How to enter BIOS | A step-by-step guide

A basic input/output system (BIOS) is the first thing that lights up when you turn on your device.

The BIOS initializes your computer’s hardware before engaging its hard drive’s operating system, acting as an intermediary between operating systems and hardware by controlling the flow of data.

To change the way your computer boots, you will need to access the BIOS. In this article, you will learn how to do it. You will also learn the following:

What is the BIOS?

The Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) sits on a chip on your computer’s motherboard and controls many settings (such as the boot order of your drives and pre-boot security options) . In this, it differs from your operating system (Windows), which resides on your computer’s hard drive.

The BIOS controls various computer settings such as drive boot order and pre-boot security options (Source)

Have you ever thought about what happens inside your computer when you press the “power” button? When you press the power button on your computer, the BIOS engages the central processing unit to start the computer system. The BIOS also controls the order in which peripherals are connected and external devices (such as your mouse) connected to your system.

Things to consider before entering the BIOS

The BIOS is an essential component of your computer. Since each change can affect many aspects of your system configuration, BIOS changes are usually made to fix a minor (but critical) issue. For example, BIOS updates can fix a bug with obscure hardware or add support for a new CPU model.

BIOS updates will not necessarily make your computer faster. In fact, in some cases, changing the BIOS can cause additional problems because it connects to so many systems in your computer. Therefore, be careful when accessing your BIOS. If your computer is working fine, you probably shouldn’t update your BIOS. You should only update the BIOS if the new version contains a significant improvement that you need for your computer to work properly.

How to enter BIOS with function keys

You can access the BIOS when your manufacturer’s screen is visible (before Windows begins to load). To do this, you will need to press a specific key that accesses the BIOS. This is called a function key.

On many operating systems, the function key is F2. (You will know which key to press because during the boot process you will see a message saying “Press [key] to enter the BIOS. ”) Other buttons that may work in place of F2 are F1, F12, Enter, Delete, and Esc.

To access the BIOS in Windows 10 using the function key method, follow these steps:

  1. Turn on your computer.

  2. Press the function key (usually F2, but it depends on your PC) to enter the configuration.

  3. screenshot of how to enter BIOS from boot menu

    The function key varies by PC manufacturer, but you can search online for the “BIOS key” plus the manufacturer’s name to find the correct function key (Source)
  4. The Setup (BIOS) screen appears.

  5. If this method does not work, turn off your computer and start this process again. This time, hold down your function key (F2) while pressing the “power” button on the computer.

If the F2 function key does not allow you to enter the BIOS, you can retry steps 1 to 3. During step 4, press F12. You can try again with other possible function keys listed above (Enter, Delete or Esc).

How to Access BIOS on Windows 10: Advanced Startup

Most newer computers boot so quickly that there is no way to enter BIOS with the function keys, as explained above. Instead, you’ll need to use advanced boot to enter the BIOS.

Like the function key method, the advanced boot method to enter BIOS is also simple. Follow these simple steps to enter BIOS on Windows 10 in advanced startup.

  1. Click on the Start menu and select “Settings”.

  2. windows start menu screenshot

    Open the Start menu and select Settings, indicated by a gear icon (Source)
  3. Select “Update & Security”.

  4. screenshot of the "update and security" menu item in Windows

    Select Update & Security, indicated by two circular arrows (Source)
  5. Click “Recovery” in the menu on the left.

  6. screenshot of recovery menu in windows

    Locate and click on Recovery in the left menu bar (Source)
  7. Click on the “Restart now” button located under the “Advanced Startup” section.

  8. screenshot of the "restart now" options in Windows

    Locate and click the “Restart Now” button under Advanced Startup (Source)
  9. Select “Troubleshoot” from the “Choose an option” menu.

  10. screenshot of troubleshoot menu option in windows

    Select Troubleshoot, indicated by a screwdriver and wrench icon (Source: Home PC screenshot)
  11. Choose “Advanced Options” from the “Troubleshoot” menu.

  12. Advanced options in the Windows menu

    Select Advanced Options from the Troubleshoot menu (Source: Home PC screenshot)
  13. Select “UEFI Firmware Settings” from the “Advanced Options” menu.

  14. UEFI firmware settings in Windows menu

    Click on UEFI Firmware Settings in the Advanced Options menu (Source: Home PC screenshot)
  15. Click “Restart” to restart the system and enter BIOS.

  16. how to access bios from windows boot menu

    Click the Restart button to enter BIOS (Source: Home PC Screenshot)

Using Secure Boot Configuration

During the BIOS access process, you may discover that your computer is running on a UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) interface instead of BIOS. If so, consider using a secure boot configuration. The Secure Boot configuration serves as a link between your operating system (Windows) and your computer’s hardware and helps your computer avoid risks such as virus infections and malware attacks. Learn more about setting up Secure Boot here.

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