When working with a computer, there are times when we have to look into the bowels of the software. Turning on BIOS / UEFI on a Windows 10 laptop gives you access to many options useful for managing your hardware. How to enable the BIOS? Check out our guide!
What is BIOS and how is it different from UEFI?
Our computers are devices with many functionalities, without which their proper operation would not be possible. Like the human subconscious responsible for our involuntary breathing, the BIOS is responsible for processes that occur without the user’s knowledge or awareness.
What is BIOS? It is an acronym for Basic Input / Output System. It is stored in the memory of many computer components, such as motherboard, graphics card, network card, etc. The task of the BIOS is to connect the hardware layer with the operating system, e.g. Windows 10. The firmware controls the basic tasks needed for the operation of the device.
One of the tasks of the BIOS is to check the functionality of the computer’s components during startup and restart (power-on-self-test, POST). It is also responsible for initiating the bootloader, that is, turning on the computer. This is where the boot priority can be changed. This is useful, for example, when you want to format the disk together with the removal of the operating system. By default, it is run first. If we want to install a new version, it is in the BIOS that we change the boot priority from the operating system to the installation disk with its new version.
The firmware also controls the data transfer between the hard disk, CD and DVD optical disc drive, and the processor. With it, you can also enable or disable communication ports.
Advances in technology have replaced the outdated BIOS in appearance, handling and capabilities with newer UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) software.
A distinctive feature of the BIOS is the text menu. The new version of the firmware has a more modern graphic design resembling application and operating system interfaces. The BIOS is also a positive change of navigation method that can only be operated using the keyboard. UEFI has been adapted to control the mouse.
How to enable BIOS / UEFI?
The answer to the question of how to enable BIOS or UEFI depends on the age of the computer. Newer devices have UEFI components sewn in. This interface has been implemented in Apple devices since 2006, and after 2010 it began to be used by manufacturers of computers with Windows installed.
For older machines, turning on the BIOS is not difficult. Computers in which we can see it work on older versions of Windows – 7, Vista or XP. This is due to the fact that the motherboard booting (booting) is so slow that it is possible to press the appropriate button.
The firmware keys vary depending on the make of the computer. So how do you turn on the BIOS on a desktop or laptop from individual manufacturers?
- How to turn on the Lenovo BIOS – by pressing the F1 key 5-10 times;
- How to turn on the BIOS on an ASUS laptop – F2, then the power button while holding them until you see the BIOS interface;
- How to turn on the BIOS on a Samsung laptop – usually it is enough to press F2 several times;
- How to turn on the BIOS on an Acer laptop – for desktops – Delete, for laptops – F2;
- How to turn on the BIOS on an HP laptop – depending on the device model – F2, F6 or F10.
However, it should be remembered that the methods listed above do not have to work for each model of the above brands. There is no one universal BIOS launch key. Fortunately, to make it easier for users to configure the computer, manufacturers often put this information on the first screen visible after turning it on.
While in the case of older copies, access to the firmware is relatively easy, in the case of new devices it is much more difficult. The easiest solution to the problem of how to turn on the BIOS / UEFI is to get into it from the operating system itself.
Can I enter the BIOS through Windows 10?
Entering BIOS settings, and to be precise, its newer version, i.e. UEFI on devices running Windows 10, is possible.
However, as mentioned earlier, this is more difficult. The boot of the motherboard with UEFI is usually much faster than on older models. Additionally, many manufacturers of graphics cards in their graphics cards implement proprietary systems that accelerate the launch of the operating system (e.g. MSI in GeForce RTX cards).
The best way to run the firmware is from the Windows Settings menu. After entering them, go to Update and security, then to Recovery and Restart now. After rebooting the system, select Troubleshoot and then select Run UEFI Firmware.
Using UEFI can be useful, especially when the computer won’t turn on or when the system boots up, software bugs prevent you from working. In this case, you should launch Safe Mode.
By default, Windows starts up in normal mode. The emergency one is used for software diagnostics. The system then starts only with the basic package of programs and drivers necessary for its operation. This allows you to more easily locate the problem and fix it. It is also easier to remove viruses.
You can access the menu of modes by holding down the Shift key and then pressing F8. It’s important to do this before booting the system. If this method does not work (e.g. due to the aforementioned fast boot), the solution is to turn Windows 10 on and off three times with the power button.
How to enter the BIOS on a laptop?
The BIOS or UEFI is activated on Windows systems in the same way as on desktop computers. It doesn’t matter if your PC is portable or not. Differences, as in the case of stationary units, exist due to the different way of running the firmware of a given manufacturer or model.