How To Enter The BIOS (On Any PC)

A quick guide on entering your motherboard's BIOS - including all quick keys from each manufacturer

7 Select BIOS file

Learning how to enter the BIOS can be a daunting task – but it shouldn’t be. Actually gaining access to the motherboard BIOS is very straightforward – only requiring an access key to be pressed during the load-up of your PC. However, thanks to the complicated nature of the BIOS, many consider it a no-go area – especially the less tech-savvy users.

Unfortunately, and regardless of your technical know-how, a time will come where you’re probably going to need to learn how to enter the BIOS. Whether you need to prioritize your boot drive or update your BIOS altogether, the first step will be to enter the BIOS.

For that reason, we’ve compiled this quick guide on how to enter the BIOS, showcasing all the ways in which you can do so.

So, without further ado, let’s jump straight into it!

Using The BIOS Key

The first and most common way to enter the BIOS is via the motherboard’s BIOS access key. The BIOS key will differ from manufacturer to manufacturer – so be sure to check what button they use before trying to access your BIOS.

When you first load your PC, the BIOS goes through a process calling POSTing. The POST (power on self test) is performed by the firmware immediately after the computer has been loaded. It’s at this point – during the POST phase – where you need to press the dedicated BIOS key. Pressing the BIOS key after this period will result in your PC loading as normal – so be sure to press it at the right time.

7 Select BIOS file

If done correctly, your PC should immediately load into the BIOS.

Be aware, some PCs go through the POST stage so quickly that it doesn’t recognize when you’ve pressed the BIOS key. For those individuals, you’ll have to use another means to get into the BIOS. Luckily, there are a number of different ways which we’ll discuss in-depth during this article.

If you aren’t one of these individuals, pressing the BIOS hotkey should work just fine. As we mentioned earlier, not all BIOS keys are the same, so finding out which your manufacturer uses is crucial. Below, we’ve outlined all the most popular motherboard manufacturers alongside the BIOS keys they utilize:

  • ASRock: F2/ DEL
  • ASUS: F2
  • Acer: F2/ DEL
  • Dell: F2/ F12
  • ECS: DEL
  • Gigabyte / Aorus: F2/ DEL
  • HP: F10
  • Lenovo (Desktops): F1
  • MSI: DEL
  • Origin PC: F2
  • Samsung: F2
  • Toshiba: F2
  • Zotac: DEL

Access Via Windows 10's Advanced Start Menu

In rare scenarios, you won’t be able to use the above method to access your BIOS menu. Whatever the reason is, luckily, users do have a 2nd option for accessing the motherboard’s BIOS menu. Inside Windows 10, you can use the Advanced setup options to load up the motherboard BIOS.

Here’s how to do it!

1. Load Windows Settings

Enter bios 1

2. Click The Update & Security Tab

enter bios 2

3. Select Recovery From Side Menu

enter bios 3

4. Click The Restart Now Button Underneath  ‘Advanced Startup’

Enter Bios 4

5. Once rebooted, Click Troubleshoot

enter bios 1

6. Selecting UEFI Firmware Settings

enter bios 1.5

That’s all there is to it. Your PC will restart and load directly into the BIOS menu without the need for any buttons to be pressed.

Unable To Access The BIOS?

As we mentioned earlier, there are a number of different scenarios where physically accessing the BIOS seems impossible. The most common cause of this is when your PC boots through the POST sequence too quickly – not allowing you to press the dedicated BIOS key quickly enough. In this case, simple follow the steps we showed in method 2 above.

That being said, that isn’t the only cause of your PC not loading into BIOS – a whole host of other factors can play part in this annoying flaw. For example, if you have a corrupt or missing bootloader, your PC will often skip the BIOS and go straight to a BSOD (blue screen of death) or try to re-install Windows.

In this scenario, you’ll have to troubleshoot the problem first, to see if there’s a quick fix. Otherwise, try booting from a backup drive and seeing if that resolves the issue.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, our quick guide on how to enter the BIOS on any PC. Remember, making changes in the BIOS can be extremely dangerous to your hardware. Make sure you know what you’re doing first before diving in.

Below are some of our more popular BIOS related pages: