How to Access BIOS Setup Utility for Major BIOS Manufacturers

Which keys to press to access BIOS for Phoenix, Award, AMI, and others

BIOS (which is an acronym for Basic Input/Output System) is your computer's firmware, the base-level software that helps control your hardware. Accessing BIOS can be necessary at times, and this is usually a very easy thing to do. However, if you've tried the basic BIOS access steps and still can't get in, the information here may help you.

Our first suggestion would be to take a look at one or both of these lists of BIOS access keys:

Every computer's motherboard has a BIOS manufacturer, so if neither of the above BIOS resources helps, this list of BIOS access keyboard commands based on the original BIOS manufacturer should get you in without a problem.

Close-Up Of Computer Mother Board
Nenov/Moment/Getty Images

As your computer boots up, look for one of the following BIOS manufacturer's names to flash on the screen. The BIOS manufacturer name usually appears as a logo in the top-left corner or as text at the very bottom of the screen.

The beep you hear when you first turn on your computer is referred to as the Power On Self Test (POST).

After verifying the creator of the BIOS on your system, reference the following list and use the appropriate keyboard command to access the BIOS setup utility.

If you're not sure what the BIOS name is and can't seem to find it during a reboot, see the section at the bottom of this article for more help with this.

AMI (American Megatrends)

AMIBIOS, AMI BIOS

  • Press Del when after powering on the computer.
  • Some older motherboards that use AMI BIOS may prompt for the F1 or F2 key instead.

Award Software (Phoenix Technologies)

AwardBIOS, Award BIOS

  • Press the Del key to enter the BIOS Setup Utility on nearly all AwardBIOS powered motherboards.
  • Some older systems using Award's BIOS software asked for Ctrl+Alt+Esc to enter BIOS.

DTK (Datatech Enterprises)

DTK BIOS

  • Press the Esc key to enter BIOS, right after powering on the PC.

Insyde Software

Insyde BIOS

  • Press F2 to enter BIOS.
  • If there's an error during POST and you hear a beep code or see an error message, press F1 instead (F2 addresses the POST error in this scenario, and doesn't launch the BIOS setup utility).

Microid Research

MR BIOS

  • Press F1 to access the BIOS setup utility.

Phoenix Technologies

Phoenix BIOS, Phoenix-Award BIOS

  • Press Del during the POST, immediately after the computer starts.
  • Many older Phoenix BIOS systems required Ctrl+Alt+Esc, Ctrl+Alt+Ins, or Ctrl+Alt+S to access BIOS.

Trouble Finding Your BIOS Manufacturer

If you haven't found the BIOS manufacturer of your system, and you can't see that information when you reboot, there are a few other methods for finding this information.

One easy method is to open a system information tool and look for BIOS information there. Most system information utilities should include that information.

Another way to find the BIOS manufacturer that doesn't require a software download is to look in the System Information tool included in Windows. See our guide on checking the current BIOS version to learn how to find BIOS information on your computer, which includes not only the version but also the BIOS manufacturer. In that guide, you will also find some alternative methods for finding out BIOS information, such as using a BIOS update tool or the Windows Registry

If All Else Fails

If you're still having trouble entering BIOS or can't figure out what company supplied the BIOS on your motherboard, here are some keyboard commands you might want to randomly try:

  • F3
  • F4
  • F10
  • F12
  • Tab
  • Esc
  • Ctrl+Alt+F3
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del
  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Del (using Del from the keypad)
  • Ctrl+Insert
  • Ctrl+Shift+Esc
  • Fn+[any "F" function key] (on some laptops)