Nowadays it is better to say, “How to access UEFI in Windows 10”, but for the sake of simplicity we will keep calling both BIOS and UEFI simply “BIOS”. We all are used to say “BIOS” when we speak about low-level software every motherboard uses to control all components of your computer.
BIOS/UEFI is a crucial part of every motherboard. It is a special software inside your motherboard which controls how components of your computer work. BIOS is responsible for managing boot order, overclocking, changing how CPU features work, etc. Every PC user should know how to get into BIOS no matter which OS it prefers because there are lots of things tied to BIOS settings. Do you know that you can’t reinstall Windows without knowing how to open BIOS? Also, no overclocking for you if you do not now hot to enter BIOS in Windows 10. In addition, PC troubleshooting involves messing around with BIOS settings thus you better learn how to open BIOS whether you need it right now or not.
Enter BIOS Windows 10
The good thing about accessing BIOS is that there is no more need to randomly hit different keys on your keyboard testing your luck and guessing the correct key. You can access BIOS in Windows 10 without the need to touch any key on your keyboard. Microsoft has built-in option to quickly reboot a computer and automatically open BIOS. The only thing is that it works only on relatively modern motherboards with UEFI, not legacy BIOS. If your PC is not older than 6-7 years old, then you are good to go.
Here is what you need to do to quickly open BIOS in Windows 10:
- Press Win + I. This shortcut opens the default Windows Settings app.
- Go to Windows Update – Recovery. Locate Advanced Startup section and press Restart Now. This option reboots your computer into default recovery mode. It gives you few options to troubleshoot your PC, roll back to the previous version of Windows, use command prompt or, as in our case, open BIOS. And yes, be sure to close all apps and save your data, because after you press the Restart Now button Windows will restart.
- Now you are in recovery mode. Press Troubleshoot.
- On the next screen hit the Advanced Options button.
- And the next one is UEFI Firmware Settings. This button is what you need. Press it and then hit Restart. Do note that recovery says “UEFI”, not BIOS. Don’t mind this. As we mentioned before, UEFI and BIOS refer to the same thing if we do not dig into details and differences between the two.
- Now, wait for the PC to restart. From here you do not need to touch or press anything. Windows will do everything for you and open BIOS automatically.
How to Open BIOS – part 2
Suppose you have very old but still perfectly working computer and want to get into the BIOS. There is a big chance that opening BIOS within Windows won’t work in your case. Don’t worry, you still have a few options to access BIOS. In this time, it won’t matter which OS you are using. Getting into BIOS using a keyboard happens even before motherboard initializes OS loading.
For your information: you need to act quickly. A motherboard accepts key commands during very narrow “time window”. Usually, you have only a couple of seconds to hit the right button and enter the BIOS.
There is one more thing you need to consider. If your PC has a Bluetooth keyboard, you probably won’t be able to open BIOS using a keyboard. The Bluetooth connection establishes only after Windows boots. In this case, you need to find wired or wireless USB keyboard (old PS/2 keyboards work perfectly fine if you have a required connection in your I/O list).
Turn off your computer then turn it back in. Take a closer look at the first few screens. Usually, there is a bit of information about how to access BIOS, how to change the boot device, how to enter BIOS flash, etc. It is one of the easiest ways to learn which key gets you into BIOS. No info in splash screen? Maybe it is time to find motherboard user manual and go to the BIOS section. Do not have a user manual? Try the following key to enter BIOS:
Delete, Insert, Esc, F1, F2, F3, F3, F8, F11 or F12.
These are the most popular keys manufacturers use to open BIOS. Some old motherboards have special shortcuts like Ctrl + Alt + Delete. Luckily for all of us, nobody is using this shortcut anymore.
In order to open BIOS, you have to start pressing the BIOS button right after you hit the power on button. As we mentioned earlier, the timeframe is very narrow, so you better keep smashing it to make sure you hit the right spot.
That’s it. Now you can mess around with your UEFI/BIOS settings but remember not to change anything unless you know what to do. Maybe it is better to read a couple more manuals on our website just to be sure you won’t screw up your PC.