      What device are you using and where did you get a driver?
      I am trying to get a Kingsun KS-959 adapter working with no luck.

      So you have a driver that I can try?

      • HAL says:

        Same thing with the Kingsun KS-959 IrDA adapter. It is enlisted in the Device Manager, but it doesn´t work, and its properties clearly state a drivers issue.

  2. Rob says:

    I have just installed the latest version of windows 10, and the irda dongle is working again with my Galileo Sol dive computer. Note that I signed up for the insider preview (fast) program that pushes new versions of windows to daring users.
    This is free, but gives some risks because you receive new windows versions first.

    • Yoni says:

      Any idea when the latest version of Windows 10 will come out for the rest of us?

      • guenni says:

        You mean Windows 10 Version 1511? It has been released to the public since November – and it should have arrived at all. If not, something blocks this update. Try Media Creation Tool to download an install image and launch setup.exe from Windows 10 Build 10240, to force an upgrade to Build 10586 (Version 1511).

  3. ack.uwp says:

    Can anybody else confirm that Version 1511 has restored the IrDA stack and that it's functioning properly with IrDA dongles from other manufacturers as well? I have postponed installing Windows 10 until this issue is resolved, since I use the IrDA connection all the time to upload data from my Galileo Sol dive computer over a SigmaTel USB dongle.


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  5. Frank says:

    I signed up for the fast ring and when the build was installed my dongle worked again. However, the fast ring build was very unstable and crashed about every 5 minutes. So I restored a backup.
    I'll try again later, the a new build or when it gets distributed to the slow ring.

  6. Caleb says:

    Hi, Caleb from Coolgear here.

    We've gotten a driver update that we're testing out. It's currently only compatible with RedStone builds 11082 or greater. I've updated the Microsoft Forum thread you linked to, and will have a more general release on our website and newsletter when we're done testing it.

  7. David P says:

    It's back!! I check my Windows 10 (64bit) last night, and noticed that the Infrared icon had returned to the control. I was able to communicate with my Uwatec Dive Computer perfectly fine. I didnt have to tweak any settings at all. Very happy!

  8. From MS, "An IrDA networking device does not work in Windows 10 version 1511"

    I have been watching a support forum for some time.
    it is pushing 20 pages as of now, This seems to be the fix we had been waiting for. (link included because there is instructions, and additional problems that have pop'ed up.
    since I am not the author. Note the Coolgear quote from earlier in this article, was taken from this website.

  9. Happy400 says:

    After the June 15 2016 Window 10 update: Polar Pro Trainer 5, Polar RS400 — following these instructions

    It worked!!!!

  10. DAD405 says:

    Just found
    see entry 2019/12/10 Windows 10 Updates v1903 und 1909
    enables IRDA via Powershell
    looks like it works fpr 2004 too

  11. Scott says:

    FYI: these instructions didn't fix the issue for us in build 1909, but they did work on build 2004 (the latest):

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