FEATURED How to enter UEFI BIOS on Windows 11 and Windows 10

Being able to access UEFI / BIOS on your Windows machine is essential if you want to change certain firmware and hardware settings. Unfortunately, however, as BIOS/UEFI are pre-boot environments, you can’t access them from your regular OS interface. Not to worry, though – today we’re going to show you how to enter UEFI / BIOS on Windows 11 and Windows 10.

UEFI vs BIOS: What’s the difference?

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You may have noticed that we’re using the terms UEFI and BIOS almost interchangeably in this guide. So, is there any real difference between the two? The answer is yes.

UEFI and BIOS are two of the most popular motherboard firmware interfaces. They act as translators between an operating system and its hardware, initializing components and allowing users to change certain settings.

The main difference between BIOS and UEFI is their age. UEFI is a more modern solution, supporting faster boot times, better security, and larger hard drives. Unlike UEFI, BIOS can only support hard drives of up to 2.1 TB and must run in a 16-bit processor mode. Additionally, it does not support cursors and a modern graphical interface.

There are also differences between how each functions. BIOS, for example, stores its bootloader data in the MBR format on the first sector of the HDD. This can be more easily corrupted than UEFI, which uses the GUID Partition Table (GPT) and built-in redundancy checks.

As a result of all of these advantages, basically any PC or laptop you buy today will be using UEFI instead of BIOS. However, it is still referred to as “BIOS” by some manufacturers to avoid confusion, and many people use “BIOS” to refer to any pre-boot interface. As a result, we’ll be using both in this guide.

With that important distinction out of the way, here’s how to enter BIOS / UEFI in Windows 11 and Windows 10:

How to Enter UEFI (BIOS) on Windows 11 via Settings

While there may be a key you can press to access BIOS, this varies between OEMs. It could be Del, F1, F2, F10, F12, or even Esc. On top of this, modern PCs boot so quickly that it can be difficult to find and press the key in time.

As a result, we’ll be showing you how to get to BIOS on Windows 11 using the Settings interface instead. To do this we’ll make use of Windows’ Advanced Startup Options:

  1. Open Settings and click the “Recovery” heading

    Windows 11 - Settings

  2. In the “Advanced startup” section, press “Restart now”

    Windows 11 - Settings - Recovery

  3. Click “Restart now”

    As prompted, you should save any open documents before you do so.

    Windows 11 - Settings - Recovery - Advanced Startup

  4. Wait for your PC to start

    Windows 11 - Reboot

  5. Press “Troubleshoot” on the “Choose an option” screen

    Windows 11 - Advanced Startup Options

  6. Click “Advanced options”

    Windows 11 - Advanced Startup Options - Troubleshoot

  7. Press “UEFI Firmware Settings”

    Windows 11 - Advanced Startup Options - Troubleshoot - Advanced Options

  8. Click “Restart”

    Windows 11 - Advanced Startup Options - Troubleshoot - Advanced Options - UEFI Firmware Settings

  9. Make your BIOS / UEFI changes as necessary

    Upon restart, your PC will exit Advanced Startup Options and boot as it normally does.

    UEFI Firmware

How to Boot into BIOS on Windows 10 via Settings

Similarly to Windows 11, you can try one of the many BIOS keys as your computer boots, but it’s easier to just skip all that and get there via your Settings interface. This is how to get to BIOS in Windows 10:

  1. Open Settings and click on “Update & Security”

    Windows 10 Settings

  2. Select “Recovery” in the sidebar and click “Advanced options”

    Windows 10 Settings - Update and Security

  3. Look for the “Advanced startup” heading and click “Restart now”

    Windows 10 Settings - Update and Security - Recovery

  4. Wait for your PC to restart

    Windows 10 - Reboot

  5. Press “Troubleshoot” on the “Choose an option” screen

    Windows 10 - Advanced Startup

  6. Click on “Advanced options”

    Windows 10 - Advanced Startup - Troubleshoot

  7. Select UEFI Firmware Settings

    Your PC will automatically reboot into UEFI / BIOS.

    Windows 10 - Advanced Startup - Troubleshoot - Advanced Options

  8. Make any modifications to your UEFI / BIOS and save them

    Upon restart, your PC will exit Advanced Startup Options and boot as it normally does.

    UEFI Firmware

Extra: How to Boot to Safe Mode in Windows

While you’re fiddling around with your Advanced Startup Options, you may want to learn how to enter Safe Mode in Windows 10 and Windows 11. This useful mode can help solve issues if your PC won’t boot normally. Once you’re done, be sure to follow our guide on how to get out of Safe Mode.

Windows 10 – Advanced Startup Options – Safe Mode

Extra: How to Disable Windows 11 or Windows 10 Fast Startup

If you’d really rather just hit a button on startup to enter BIOS / UEFI in Windows, you should consider following our guide on how to disable fast startup in your Control Panel. This will give you a bit more time without seriously slowing down the boot process.

Windows 10 - Control Panel - Turn on fast startup

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