Whether you’re a seasoned pro that’s built a dozen PCs or someone purchasing your first laptop, it’s a good idea to understand BIOS. It’s something every laptop and desktop PC has, and easy to access if needed. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to enter BIOS on computers, plus tell you a little more about what the term means as well.
What is BIOS?
If you’re already familiar with BIOS, feel free to skip ahead. Otherwise, you’ll want to understand what BIOS is before deciding to tinker around with your PC.
The term BIOS stands for Basic Input Output System. It’s a program on a PC that helps kick things off when you press the power button. It also helps manage data between devices. This firmware is included with all new PCs, which are factory configured by manufacturers out of the box.
The BIOS begins the boot process on your PC by locating drivers and software before loading them. You can enter the firmware and change configuration settings like which devices boot up first. You can flash BIOS updates or change settings for drives on your systems. That’s only possible if you know how to access BIOS on a PC, however.
How to Enter BIOS for Windows
There are several ways you can access BIOS on a PC, some of which vary by manufacturer. All are fairly straightforward, but you may want to know the model of your computer and OS version if it’s an older PC.
Enter BIOS with a Hotkey
When you first turn on a PC, you can access the BIOS if you know which key to press. It’s usually not something clearly marked on a keyboard for obvious reasons, and Samsung may use a completely different key than LG or Sony.
Two of the more popular options are the F2 and Delete keys. This method will work on a number of systems from various manufacturers including Acer, Samsung, Toshiba, and MSI.
If you own an HP computer, you’ll need to use the F10 or Escape Key while the process for Surface tablets involves the volume button. When you’re not sure which keys to use, check with the manufacturer of your PC and then follow the steps below.
1. Boot Up Your PC
Turn on your laptop or desktop computer, and get your finger ready for the keyboard. It can move fast, so pay be ready when you flip on the power.
2. Press the Hotkey
As your computer begins to boot up, press the designated Hotkey for the BIOS on your system. If successful, you’ll see a message before the computer begins to redirect its processes and takes you to the BIOS setup.
Enter BIOS Through Windows Settings
Another way you can get to the BIOS on your system is through Start Menu. This works on PCs running newer versions of Windows along with Windows 8.1. It can save you a lot of headaches if you’re not sure which keys to press.
1. Open Windows Settings
On your PC, click on the Start Menu icon and scroll down until you see a section called Settings. Alternatively, you can choose the Gear icon to access the same menu.
2. Update Settings
From this section on your computer, look or an area called Update and Security and click on it to proceed.
3. Recovery Options
Go to the Recovery section of Update and Security and you’ll see several options for your PC. To access BIOS, choose the Advanced Startup section by selecting Restart Now.
4. Reboot and Troubleshoot
After your click Restart, wait for your PC to reboot and you’ll see a new menu with several options. Choose Troubleshoot, and then select Advanced Options. From here, choose EUFI Firmware Settings and confirm. This will complete the process and allow you to enter BIOS.
Here is a quick, step-by-step video for further reference:
Why Can’t I Enter BIOS on a PC?
Assuming you’re trying to enter BIOS on a PC running Windows, there are a few reasons our steps may have not worked. The most common is also the easiest to fix. It happens when the timing is off when pressing the Hotkey.
If your PC is booting too fast, you can slow things down by accessing the Power & Sleep Settings. Once you have access to this menu, select Choose what the power buttons do. Now, click on the section that says Change settings that are currently unavailable to unlock the greyed-out options at the bottom of the screen.
Uncheck the box marked Turn on fast startup. This should slow things down enough for you to perfect the button press. If that still doesn’t work, you may need to create a boot recovery disk to access BIOS.
Understanding how to enter BIOS on a PC is something everyone should know, even if it’s a feature you may never need to use. The methods in our guide will work on any modern PC running Windows, but you can also use the key combo trick for PCs running earlier versions of Windows.
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