How to Enter and Reset the BIOS to Default Settings on Any Computer

Ben Stegner 15-08-2017

One of the most panic-inducing computer problems occurs when your PC won’t boot. It’s terrifying because you know something is wrong, but can’t properly troubleshoot it since you don’t have a computer to research with.


You might find the root of your problem lies in BIOS corruption. Maybe a power outage screwed it up, or you tried to update the BIOS How to Update Your UEFI BIOS in Windows Most PC users go without ever updating their BIOS. If you care for continued stability, however, you should periodically check whether an update is available. We show you how to safely update your UEFI BIOS. Read More and ran into a problem. Whatever the case, entering the BIOS How to Enter the BIOS on Windows 10 (And Older Versions) To get into the BIOS, you usually press a specific key at the right time. Here's how to enter the BIOS on Windows 10. Read More and resetting it is a good way to clear these problems and start fresh. Here’s the basic outline for doing so.

First, turn on your computer and look for a Press [X] to enter BIOS or [X] for Setup key. Usually, this key is F2, F12, Delete, or similar. Keep tapping this key as soon as you start your computer to access the BIOS or UEFI. If you didn’t know, UEFI is the modern successor to a BIOS. It allows you to use your mouse for navigation and offers many more options than an older BIOS.

Once you’re in, you might see a key at the bottom that says Setup DefaultsF9 on many PCs. Press this key and confirm with Yes to restore the default BIOS settings. On some machines, you may find this under the Security tab. Look for an option like Restore Factory Defaults or Reset All Settings.

This will vary depending on your computer, so be sure to have a look around to find the right place. Somewhere under Security, Initialize, or Reset will likely contain it. Clearing BIOS settings will remove any changes you’ve made, such as adjusting the boot order. But it won’t affect Windows, so don’t sweat that. Once you’re done, make sure to hit the Save and Exit command so your changes take effect.

Using a Windows 8 PC? Before you can reset the BIOS to its default settings, you need to access it and there’s a slightly different method for that process than the one outlined above. Here’s how to access the BIOS on a Windows 8 computer 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 .


Image Credit: ampol sonthong via Shutterstock

Related topics: BIOS, Troubleshooting.

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  1. Zolani
    May 27, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    I guy I'm using eMachines pc I want to open my bios but I don't know the password so there is any way I can use to open it please help

  2. Laura Jones
    July 12, 2019 at 4:46 am

    I can’t go to hardly any of the options in bios mode. It will not let me reset settings or anything. I can get to the bios screen but that’s about it. It gives me the option to save, but I can’t change anything anyways, so no point in saving. I also can’t reboot from a windows recovery disk. Please help

  3. Nat Meetze
    June 5, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    No this did not help. My Dell PC E7280 is still doing the same thing. from re-boot, it flashes the Dell logo, then goes off, then comes back on flashes the logo, goes off, etc.

  4. udayan
    August 16, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    how to know the startup which is necessary and which is not. i think that also responsible for slow boot and slow performance.

    • Doc
      August 16, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      BIOS settings have nothing to do with Windows' "Startup programs." For a list of those, do a little research on the entries you see in there; your antivirus is probably essential, as well as things like OneDrive or DropBox (to keep things synced). Other things, like nVidia, ATI, or Intel control panels, mouse/trackpad/keyboard utilities, sound card daemons, and the like, are likely unnecessary, but you may wish to keep them.

  5. Mudasir
    August 16, 2017 at 7:47 am

    I have forgotten the BIOS password. How can I reset it or byepass it as I have to format my laptop.

  6. Manjeetsingh
    August 15, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    After start my computer always shows on the screen like F2 and F12 option and Display date shows 2012 year ..what to do

    • Karthick M
      August 15, 2017 at 9:12 pm

      Change the CMOS battery in your motherboard and I hope it may solve date reset problem in your computer.

      • Manjeetsingh
        August 16, 2017 at 6:49 am

        I have already change it

        • Doc
          August 17, 2017 at 12:02 am

          Then you need to go into Windows' Date and Time settings and tell it to sync the clock with the Internet. If that doesn't work (or you have no Internet access), use the Date and Time settings to set the clock.

        • Doc
          August 17, 2017 at 12:05 am

          Some (newer) systems boot up so fast there's no keys shown on the screen, and none of them will let you into the UEFI/BIOS. In that case, you need to do the following:

          Click the Start button and select Settings (alternate, WINDOWS+I)
          Select Updates and Security.
          Click Recovery on the left hand menu.
          Under Advanced start-up, click Restart Now.
          Select Troubleshoot.
          Choose Advanced options.
          Select UEFI Firmware Settings.
          Click Restart to restart the system and enter UEFI (BIOS).