Do you need to change or set up your computer's BIOS settings? The BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) boots up your computer and manages the data flow between the operating system (OS) and attached devices. Since the BIOS is tied to a computer's motherboard, the appearance of each computer's BIOS will vary slightly depending on the manufacturer. You should only configure the BIOS settings if you're absolutely certain about the changes. This minHour will show you how to access and modify the BIOS page for your Windows 8, 10, or 11 computer.
Entering the BIOS on Startup
Turn on your computer.
You’ll only be able to access the BIOS upon startup.
- If your computer is already on, you’ll need to restart your computer.
Press Del or F2 to enter setup.
You can press and hold or repeatedly press this button. The setup button is usually or , but this could vary depending on your device.
- Here’s a list of some of the most common setup keys by manufacturer:Acer: F2 or DELASUS: F2 or DelDell: F2 or F12HP: ESC or F10Lenovo: F2 or Fn + F2Lenovo Desktops: F1Lenovo ThinkPads: Enter + F1.MSI: DEL for motherboards and PCsMicrosoft Surface Tablets: Press and hold the volume-up button.Origin PC: F2Samsung: F2Sony: F1, F2, or F3Toshiba: F2
- Acer: F2 or DEL
- ASUS: F2 or Del
- Dell: F2 or F12
- HP: ESC or F10
- Lenovo: F2 or Fn + F2
- Lenovo Desktops: F1
- Lenovo ThinkPads: Enter + F1.
- MSI: DEL for motherboards and PCs
- Microsoft Surface Tablets: Press and hold the volume-up button.
- Origin PC: F2
- Samsung: F2
- Sony: F1, F2, or F3
- Toshiba: F2
- It’s best to start pressing the setup key as soon as the computer begins to restart.
- If you see “Press [key] to enter setup” or something similar flash across the bottom of the screen and then disappear, you’ll need to restart your computer and try again.
- Look at your computer model’s manual or online support page to confirm your computer’s BIOS key.
Wait for your BIOS to load.
After successfully hitting the setup key, the BIOS will load. This should only take a few moments. When the loading is complete, you will be taken to the BIOS settings menu.
- You can now update your computer’s BIOS.
- This is the quickest way to enter the BIOS, but you can also access the BIOS through the Windows Settings.
Entering the BIOS with Settings
Open Settings on your computer.
Click the Start menu, then click the cog icon to open .
- Use this method to enter the BIOS from your Windows Settings rather than a setup key.
Click Update & Security.
This will be towards the bottom of the screen.
This is in the left panel, underneath .
Click Restart now.
This will be underneath the header.
- Your computer will restart, then load a special menu.
Within the window, select , then .
Your computer will restart and enter the BIOS.
Adjusting BIOS Settings
Familiarize yourself with the BIOS controls.
Since BIOS menus don’t support mouse input, you’ll need to use the arrow keys and other computer-specific keys to navigate the BIOS. You can usually find a list of controls in the bottom-right corner of the BIOS homepage.
Change your settings carefully.
When adjusting settings in your BIOS, be sure that you certain what the settings will affect. Changing settings incorrectly can lead to system or hardware failure.
- If you don’t know what you want to change coming into the BIOS, you probably shouldn’t change anything.
Change the boot order.
If you want to change what device to boot from, enter the menu. From here, you can designate which device the computer will attempt to boot from first. This is useful for booting from a disc or flash drive to install or repair an operating system.
- You’ll typically use the arrow keys to go over to the Boot tab to start this process.
Create a BIOS password.
You can create a password that will lock the computer from booting unless the correct password is entered.
- You can always reset your BIOS password later.
Change your date and time.
Your BIOS’s clock will dictate your Windows clock. If you replace your computer’s battery, your BIOS clock will most likely be reset.
Change fan speeds and system voltages.
These options are for advanced users only. In this menu, you can overclock your CPU, potentially allowing for higher performance. This should be performed only if you are comfortable with your computer’s hardware.
Save and exit.
When you are finished adjusting your settings, you will need to save and exit by using your BIOS’ “Save and Exit” key in order for your changes to take effect. When you save and restart, your computer will reboot with the new settings.
- Check the BIOS key legend to see which key is the “Save and Exit” key.
- Your computer’s BIOS settings may be significantly more limited than another computer’s BIOS settings.
- Windows 8, 10, and 11 computers tend to have motherboards that make accessing the BIOS incredibly difficult. You’ll likely have to restart and try again several times before you reach the BIOS.
- A useful task is to check the boot order. If you have the OS on the hard drive, make sure that the hard drive is the first in the boot order. This can save a few seconds off boot time.
- Don’t change any settings that you aren’t sure about.
- If you are going to flash the BIOS after, do not attempt this. If you have already changed settings, you must reset your BIOS.