How to Access the BIOS on a Windows 10 PC

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BIOS

Windows 10 gives you a lot of options you can configure directly within the operating system, but on every computer, there are some settings you can only change in the BIOS (basic input / output system). The BIOS is the software which is built into your computer's motherboard and controls everything from the boot order of your drives to preboot security options to whether the Fn key on your keyboard activates a function key or a media control.  Unfortunately, because the BIOS is a pre-boot environment, you can't access it directly from within Windows. On some older computers or those deliberately set to boot slowly, you can hit a function key such as F1 or F2 at power-on to enter the BIOS.

However, most computers made in the past four years boot Windows 10 too quickly to listen for a key press at startup. To access your BIOS on a Windows 10 PC, you must follow these steps.

1.  Navigate to settings. You can get there by clicking the gear icon on the Start menu.

settings

2. Select Update & security.

Select update

3. Select Recovery from the left menu.

select Recovery

4. Click Restart Now under Advanced startup. The comptuer will reboot to a special menu.

click Restart now

5. Click Troubleshoot.

Click Troubleshoot

6. Click Advanced options.

Click Advanced options

7. Select UEFI Firmware Settings.

Select UEFI Firmware Settings

8. Click Restart.

Click Restart

Your system will restart and take you to the BIOS.

Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director on
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45 comments
  • Dominick Says:

    I have no Ethernet, I have windows 10 but the uefi does not show up?

  • James Says:

    To get there, go click the windows button, click power, then hold shift and tap restart. It should lead you there faster.

  • Paul Clement Says:

    I also could not enter BIOS through Win 10--I was just left with a black screen. I switched video cables from a Display Port to a DVI and all worked well.

  • dennis doman Says:

    does restart tobios but still doesn't recognize zkeyboard so still can't do anything.

  • Bad Beanie Says:

    There is no UEFI firmware setting on my W10 and so this advice is totally useless. Big mistake if you think we are all computer geeks and can figure this shit out. Thanks for nothing. I'm simply trying to get a SD card reader operating which hasn't worked since W10 was installed. Should have stuck with W7. Lesson learnt.

  • mcswell Says:

    For those of you saying F2 doesn't work, you might need to try another key--ESC works on mine.

  • John Doe Says:

    So, the fastest and easiest way to fix a problem that happens during the boot up, can only be accessed after the OS has loaded? For the love of... Just add a freaking boot delay! I'm sure people would be fine with waiting 2 extra seconds for their to computer start. Have a bit of foresight. Jeez.

  • None of your business Says:

    So... You guys are comfortable with changing BIOS, to UEFI settings, but Drive letters A and B are still reserved for floppy drives, which became obsolete before they were even a thing. Makes sense to me!

    (No it doesn't)

  • JJJones Says:

    Thank you for this info. I really needed help for a project. I didn't lose too much time researching/troubleshooting the problem. Thanks

  • Paul f Says:

    The UEFI Firmware Settings dind't exist. THanks anyway. Pressing F2 onstarup didn't work either.
    I'm trying to address the problem found on this page. https://security-center.intel.com/advisory.aspx?intelid=INTEL-SA-00075&languageid=en-fr On my HP Elitebook 8460p, Acer X42J, and Toshiba Stelite A100 computers

  • Nathan simmons Says:

    I do not have the option of UEFI Firmware settings?

  • JPM1000 Says:

    I have a Win 10 laptop that has a broken install. Boots to a blue screen with options for restore etc. However, none work. After trying (as a last resort) restoring to a restore point, it now boots to the same blue screen (not BSOD) with an unhelpful circle in the middle that I've left for 24hrs and it hasn't progressed. How can I get it to boot from, for example, a cd? This is a MASSIVE backwards step compared to pre UEFI. Funninly enough, you need to access 'fix' settings WHEN there's a problem. Requiring a working OS to get to 'fix' settings is an outrageously stupid idea.

  • Tom Tom Says:

    Thanks, I was testing W10 on my laptop and couldn't get into the BIOS to reselect boot from DVD.

  • Richard Tamir Says:

    I don't typically run .cmd files on request. But I had been hacked by mail.ru and had to replace my system. Your program worked perfectly, my system has been restored - as well as my faith in the computer community. Thank you.

  • James Clay Says:

    Good and clear instructions on how to enter BIOS setup. This enabled me to change the setting to make the PC auto reboot after a power failure. Thanks.

  • William Says:

    Good instructions. Got into the BIOS fine. My problem is that I have Linux Mint 18.1 with Cinnamon Desktop on a DVD. But, I can't install it because I have no Cinnamon desktop. I just have a list of files. How do I get this program to install?

  • Ellen Hathaway Says:

    have tried all 5 ways to get to Bios on Windows 10 and none of them work. When I get to the "advanced options" screen and try to choose one of the options, the whole screen freezes and have to do hard shut down and restart. I see others have the same problem, but can't find a solution anywhere

  • Faisal Says:

    No UEFO option there , cannot access to BIOS menu with win10. Please help how to access to BIOS menu

  • angelo Says:

    There is no UEFI option on my laptop and access bios by pressing F2 is disable as long hard disk with win10 is in!

  • hakim Says:

    Hi, i cant find UEFI options in my PC. Anybody can help?

  • Alexander Jones Says:

    Waiiiiitttttttt a minute... how could you use the setting that says problems if windows doesn't load, if your windows doesn't load? No seriously what command is that

  • Nedeljko Says:

    Hello. I have a problem with install Win 10. I can't format system partition. Then, I delete a system partition, and now I can not make a new partition. When I choose a UEFI USB, there is a problem with format,delete and making a new partition, but when I choose USB, nothing happens. Please help.
    P.S. Motherboard is MSI A68HM-E33

  • Marie-Christine Beaulieu Says:

    This informations is awesome and very helpful cauz everywhere else, they tell us to press f10 at boot screen to enter the BIOS. So i was getting a little upset it was not working.

  • Rhemmie Says:

    I have mistakenly delete UEFI Firmware settings when i was upgrading from windows 8 to 10. please what can i do? Now my pc didn't bring options to boot from CD/DVD rom from the boot options.

  • ApprenticeTech Says:

    ... and of course before I did all this, I backed up my files. So, technically I haven't lost anything valuable that was saved on to Windows 10 that I can't retrieve once unable to successfully install another system... Whatever decade that option is going to become available. Also call Microsoft technical support and of course they want me and anyone else who has this problem to buy Windows 10 again. LOL... I'd rather try putting something like a bios or MBR fix on my phone's external SD card and then insert that into a Micro SD adapter which this DELL 5555 happens to come with and try a few things.

  • ApprenticeTech Says:

    I used Active Partition Manager and deleted the partition(s) where MBR(Master Boot Record) is. So of course Windows 10 will not boot...this isn't my initial problem-I deleted MBR so I obviously knew that this would cause the system to stop booting W10. However, even when Windows 10 was running fine with MBR in place, I was never able to edit anything in the BIOS or install any other previous system from DVD or USB. The error is "PXE-E61 media test failure, check cable". There is absolutely nothing wrong with my hardware and I can confirm this by running the hardware test which always passes 100%. I've also always been able to load DVD content and connect USB and read from them Windows 10 was running fine with MBR intact. I absolutely hate Windows 10 so it meant nothing to me to delete these partitions because the intent was to install another system anyway the DVD or USB. I don't know at what point or what update it is that caused the Windows 10 bios to become uneditable. Is anyone else having this problem? Basically the BIOS is stuck in a mode where it's set to always boot from MBR. There's nothing F2 or F12 can do. I also want to send a special WTF to Microsoft.

  • GGfromdanorth Says:

    I have an old gateway with win 10 on it.hate it.wanted to put win 7 on it from a cd I have.
    I too didn't see UEFI.

    but I figured it out and win 7 is loading now.

    sorry, but for the life of me I can't remember which option it was on the screen but it was the bottom right one of the 6 there,i clicked it and a black screen shows up,it says ... click any key to boot cd/dvd. I think it was "GO BACK TO THE PREVIOUS BUILD" I'm looking at a screen shot now on the web.

    cheers

  • ken web Says:

    Excellent page with good advice.

    This is much better than a few other pages I read.

  • Warlock Says:

    Try this guys.

    "Hold and press [Shift] then turn off the system. 2. Press and hold the F2 button then click the power button. DO NOT RELEASE the F2 button until the BIOS screen display."

  • Mike Watson Says:

    With a little more trial and error, I found that a category is listed as "Startup Settings" in place of "UEFI Firmware Settings" when I enter that part of the menu. It allowed me to Restart and get to the BIOS.

    Side Note: On my particular laptop, a relatively new one installed March 2015, no TPM is found in my BIOS. Guess I'll be looking for BIOS upgrades to see if that's available. I hope I have the chip on board for this.

  • Mike Watson Says:

    As many have commented, no UEFI settings appear by following these directions? Anyone have any insight as to how to enter the BIOS on a Lenovo ThinkPad E550? Hitting "Enter" at the POST screen does not work.

  • Derek Bentley Says:

    This article is outdated. Something changed, and now the UEFI Firmware Settings you refer to don't show up on the Advanced Option Screen. I am running Windows 10 x64, on a Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4 Motherboard. Can someone help? This is really not cool. How does anyone overclock or set RAM XMP's etc. if you can't get in your BIOS anymore. Microsoft!!!

  • Cyruss Says:

    Hello sir i was installed windows 7 in my dell laptop but it got crashed now i cant install windows with external dvd rom sir how can i get in uefi setting plz guaide me

  • Sondre Says:

    My computer wont show me the uefi alternative, why is this happening?

  • Linda J Green Says:

    When I start my laptop the screen is jumping and is bleeding all purple and pink colors. Takes 10 -15 minutes before it settles down. The computer works fine . This only happens at start up. I have a Dell. I was going to try advanced start up to see if it is a hardware or driver issue when this happens again? Maybe you can suggest something please? I converted from 8 to windows 10.
    Thank you.
    Linda

  • suich@yahoo.com Says:

    Thank you so much for this article! I spent an hour trying to remove the power on password from my laptop, but Toshiba was no help. This worked perfectly.

  • Richard Arias Says:

    This article was very useful, Thanks.
    I have windows 10 on a Dell Inspiron All in one 24-759 and frequently received this annoying message "the power ca adapter is not recognized, yoo need a 150w or bigger ca adapter" And so why dell didn't include this 150w adapter when I purchased the pc. This adapter is not cheap, so why I need to pay more for the pc to operate properly.

  • Yinka Tutuola Says:

    I so much love your articles. Keep it up. You make so many things simple.

  • bananaman Says:

    I have a new Asus X455LF with Win 10 which boots too fast for F2 intervention. I even followed the Asus solution, which was to hold F2 before I switched on but didn't work either. I found this article and it worked for me today 7 March 2016. Thanks for solving the problem.

  • Scott CA Says:

    Written in October, this worked on my 2013 Samsung laptop 2/17---but MS has changed it, moved or removed the link to UEFI settings! I used 'Startup Repair' to boot from a CD. No BIOS, but perhaps it is available from there. This issue, plus the fact that Linux Samba sharing is broken in 10 build >10586, is making Win 7 (and especially Linux) look like a better option every day. I have simple needs, I like the UI and most of the changes...but one more strike. I have 14 days to decide.

    Thanks for the help, Mr. Piltch--but it looks like you will need to update this article---and every How-To article for WinX will have to be monitored for needed corrections because MS is now using the 'rolling release' model many Linux systems have reconsidered or modified for more stability. One day it works, the next, not. A problem that shouldn't exist. The more I type, the more annoyed at MS I get....

  • Vishnu Says:

    The school has issued us new Windows 10 software so now the IT people have customized the entire software where we have no access to settings or control panel because of the administrator, is there a way to access the password of admin

  • themerch424 Says:

    Seriously. I keep reading these tutorials and it never boots to the bios? Can someone please figure this out!!!

  • Don anderson Says:

    Doesn't work, still could not enter bois to change boot sequence.

  • D. C. Says:

    I also found that UEFI Firmware Settings weren't able to be found. I'm also running windows 10 at this time

  • Jeffrey Bender Says:

    Hello,

    Thank you for reading this message. I followed every step that you mentioned. Unfortunately, when I got to Advanced Options,"UEFI Firmware Settings" was not listed. I do have Windows 10.

    Thanks again.

    Regards,
    Jeff Bender

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