Do you need to access the BIOS/UEFI firmware of the PC to make some quick changes in the motherboard, CPU, or boot devices? Find below how to enter BIOS on Windows 11 PC.
The sleek-looking Windows 11 on your desktop or laptop is just the front end. All the low-level and complex programs of a computer running in the background. One such program, universal for any type of computer, is BIOS.
Now, the manufacturers of desktops, laptops, and motherboards don’t like that you modify device firmware settings. Hence, the device makers keep it hidden somewhere safe.
However, they can’t keep it a secret for long and prevent you from tweaking your PC from BIOS, if you continue reading this article until the end. Let’s dig in!
What Is BIOS?
Basic Input/Output System or BIOS is the low-level program that controls and syncs all the hardware devices that connect to your PC. For instance, a BIOS program controls the CPU, RAM chips, HDDs, NVMe SSDs, SATA SSDs, power supply unit (PSU), CPU heatsink fan, PC case fan, front audio-out, front-USB out, all USB ports, and a lot more.
You can call it the firmware of a motherboard. The manufacturer store the BIOS program on a ROM or flash drive within the motherboard. The modern BIOS in today’s motherboards is known as Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) BIOS.
Why Do You Need to Enter BIOS on Windows 11?
If you’re using branded computers like desktops and laptops from manufacturers like Dell, Microsoft, HP, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, etc., you may not need to enter the BIOS ever.
The manufacturers tweak the BIOS so that it offers the best performance according to the device specifications of the PC.
However, when you’re working with high-performance or gaming PCs that you’ve assembled by cherrypicking the best hardware, you may need to enter the UEFI BIOS sometimes. Here are some solid reasons to open BIOS in Windows 11:
- You want to overclock your GPU and RAM. Then, you must go into BIOS on Windows 11 PC and activate the overclocking features.
- You’re planning to test virtual machines on your PC using VMware or VirtualBox. To run a virtual Windows or macOS, you must activate Intel Virtualization Technology on your Intel CPU by entering BIOS on Windows 11 PC. In AMD CPUs it’s the AMD-V feature and also must be accessed via UEFI BIOS.
- You need to install another OS on your PC using either the USB stick or CD/DVD ROM. For this, you must change the boot order else the default OS will always load. You can change the boot order of your PC from the Boot menu on the BIOS firmware.
- For example, the motherboard battery has failed and your PC is showing anomalies in managing date and time. In that case, you can enter the BIOS menu to set the right date and time.
- At workplaces, being an IT admin, you may want to lock the Windows 11 PC in such a way only the assigned person can boot the PC other than your team. To apply such an advanced desktop or laptop locking mechanism, you must enter the BIOS menu and then add a master password for the boot sequence.
How to Enter BIOS on Windows 11 Surface Pro Devices
You can access the BIOS menu on your Surface Pro 7, Pro 8, and Pro 9 devices by entering the Surface UEFI screen. Find below the simple instructions to achieve this:
- Power down the Surface device.
- Find the volume-up button on the top edge of the Surface. Press and hold it.
- Now, press the power button and release it.
- Keep pressing the volume up button until you see the Surface UEFI screen.
How to Enter BIOS on Windows 11 PC: At POST
POST is the short form for Power On Self Test for PC startup. You can know that your PC entered and completed POST when you see the manufacturer’s logo on the device screen. It pops up like a splash screen for a few seconds and disappears making way for Windows 11 to load.
The POST or the splash screen is the best way if you’re looking to learn how to open BIOS on Windows 11. All you need to do is press a designated BIOS key to enter the firmware user interface (UI).
The designated BIOS key varies with the device manufacturers. However, here’s a list of BIOS keys that work with the relevant manufacturers only:
- Gigabyte motherboards: Delete or F8
- MSI motherboards: Delete or F2
- ASRock motherboards: F2
- ASUS motherboards: Press and hold F2 when powering on the PC or laptop and then release the key when you entered BIOS or UEFI
- HP PCs: Esc or F10
- Acer PCs: Delete or F2
- Dell PCs: F12 or F2
- Lenovo PCs: Fn + F2 or F2
How to Enter BIOS on Windows 11 PC: From the Start Menu
If you’re already inside the Windows 11 operating system and need to enter the UEFI BIOS menu after the system restarts, here’s what you can try:
- Click the Start menu button or the Windows flag icon in the middle of the Taskbar.
- Select the Power icon in the bottom right corner of the Start menu.
- Now what you should do is press and hold the Shift key.
- Then select Restart on the Power button context menu.
- Now, you should see the WinRe environment or a blue screen with the text Choose an option.
- Click Troubleshoot.
- On the Troubleshoot screen, select Advanced options.
- Now, choose UEFI Firmware Settings.
- On the next screen, click Restart.
- After the restart, your device should now show the UEFI BIOS interface.
How to Enter BIOS on Windows 11 PC: From Command Prompt
Look for the Command Prompt app on the Start menu of Windows 11 PC and open it as an administrator user of the PC. Now, copy and paste the following command in the command line interface of the Command Prompt app and hit Enter.
shutdown /r /o
You’ll see a pop-up that says Windows will shut down in less than a minute.
Your device will restart and enter the WinRe environment as you’ve seen above. From there, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > UEFI Firmware Settings > Restart to enter BIOS on Windows 11.
How to Enter BIOS on Windows 11 PC: Using Windows Settings App
If you don’t prefer the above options explained so far, then you must like this method to open BIOS in Windows 11 PC. Follow these steps to enter the BIOS now:
- Open the Windows Settings app from the Start menu.
- On the left-side navigation panel, choose Windows Update.
- Within the Windows Update screen, select Advanced options.
- Click Recovery under Additional options within the Advanced options menu.
- On the next screen, you must find Advanced startup in the Recovery options menu.
- Click Restart now beside Advanced startup.
- Your Windows 11 PC will restart and enter the WinRe environment.
- Follow the steps mentioned earlier in this article on how to enter BIOS in Windows 11 from the WinRe screen.
How to Enter BIOS on Windows 11 PC: From a Desktop Shortcut
If you frequently enter the UEFI BIOS of your Windows 11 PC for professional or personal reasons, then you can cut down some steps by using the desktop shortcut method. Follow the instructions below to learn how to open BIOS on Windows 11:
- Right-click on the Windows 11 Desktop.
- From the context menu that pops up, select New.
- Within New, select Shortcut.
- Now, the desktop shortcut creation wizard will open.
- In the field for Type the location of the item, type in any of the following syntaxes:
shutdown /r /o (Restarts the PC in one minute)
shutdown /r /o /f /t 00 (Restarts the PC immediately)
- Click the Next button.
- Windows 11 PC is intelligent enough to name the shortcut as shutdown. However, you can rename it to Restart to BIOS.
- Now, simply double-click the shortcut to execute the shutdown command.
- The PC will reboot and enter the WinRE environment.
- From this screen, going to the BIOS is a cakewalk. Just choose to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > UEFI Firmware Settings > Restart on the successive screens to access BIOS.
How to Enter BIOS on Windows 11 PC: Via Windows Run App
Yet another easy way to go into BIOS on Windows 11 PC is by using the Run app. Here are some quick steps that you need to execute:
- Hit Windows + R to open the Run app at the bottom left corner of the screen.
- You’ll see the Open field with a typing box.
- There, type any of the following commands and hit Enter.
shutdown /r /o (Reboots Windows 11 PC in one minute)
shutdown /r /o /f /t 00 (Reboots Windows 11 OS immediately)
- Your device will reboot and enter WinRe.
- From here, follow the steps explained earlier to go to the BIOS program of the motherboard.
So far, you’ve explored seven different methods to enter BIOS or UEFI BIOS on a Windows 11 PC should you need to modify any settings on the system BIOS. Give any of the above methods a try that looks convenient to you.
Know another intuitive way to open BIOS in Windows 11 that I didn’t cover above? Don’t shy away from sharing the tip with us and millions of readers by mentioning it in the comment box.
Next up, the differences between Windows 11 Home and Pro.
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