How To Enter BIOS on Windows PCs

You have many ways to access the BIOS settings. But, the most popular one is pressing the right BIOS key at the right moment while your system is still booting. However, that might not be possible due to a myriad of reasons. So, to save you some trouble, we have listed down all the different methods on how you can enter BIOS on Windows 10 and older Windows OS versions. 

Entering the BIOS settings might be necessary to change several computer settings such as the boot order, hardware components, system time and date, and so on. Keep reading to find out the right way for you to enter BIOS on Windows systems.

how to enter bios windows 10

#1. How to Enter BIOS Windows 10/8/7 Via UEFI Firmware Settings

The newer computers having recent versions of the Windows operating system offer an easy way to enter the BIOS and that is through UEFI. Let’s have a look at the steps you need to follow to enter BIOS via UEFI Firmware Settings:

Step 1. Click on the Start icon located on the System tray and then click on Settings

Step 2. Once you are in the Settings window, click on Update & Security and then on Recovery

click on update and security
click on recovery from the left panel

Step 3. Hit the Restart Now button located under the Advanced Startup section. Now, your system will restart and enter the Windows recovery environment.

click on restart now under advanced startup option

Step 4. In the next pop-up screens, click on Troubleshoot, then on Advanced options. This will take you to the Windows Advanced options window.

select troubleshoot option
select advanced options from the troubleshoot menu

Step 5. In the Advanced Options window, click on UEFI Firmware Settings

select uefi firmware settings

Step 6. Then, click on Restart. If you can’t find the UEFI Firmware Settings option, press the Startup Settings option. Then, press the F1 or F2 key while the computer is restarting to enter BIOS in Windows 10.

click on restart from uefi firmware settings

#2. How to Enter BIOS Windows 10/8/7 Via the BIOS Key

  1. Use hotkey during boot-up
  2. Use Windows 10’s start menu
  3. Via Linux Command

Method #1: Use hotkey during boot-up

Your computer has a specific key that can be pressed while your system is starting up to enter into the BIOS mode. Now, the BIOS hotkey might vary as per the manufacturing brand of your PC or laptop. 

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To enter the BIOS menu using the hotkey, simply start your computer and press and hold the hotkey while the computer starts. Don’t release the hotkey until the BIOS screen shows up. Check out the instruction manual of your laptop or PC to know which key is your hotkey. You can also search online for the hotkey. The most common BIOS hotkeys are F2 and Delete. 

If you own an Asus system, F2 is your BIOS key. For Dell systems, F2 or F12 is your hotkey. If you are on an HP device, press F10 to enter the BIOS mode. Similarly, F1 is for Lenovo PCs and for Lenovo laptops, F2 or Fn + F2 key. The BIOS hotkey can also vary as per your computer model’s version. 

Method #2: Use Windows 10’s start menu

When a computer is powered on, it goes through a Power On Self Test (POST). You need to hit the BIOS key before the POST is finished. However, some computers go through POST very quickly leaving you no time to hit the hotkey. Certain systems might not recognize keyboard inputs until POST is finished. So, in these cases using the BIOS key might not be possible and you need an alternative.

Fortunately, we have the Advanced startup features of Windows 10 that can help you enter the BIOS mode. The steps given below will tell you how to enter the BIOS mode via the Windows 10s Start menu.

Step 1. Click on the Windows icon on your system tray. Then, click on the gear icon to go to Settings.

Step 2. Click on Update & Security

Step 3. Click on Recovery from the left pane

Step 4. Click the Restart now located underneath the Advanced startup header. Now, your computer will reboot and take you to the Windows startup settings window.

Step 5. Select Troubleshoot option followed by Advanced options

Step 6. Click on UEFI Firmware Settings and then, click on Restart to confirm.

Method #3. Via Linux Command

If you use a modern version of Linux OS like Ubuntu, you will be able to enter the BIOS menu by typing “sudo systemctl reboot –firmware” in the command prompt window. 

How To Enter The BIOS Settings in Windows 7?

Step 1. Turn your computer off.

Step 2. Switch your computer on and press the BIOS hotkey. Since older Windows versions are slower, hence you need to have a long enough window of time for pressing the hotkey. 

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To enter the BIOS mode, a single keystroke or pressing a combination of certain keys should be enough. Sometimes, your computer will show a startup screen in which a single key or keys are needed to be pressed to enter the BIOS mode.

How To Open the BIOS Menu in Windows 8?

If you have Windows 8 installed in your system, follow the steps given below to enter BIOS:

Step 1. Open the Windows Charms bar by hitting the Windows key + C

Step 2. Then, click on Settings and then select the Change PC settings option located in the bottom right. 

Step 3. In the PC Settings, go to the General tab. 

Step 4. Then, click on the Restart now option located under the Advanced startup header. 

If you are using Windows 8.1, then the steps would be quite different. In the PC Settings, click on the Update and Recovery tab. Click on the Recovery option and then, click on Restart now located under the Advanced startup.

Another way is to press and hold the Shift key when you click on the Restart option located in the Shut Down menu. Then, the system will enter the boot menu that includes the UEFI BIOS option.

What If You Can’t Boot Your OS Or Hit The BIOS Key?

If your system is not able to boot into your OS, then probably the bootable drive is going undetected. In this case, the computer might pause and beep followed by presenting you with the option to enter the BIOS. The computer might call the BIOS menu “setup.”

2. If the system’s POST is too fast for you to hit the host key to enter the boot menu, Windows might try and fail to enter the BIOS. In this case, you might get the Blue Screen of Death if the bootloader is corrupt or missing.

You can force enter the BIOS menu in these circumstances as well. Here’s how:

  1. Use an emergency boot disk. This can be done by using an emergency boot disk provided that you choose the boot device when your computer is starting. If your computer has an external USB drive set as the higher priority boot device than the internal disk.
  2. Another alternative is to use the Windows 10 install disk as an emergency boot disk. When your USB boots, click on “Repair your computer” and not on install. Then, click on Troubleshoot and choose UEFI Firmware Settings. Lastly, click on Restart.
  3. If booting off of the emergency disk is not working, then you can initiate a system halting error. This can prevent your system from trying to boot off the internal drives. Then, the option to enter the BIOS menu will be shown on the screen.
  4. If the keyboard is not plugged in, many computers will show an error message. This can also happen if the keyboard buffer gets overloaded due to too many keys being held at a time. So, if you pull out the primary internal storage drive, that would lead to an error as well. Such an error will allow you to enter into the BIOS mode. However, if the system’s drive has a non-booting OS installed on it, the issues might resurface once you have plugged it back in.
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Final Words

This article gives you different ways on how to enter BIOS in Windows 10 PCs. Before you go, keep in mind that regardless of whichever method you utilize to access BIOS, be very cautious while making changes to BIOS settings. Otherwise, you might end up disabling the important key functions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the BIOS key for Windows 10?

The BIOS key for Windows 10 varies as per the brand of your laptop or PC. Given below is a list of BIOS hotkeys for different laptop and PC manufacturing brands:
ASUS and Acer: F2 or Del key
Dell: F2 or F12
ECS: Del
Gigabyte / Aorus: F2 or DEL
HP: F10
Lenovo ( Laptops): F2 or Fn + F2
Lenovo (Desktops): F1
Lenovo (ThinkPads): Enter key then F1.
MSI: Del for motherboards and PCs
Microsoft Surface Tablets: Press and hold the volume up button.
Samsung: F2
Toshiba: F2
Zotac: Del

How can I enter BIOS if the F2 key is not working?

If the F2 key or your BIOS key is not working, don’t worry because there are other ways to enter the BIOS menu. The above content gives you a bunch of different ways to enter BIOS if you can’t enter it via the hotkey.

What key do you press to enter BIOS?

You need to press the hotkey while your computer is booting up, to enter the BIOS mode. Now, the hotkey is generally the F2 key but it can vary as per your computer’s manufacturer. The above content contains a list of hotkeys for different computer manufacturing brands. Go through it to know what key you need to press to enter BIOS.

How do I enter BIOS settings?

There are different methods to enter BIOS settings in Windows 10. The above article discusses all of them in detail. You can go through the same and follow whichever you are comfortable with.