How to Enter the BIOS on Windows 10 (And Older Versions)

Tina Sieber Updated 29-11-2019

Many roads lead to the BIOS. A simple keystroke at the right moment, while the system is booting, will get you into the BIOS. If you have a newer Windows computer, maybe one that came with UEFI BIOS, you can enter the BIOS even more easily. To save you the guesswork, we have compiled all the different ways how you can enter the BIOS on Windows 10, Windows 8, and older versions.


Note: Inside the BIOS you can change many basic computer settings, like the boot order, system time and date, or enabled hardware components. That’s why the BIOS (basic input/output system) is also known as “Setup”.

How to Get Into the UEFI BIOS

Newer computers just boot too fast. Thus newer versions of Windows feature an easier way to access the BIOS, but you first have to boot into Windows.

How to Enter the BIOS on Windows 10

Go to Settings (Windows + I) > Update & Security > Recovery and under Advanced startup click Restart now. Note that this will actually restart your computer.

Windows 10 Recovery Advanced Startup

When you restart using advanced startup, you’ll first get to choose your boot options. On the screen that comes up, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > UEFI Firmware Settings and click Restart, which will boot straight into your UEFI BIOS from Windows 10.


Windows 10 Troubleshoot Advanced Options UEFI Firmware Settings

How to Enter the BIOS on Windows 8 or 8.1

We have previously dedicated an entire article on how to access the BIOS in Windows 8 How to Access the BIOS on a Windows 8 Computer Windows 8 simplified access to the BIOS. Instead of key combos, you can just use the Windows 8 boot options menu. Read More .

To summarize: Open the Charms bar, for example by pressing the key combination Windows + C, click the Settings icon, and select Change PC settings in the bottom right. Within PC Settings, navigate to the General tab and click Restart now under the Advanced startup header.

In Windows 8.1, the steps are slightly different. Within PC Settings navigate to the Update and Recovery tab, then go to Recovery, and finally click Restart now under Advanced startup.


Enter Setup in Windows 8.1

Alternatively, hold the Shift key while you click Restart in the Shut Down menu.

Restart Windows 8

The computer will restart into boot options, which include the UEFI BIOS. Like on Windows 10, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > UEFI Firmware Settings and click Restart to boot into your BIOS.


How to Access the BIOS on an Older PC

If you’re still using Windows 7 or an earlier Windows version, you’ll have to employ the traditional way of entering the BIOS, i.e. wait for the right moment and hit the right key.

What Is the Right Moment to Enter the BIOS?

The right moment is sometime between powering on the computer and before the operating system is launching. The window is so narrow because the BIOS essentially only initializes your hardware, before handing over to the bootloader, which boots the operating system. Once the operating system is starting up, often indicated by the display of the respective logo, you missed the moment.

Starting Windows

You might see a message that indicates the right moment. It most likely says something like “Press <Del> to Enter Setup”, meaning it also reveals which key to press.


Enter Setup or BIOS on a PC

In the absence of such a message, the right moment generally is when you see manufacturer logos, prior to the booting of the operating system. And the easiest way to not miss the time when you can enter the BIOS is to press the right key even before you power on the computer and hold it until the BIOS comes up. If that doesn’t work, you’re not pressing the right key or something is broken.

What Is the Right Key to Enter Setup?

As you already gathered, it depends on your hardware. More specifically, it depends on the motherboard the BIOS is located on.

Common keys to enter the BIOS are F1, F2, F10, Delete, Esc, as well as key combinations like Ctrl + Alt + Esc or Ctrl + Alt + Delete, although those are more common on older machines. Also note that a key like F10 might actually launch something else, like the boot menu. The exact key or key combination depends on your computer manufacturer and model.

You can proceed with trial and error until you find the right key, press multiple different keys at once and get lucky or consult the list below.

Acer BIOS Keys

The most common keys to enter Setup on Acer hardware are F2 and Delete.

On older computers, try F1 or the key combination Ctrl + Alt + Esc.

If your computer features an ACER BIOS, you can restore the BIOS to bootable settings by pressing and holding the F10 key. Once you hear two beeps, settings have been restored.

Asus BIOS Keys

As with Acer, the most common key is F2.

Depending on your model, it might also be the Delete or Insert key, and less commonly F10.

Dell BIOS Keys

On a newer Dell computer, try the F2 key while you see the Dell logo.

Alternatively, try F1, Delete, F12, or even F3.

Older models might use Ctrl + Alt + Enter or Delete or Fn + Esc or Fn + F1.


Keys most commonly used on HP machines to enter setup include F10 and Esc.

On some HP computers F1, F2, F6, or F11 will open the gates to the BIOS.

On HP Tablet PCs F10 or F12 will get you into the BIOS.

HP has compiled information on its BIOS here.

Lenovo BIOS Keys

The F1 or F2 key should get you into the BIOS.

Older hardware might require the key combination Ctrl + Alt + F3 or Ctrl + Alt + Insert key or Fn + F1.

If you have a ThinkPad, consult this Lenovo resource: how to access the BIOS on a ThinkPad.


If you know that your computer is using an MSI motherboard, then the key to trigger the BIOS most likely is the Delete key. You might even notice a message saying “Press Del to enter SETUP”.

On some MSI motherboard models, the key to access the BIOS will be F2.

Sony BIOS Keys

On a Sony VAIO, F2 or F3 will get you into the BIOS, but you can also try F1.

If your VAIO has an ASSIST key, try to press and hold it while you power on the laptop. This also works if your Sony VAIO came with Windows 8.

Toshiba BIOS Keys

Your best bet is the F2 key.

Other candidates include F1 and Esc.

On the Toshiba Equium, F12 will enter the BIOS.

Toshiba also has more detailed instructions on how to access the BIOS.


Unfortunately, there is very little consistency. Neither do computer manufacturers always use the same motherboard manufacturer nor do motherboard manufacturers consistently define the same key for entering the BIOS. If you want a definite answer on which keys to press to enter Setup, you have to search for the exact model of your computer’s motherboard.

Did You Manage to Enter Your BIOS?

If none of the keys mentioned above work, the issue might be your keyboard or rather the lack of keyboard drivers before the computer boots up. Try another keyboard and/or port. For example, if you’ve been using a USB keyboard, but your PC also has a PS/2 port, try a PS/2 keyboard instead.

Once you have access to the BIOS, you might want to reset your BIOS How to Enter and Reset the BIOS to Default Settings on Any Computer If your computer won't boot, the BIOS may be to blame. Here's how to enter it and reset it to the factory defaults to fix those problems. Read More to default settings.

Related topics: BIOS, Boot Screen, Windows Tips.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Brian
    January 7, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    The problem with Firefox is that it is a Java script browser. And Java script programs are a hackers paradise. No thanks, I'll stick with Chrome.

  2. rajon
    May 7, 2017 at 7:28 am

    not know ,it works properly yes or no.
    now i will try to follow your instructions for my pc problem.
    thank you.

    • Tina Sieber
      May 9, 2017 at 12:13 am

      Rajon, did it work following the instructions in the article? If not, you might have to find instructions for your particular computer model.

  3. Timothy Takemoto Timtak
    April 21, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Thank you. My ASUS computer says e “Press CTRL + S to Enter Setup“, but when I press that (or F2 or F10) I am taken to a windows boot selection screen where I am shown the path to windows and asked whether to send or escape. Pressing escape takes me to windows. I presume that send will send the path and take me to windows.

    • Timothy Takemoto Timtak
      April 22, 2017 at 2:00 am

      Sorry, I was pressing CTRL S at the wrong moment (too soon I think).

      Pressing CTRL + S when prompted leads me to a screen that looks like a BIOS scree, with white writing on a blue background but it is not the BIOS but
      Intel Boot Agent GE v1.3.98 Setup Menu
      This is like a BIOS with very few options. They are
      Network Boot Protocol PXE (unchangeable)
      Boot Order Use BIOS Boot Order (unchangeable)
      Show setup prompt (dispaly CTRL + S or not, can turn off) currently enabled
      Setup Menu Wait Time 0,2,3,5 Seconds (currently 2)
      There is this from Intel
      which I installed but I do not know how to run it. No program is in the start menu. There is now (and perhaps before) an Intel22.1 folder in C (rather than program files) which contains a C:\Intel22.1\APPS\BootUtil\Winx64\BOOTUTILW64E.EXE which when run flashes a DOS window for less than a second. In the same folder there was a readmefirst.txt file which I did not read first that says

      Installing this utility will overwrite some files required for Intel(R) PROSet for Windows Device Manager. This may result in system bug checks or loss of functionality when using Intel(R) PROSet or other tools using the same driver. Please uninstall Intel PROSet before installing this utility.
      Note that re-installing PROSet later on could render this tool useless.

      I have no idea what PROSet is is. I just want to get to my BIOS (a sata drive is not being recognised and word is that a BIOS setting may need to be changed).

      I will try to reboot again.

      Eventually i found the key for my ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 and it is DELETE, which is not displayed on start up (only CTRL +S).

      • Tina Sieber
        April 23, 2017 at 2:23 pm

        Thank you for the update and the detailed insights, Timothy!

  4. Mike
    February 24, 2017 at 5:44 am

    With a can opener :0

    • Tina Sieber
      February 24, 2017 at 10:34 am

      LOL Well good luck with that, Mike. :D

  5. Bahram
    December 9, 2016 at 5:38 am

    You guys spend 3/4 bull shitting going over minutiae and as if a 5 year kid just awoke and you hadn't got a chance to null shit now chance.
    you see I wasn't BS 1/10 or bull shit you probably got what's this guy he's repeating and explaining unnecessary.
    just wanted to make you aware if you genuinely want to help. this one question isn't the world. mind you, this is a cultural thing. try going to a dentist now you're having a heart operation, just replaced a kidney, and all the things dude is interested to get floss 6 minutes 3 times.
    You’re obviously not this insane. But you're doing a job makes it doing a great job
    Hug and kiss ??

    • Tina Sieber
      December 9, 2016 at 10:19 am

      I have no idea what you're ranting about, Bahram. I think you scrolled too far and left this comment under the wrong article. Please find the right article and feel free to re-post your comment. Your comment here will be deleted shortly for being unrelated to the above article.

  6. Reina
    November 26, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    I have a windows 7 laptop how do i get it to work

    • Tina Sieber
      November 28, 2016 at 9:44 am

      You mean how can you log into the BIOS? Did you try the methods above?

  7. Krishna kumar singh
    July 15, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    I have a lenovo old pc with window7. When the computer is start then the lenovo company name image is shown on the screen. I wants to replace this with my image using bios.What i do for this? please help me.(

    • Tina Sieber
      July 15, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      Let us know if you find a solution. Thank you!

  8. Anonymous
    August 29, 2015 at 5:47 am

    what i learn from your your leeson , it easy way to follow your steps by pressing F2 but if i cant access the BIOS and see it by my eyes ">> flying like your website try to get any information .... all of you try to lie just for timepass .. thanx my teacher

  9. William Haywood
    April 28, 2015 at 2:46 am

    No keys or combination of keys will get me into setup on this infernal asus mobo! Does that mean the mobo is dead? Everyone is acting like you can always get into setup when you cannot always do that! Everyone is talking in big circles! Why is setup not there?

  10. David
    March 17, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Thank you:
    Was able to enter the BIOS by pressing ESC after pressing the power button.lts an ASUS notebook. I changed the boot option to Windows Boot Manager and saved it.
    It working now. Thank you all.

    • Tina
      March 17, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      Thank you for the update, David. Glad to hear you got it working again! :)

  11. David
    March 16, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Thanks. But the issue is that my pc cannot boot at all:
    It tells me PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
    So I cnt access the OS

    • Tina
      March 16, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      You could use your computer's restore options, i.e. booting Windows through the recovery partition, or a recovery disk to boot into the BIOS.

      If you don't have a recovery partition or a Windows 8 recovery disk and can't create one now, try to hit potential "Enter Setup" keys while your computer boots. I'd try ESC, DEL, and F keys, and combinations described above. You might trigger the BIOS boot after all.

      Good luck and do let us know what worked for you in the end. Thank you!

  12. David
    March 16, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Please how can you enter the BIOS in windows 8 before the system boots?

  13. elle
    February 9, 2014 at 11:37 am

    On Dell Computers, is there really a 'Fn' Key? As in Fn+Esc. I've never seen a Fn Key without the 12 numbers... unless you mean the F Lock key. I"m sitting here at my keyboard, which is a Giant Microsoft full-size all- featured keyboard and I don't see a Fn key. Are you messing with my head?

    (or am I really going to look dumb, when you tell me which key it is....)

    • Tina S
      February 9, 2014 at 5:28 pm


      it depends on your model. As I wrote, the Fn key combination was used on older Dell models. Generally, computers with full-sized keyboards don't have an Fn key as there is space for the number pad.

  14. Diana Echols
    February 8, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I want to Thank all of you at Makeuseof for trying to help me get the password to get in my Gateway laptop. I'm sorry I haven't replied before now but everyone was so eager to help. I don't know how I got your website but I save everything you post. You all are very informative and eager to help. This article is great for future issues.
    Thanks again,
    Diana Echols

    • Tina S
      February 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      Thank you for the feedback, Diana!

      I forwarded your comment to the MakeUseOf team, as I wasn't sure who exactly helped you with your challenge.

  15. Abdul Quadir
    February 7, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Thanks for this comprehensive info...
    Really informative

  16. Elton Woo
    February 7, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    On the Acer Chromebook, it is impossible to enter the BIOS, unless you open the machine and remove the tape "which may void your warranty". Regrettably...