How to Enter and Access the BIOS on Windows 11 Computers

The BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is software that controls communication between the operating system and hardware components in a computer. Accessing the BIOS allows you to configure low-level settings related to booting, hardware detection, power management, and security. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to enter and access the BIOS on Windows 11 computers.

When You Need to Access the BIOS

There are several reasons why you may need to access your computer’s BIOS on Windows 11:

  • Change the boot order of devices
  • Enable or disable hardware components like Bluetooth, WiFi, webcams, etc.
  • Overclock your CPU or RAM
  • Update the BIOS software
  • Enable or configure security features like Secure Boot or TPM
  • Resolve issues with booting or hardware detection
  • Reset BIOS settings to default

Methods to Enter the BIOS

There are several methods you can use to enter the BIOS setup utility on a Windows 11 computer:

1. Press the BIOS Key During Boot

This is the most common method. As your computer boots:

  • Repeatedly press the BIOS key, which varies by manufacturer but is often F2, F10, Del, or Esc
  • A “Enter Setup” or “BIOS Setup Utility” screen should appear
  • If Windows boots instead, restart your PC and try again

2. Use Windows 11 Settings

If the BIOS key method doesn’t work, use Windows Settings:

  • Open Settings > System > Recovery
  • Under “Advanced startup”, click “Restart now”
  • After restarting, select “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced options” > “UEFI Firmware Settings” > “Restart”

3. Through Windows Terminal

Windows Terminal provides access through the command line:

  • Open Windows Terminal as administrator
  • Type shutdown /r /fw /t 0 to schedule an immediate restart
  • Your PC will boot directly into the firmware settings screen

Navigating the BIOS Interface

Once you enter the BIOS setup utility, you’ll see various menus and options. Here are some tips:

  • Use arrow keys to navigate between menus and options
  • Press Enter to select an option or open a submenu
  • Spacebar toggles an enable/disable option
  • Plus/minus keys modify numeric values
  • F1 displays help information for the current screen
  • Esc goes back to the previous menu

Take care when changing BIOS options as incorrect settings can cause boot issues or system instability.

Common BIOS Menus and Settings

Here are some of the key BIOS menus and settings you may need to access:

Main Menu

Displays system time/date, BIOS version, CPU info, RAM info, etc. Allows changing time/date.

Advanced Menu

Houses advanced configuration options like CPU, SATA, USB, onboard devices, etc. Use caution here.

Boot Menu

Configure boot order of storage devices. Set primary boot device to HDD, SSD, USB drive, network, etc.

Security Menu

Enable/disable Secure Boot, require password on boot, configure TPM settings, manage device encryption.

Save & Exit Menu

Save changes and exit BIOS setup utility. Reset to defaults or discard changes if unstable.

Saving Changes and Exiting BIOS

After making any changes in the BIOS:

  • Navigate to the Save & Exit menu
  • Select “Save Changes and Reset”
  • Confirm saving when prompted
  • Your PC will restart, applying new BIOS settings

If your changes cause issues, reset BIOS to default settings by selecting “Load Optimized Defaults” in the Save & Exit menu.

BIOS Updates

It’s important to keep your BIOS updated for stability, compatibility, and security:

  • Check manufacturer website for the latest BIOS version for your motherboard
  • Download the BIOS update file and save to a USB flash drive
  • Reboot into BIOS and select the update utility to install the new BIOS version
  • Follow on-screen prompts – do not power off during the update


Accessing and navigating the BIOS is essential for configuring hardware, troubleshooting, and security. Use the step-by-step instructions provided to easily enter the BIOS on Windows 11 using your keyboard, Settings app, or Windows Terminal. Take care when changing options and keep your BIOS updated. Feel free to refer back to this guide whenever you need to access the BIOS on your Windows 11 computer.