How to Enter BIOS

Enter the BIOS setup utility to change BIOS settings

Access the BIOS setup utility to manage memory settings, configure a new hard drive, change the boot order, reset the BIOS password, and similar operations.

Follow the easy steps below to access the BIOS setup utility on your computer, no matter what's on it—Windows 7, Windows 10, or Linux.

Person using BIOS on their computer
Lifewire / Derek Abella

How to Enter BIOS

  1. Restart your computer, or turn it on if it's already off.

    Accessing the BIOS is independent of any operating system on your computer because the BIOS is part of your motherboard hardware.

  2. Watch for an "entering setup" message in the first few seconds after turning on your computer. This message varies greatly from computer to computer and also includes the key or keys you need to press to enter BIOS.

    Here are some common ways you might see this BIOS access message:

    • Press [key] to enter setup
    • Setup: [key]
    • Enter BIOS by pressing [key]
    • Press [key] to enter BIOS setup
    • Press [key] to access BIOS
    • Press [key] to access system configuration
  3. Quickly press the key or keys instructed by the previous message.

    You may need to press the BIOS access key several times to enter BIOS. Don't hold the key down or press it too many times or your system may error or lock up. If that happens, just restart and try again.

    If you don't catch the key sequence needed to get into BIOS, reference one of these lists or check out the tips below:

  4. Use the BIOS setup utility as required.

Tips & More Information About Entering BIOS

Entering BIOS can be tricky, so here's some more help based on some common scenarios that I've seen:

See a Picture Instead of a Message?

Your computer may be configured to show your computer's logo instead of important BIOS messages. Press Esc or Tab while the logo is showing to remove it.

See the Message but Didn't Catch Which Key to Press?

Some computers start too quickly to see the BIOS access message. If this happens, press the Pause/Break key on your keyboard to freeze the screen during startup. Press any key to "unpause" your computer and continue booting.

Having Troubles Pausing the Startup Screen?

If you're having problems pressing that pause button in time, turn on your computer with your keyboard unplugged. You should receive a keyboard error which will pause the startup process long enough for you to see the keys necessary to enter BIOS!

Are You Using a USB Keyboard on an Older Computer?

Some PCs with both PS/2 and USB connections are configured to only allow USB input after the POST. This means that if you're using a USB keyboard, it could be impossible to access BIOS. In that case, you'd need to connect an older PS/2 keyboard to your PC to access BIOS.