Guide to Accessing the BIOS on Various PC Brands

The Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), also known as UEFI firmware in newer computers, is a critical component of your PC's operation. It manages the communication between your computer's operating system and its hardware. Tasks like overclocking the CPU, enabling virtualization, setting memory speed, or enabling TPM encryption are performed through the BIOS. Accessing the BIOS is a necessary step for many system adjustments and optimizations.

Jan 15, 2024 - 04:06
Guide to Accessing the BIOS on Various PC Brands

Method 1: Accessing BIOS Using Hotkeys During POST

Understanding POST and BIOS Access Timing

When a computer is powered on, it undergoes a Power-On Self-Test (POST). During this process, you have a brief moment to access the BIOS by pressing a specific key. The challenge is that some computers complete POST so rapidly that they may not recognize keyboard inputs in time. In such cases, holding the key down as you power on may work.

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BIOS Hotkeys by PC Manufacturer

Different PC manufacturers use varying hotkeys for accessing the BIOS. The DEL key is common for modern motherboards, but other devices, like ultrabooks and gaming PCs, might use different keys. Below is a list of standard BIOS keys for various brands:

  • ASRock: F2 or DEL
  • ASUS: F2 for all PCs, F2 or DEL for Motherboards
  • Acer: F2 or DEL
  • Dell: F2 or F12
  • ECS: DEL
  • Gigabyte / Aorus: F2 or DEL
  • HP: F10
  • Lenovo (Consumer Laptops): F2 or Fn + F2
  • Lenovo (Desktops): F1
  • Lenovo (ThinkPads): Enter then F1
  • MSI: DEL for motherboards and PCs
  • Microsoft Surface Tablets: Press and hold the volume up button
  • Origin PC: F2
  • Samsung: F2
  • Toshiba: F2
  • Zotac: DEL

Identifying the Correct Key

If unsure about your computer's specific key, watch for a message during POST indicating the correct key. You can also experiment with the 12 function keys, DEL, Enter, or ESC keys. In general, DEL and F2 are the most commonly used.

Method 2: Using Windows 11 or 10's Advanced Start Menu

Accessing BIOS When Hotkeys Fail

For computers that complete POST too quickly or don't recognize USB keyboard inputs during POST, Windows 11 and 10 offer an

"Advanced startup" option that allows access to BIOS settings.

Steps to Access Advanced Startup in Windows 11 or 10

  1. Open Advanced Startup: The easiest way to access this feature is by searching for "advanced startup" in the Windows search bar and clicking the top result.
  2. Navigating Settings: Once in the Settings menu, look for the Recovery options where you will find the Advanced startup section. Click on the "Restart now" button under this section.
  3. Restarting into Advanced Options: Your computer will restart into an Advanced Options menu.
  4. Navigating to UEFI Firmware Settings: From here, navigate to the Troubleshoot section, then to Advanced options, and finally select the UEFI Firmware Settings option. This will reboot your system and take you directly into the BIOS.

Conclusion: Mastering BIOS Access Across Different Systems

Understanding how to access the BIOS is crucial for making various hardware and system changes. Whether you're using the traditional method of hitting a BIOS key during POST or utilizing the Advanced Startup feature in Windows, knowing the right steps for your specific system is key. By familiarizing yourself with these methods and the specific keys for different manufacturers, you can confidently navigate to your BIOS settings for any necessary adjustments or troubleshooting. Remember, while the BIOS plays a fundamental role in your computer's functionality, it's essential to proceed with caution when making changes to avoid potential system issues.