How to Enter BIOS on Windows 10 - All Methods Explained

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Aug 02, 2022

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If you use a Windows PC, there is a nifty program that handles a lot of the functionality behind the scene. Yes, we’re talking about your computer’s BIOS.

You may have come across the term without knowing what it is or does. Don’t fret, that’s what we’re here for. In this article, we will address what BIOS is and why your PC needs it to function properly. You will also learn how to enter BIOS in Windows 10.

Let’s get down to it.

What is BIOS?

First, we must cover the basics. BIOS (pronounced bye-ohs) is short for Basic Input/Output System. Basically, that is a small piece of code contained in a microprocessor on your system board.

BIOS is the first software to run when you start your PC. It initiates the boot process, identifying your computer’s hardware. Then it configures the hardware, tests it, and hands it off to the operating system.

So we could say that on Windows 10, BIOS acts as a middleman between the OS and the PC’s hardware. It manages data flow to attached devices like the keyboard, mouse, printer, video adapter, and drive.

People also use the term to refer to the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) firmware now used in newer computers. More accurately, UEFI is the successor to BIOS—though it’s true they are pretty similar programs. However, this one is superior, supporting boot volumes over two terabytes, over four drive partitions, and faster booting.

When you access the BIOS utility on Windows 10, you can tweak several hardware configuration options. After you save these changes and restart your computer, BIOS will alter how it directs the hardware to function.

These changes may include:

  • Date and Time
  • Hard Drive Settings
  • Enable or Disable the manufacturer logo
  • Memory Settings
  • System Voltages
  • Power Button Functions
  • Fan Speed Settings

How to Enter BIOS on Windows 10?

Entering BIOS allows you to configure how your computer’s hardware functions. You can use different processes to access BIOS on Windows 10 computers, with the common denominator being that you must restart the PC.

Note: You must be careful when entering BIOS on Windows 10—some tweaks can damage your PC if applied inappropriately.

Through Windows Settings

Windows 10 can boot too fast, especially on modern computers, so accessing BIOS may not be easy when you start up. Fortunately, you can enter the mode through Windows settings.

  • Click on the Start button and select Settings. Alternatively, you can simultaneously press and hold the Windows button and I key.

Settings selected from the Start button menu

  • Select Update & Security from the Settings options.

Update & Security option selected

  • On the left-hand menu pane, click Recovery.

Recovery option selected

  • Scroll down to the Advanced startup and click Restart now.

Restart now option selected

  • A blue screen will display boot options. Select Troubleshoot.
  • Click Advanced options.
  • Select UEFI Firmware Settings from the options.
  • To confirm, click Restart.

Accessing BIOS at Startup 

Alternatively, you can open BIOS on your Windows 10 computer at startup.

When you press the power button on your PC to turn it on, it goes into a diagnostic testing sequence called power-on self-test (POST). POST means BIOS would be performing checks to determine if the attached hardware is working correctly.

The process happens very quickly, but if you can hit a hotkey in time, you can enter BIOS mode on Windows 10. What’s the perfect moment? Precisely when the manufacturer’s splash screen appears, displaying its name and logo.

If you miss it, you will have to restart the computer all over again or use any of the other options. 

Hot tip: press and hold the hotkey from before switching the computer on until accessing BIOS. Or just press the key repeatedly until it works.

Many PC manufacturers use different hotkeys to boot to BIOS on Windows 10. Most commonly, this would be F2, but keep in mind that your brand may have chosen another key.

In the table below, you can see the keys used by the five most popular PC brands:

Brand BIOS Hotkey
Lenovo F2
HP F10
Dell F2 or F12
Acer F2 or DEL
Asus F2

Via Command Prompt

Another way to access BIOS on Windows 10 is through the Command Prompt. Worry not, this method is not as complicated as it sounds. It consists of these easy steps:

  • Click the search button and type cmd. You’ll see Command Prompt displayed in the results. Select Run as administrator in the expanded list of options.

Run as administrator option selected in Command Prompt window

  • A pop-up warning will appear. Select Yes to proceed.
  • Type in the following command and press Enter:

shutdown /r /fw

A shutdown command window popping up

Another pop-up will appear, informing you that your computer will shut down.

By Creating BIOS Shortcut

If you dislike the idea of using the Command Prompt (like many non-technical people do), worry not, we’ve got another alternative for you. You can instead create a BIOS shortcut on your Windows 10 computer to grant faster access to the program.

  • Right-click an empty spot on your desktop. Select New > Shortcut.
  • Type shortcut /r /fw and click Next.
  • Give the shortcut a name. You can use the default one displayed. Click Finish to proceed.
  • A shortcut icon will appear on your desktop. Right-click it and select Properties, then choose Advanced.
  • Click the checkbox beside Run as administrator and click OK.
  • Click Apply on the Properties window and then select OK.

Troubleshooting BIOS Access Issues

You’ve tried the steps above but still can’t boot to BIOS on your Windows 10 PC? What can you do? Troubleshoot the issue, of course. Fast Boot could be the factor hindering your BIOS access.

As the name implies, this is a feature that reduces the time your computer takes to boot. It does this by bypassing the hardware checks carried out by BIOS mentioned earlier. That way, your operating system is loaded significantly faster.

If this is the issue, disabling it could be how to enter BIOS on your Windows 10 PC. To do this, you can reset your BIOS settings by clearing the computer’s Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (CMOS) memory. CMOS is what stores information regarding the BIOS/UEFI configuration.

The easiest way to perform this really difficult task… no, we’re just joking, it’s actually pretty straightforward. Just use the case button modern desktop computers come with. Marked Clear or Reset, this one will be situated close to the power button. Press and hold the button for five to ten seconds to reset CMOS.

Hot tip: if the button’s too small for your fingers, use the end of a pen.

Wrap Up

So now you know how to enter BIOS in Windows 10 and, in turn, gain more control over your startup processes and device.

BIOS allows you to make a host of changes providing optimal performance. If you use a newer computer, its successor UEFI does much of the same thing, only better.

We’ve covered all the simplest and most used ways to access BIOS. If you found the information helpful, explore your website for more useful guides.

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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