How To Enable Virtualization In BIOS

The Basic Input – Output System (BIOS) is the feature that takes over your computer, from the moment it is booted up and till the Windows Operating System (OS) boots up completely and takes over the system.

This is the program that powers and manages the computer’s motherboard, in addition to controlling what data is transferred between the OS and the system’s hardware components.

The BIOS menu needs to be accessed in order to enable hardware virtualization technology on your systems. This is a very easy task and here are the steps to launch the BIOS menus on your Windows system.

  1. Push the power button and you’ll see the manufacturer logo appearing on your screen.
  2. Now, push the F10, F12, or Del keys on your keyboard, depending on the motherboard.
Laptop keyboard with F10, F12 and Delete keys highlighted

If you have an SSD, the system boots up really fast and you have to be quick when you push the BIOS trigger key. 

  1. This will bring up the BIOS settings interface. It is a classic, pixelated menu that can be navigated with the help of the arrow keys.

Enabling Hardware Virtualization

As mentioned above, there are two processors that can efficiently handle Hardware Virtualization on your computer, the Intel VT-x and AMD-v. Since these are designed by two different tech giants, there are different ways to enable or disable this process.

Every processor that is designed by Intel and AMD does not support virtualization. To make sure, check with a professional or a web page that contains information on the processor before you start using Hardware Virtualization technology. For easy references, search for keywords like –

  1. Intel VT-x
  2. Intel VT-d
  3. AMD-V
  5. SVM
  6. Vanderpool

We recommend enabling them, especially Vanderpool and the AMD IOMMU if the options are available for access.

These processors are a must if you wish to virtualize a 64-bit system environment. Though any mid-range processor can handle virtualizing a 32 bit OS, they aren’t as efficient as Virtualization Technology-dedicated processors.

Here’s what you have to do to enable this feature on your Windows 8 and Windows 10 computers.

Enable Intel VT-x and AMD-V processor virtualization

If you have an Intel VT-x processor, follow these steps to disable or enable this feature on your PC.

  1. Launch the Windows Settings with the help of the keyboard shortcut (Windows + I) or by drawing up the Start menu and clicking on the small gear icon on the left side of the Start menu.
  2. Enter the Update & Security settings tile and click on the Recovery tab on the left side of the screen.
  3. In the Advanced startup section, you’ll see the Restart now button. Click on it to reboot your system and you’ll be taken to the Advanced Startup page. 
Advanced Startup section in the Windows Settings Recovery page
  1. Now, choose the Troubleshoot option > Advanced options > UEFI Firmware Settings > Restart.
Advanced Startup menu main page
  1. This will take you to the BIOS settings window. Navigate with the help of your arrow keys and go to the Advanced tab. In some UEFI firmware settings, this option is named as Configuration, Security, Processor, or System Configuration tab. 
  2. Locate the disabled Intel Virtualization Technology settings and enable it. This is not the only option that you can see here.
Intel Virtualization Technology in the BIOS utility

If you see options like Intel VT-x, Intel VT-d, AMD-V, AMD IOMMU, SVM, and Vanderpool, these are the Virtualization technology options for Intel and AMD V-Processors.

  1. Now, press F10 to save changes that were recently made and restart your OS.

Disabling Hyper V before you enable Virtualization

The Windows Hyper V feature is used to help with the Hardware Virtualization process. However, this may have to be disabled if you receive crash messages about VT-x or AMD-V. These are the steps to disable Hyper V on a Windows PC.

  1. Launch the Control Panel window through the search bar or the start menu. 
Programs settings in the Windows Control Panel
  1. Go into the Programs menu and enter the Programs and Features section.
Programs and Features section in Programs settings
  1. Click on the Turn Windows features on or off link to open the Windows Features window.
  2. Locate the Hyper-V option and uncheck it to disable it. 
  3. Click on the Ok button to save changes.

Try to enable virtualization again to check if you can get through with this process.