How to enter the BIOS or UEFI on any PC

The BIOS is a set of software instructions provided with any motherboard that can handle the proper boot of all peripherals. The BIOS is, therefore, the first "program" to start as soon as the PC is turned on. On modern PCs, BIOS has been replaced by UEFI, which adds important innovations regarding security and "removes" the management of screens with the addition of icons and mouse compatibility, so that everything can be managed with a pointer. Entering the BIOS/UEFI is usually not necessary, but if we have some problems with booting (such as starting USB keys or disks instead of the internal hard disk) or want to overclock the components we will inevitably need to know the key combination. to press during the PC start-up phase.

In this guide we have collected all the key combinations for any brand of PC, be it notebook or desktop. Accessing the BIOS or entering UEFI will be a walk once the key combination is discovered.

NOTE: we will have to press the recommended combinations as soon as you turn on your PC, otherwise the operating system will start. If you are not sure of your timing you can press the key or the keys repeatedly until the BIOS / UEFI screen appears.

Enter the BIOS/UEFI

General keys

The keys most used to access the BIOS/UEFI are the following:

  • Delete
  • F2

Often the difficulty of recalling these shortcuts can be given by a different arrangement of the secondary keys on some notebook models, such as the Lenovo. On these PCs, for example, F2 is a secondary key that can be called up with FN + key-volume-down.

Manufacturer specific keys

We have gathered in a simple list all the keys to press to access the BIOS or UEFI whatever the manufacturer of the notebook or the manufacturer of the motherboard or preassembled (in the case of fixed PCs).

NOTE: It may be useful to observe the PC startup to recognize the BIOS manufacturer.

  • AMI, Award BIOSDel or Canc
  • AST Advantage, AwardBIOSCtrl + Alt + Esc
  • CompaqF10 when the cursor blinks or the Compaq logo appears
  • Dell (fixed): Press the Reset Button twice
  • Dell Dimension (portable)Del or Del
  • EISA Computer: Press the Reset button on the front of the computer, then press Ctrl + Alt + Esc or Ctrl + Alt + S.
  • eMachinesTab
  • Gateway with Phoenix BIOSF1
  • HPF2
  • Hewlett-Parkard (old)F1
  • IBM ThinkPad (old)Ctrl + Alt + Ins
  • IBM ThinkPad (new): hold down F1
  • IBM ThinkPad with Phoenix BIO : Ctrl + Alt + F11
  • PhoenixCtrl + Alt + S
  • Phoenix (alternative)Ctrl + S
  • Sony VAIOF2
  • Tandon 386Ctrl + SHIFT + Esc
  • Tandon : Ctrl + Shift + Esc
  • ToshibaEsc
  • Toshiba, PhoenixF1
  • Zenith, PhoenixCtrl + Alt + Ins

Alternative methods

Did none of the previous keys work to enter the BIOS or UEFI? We can try one of the following combinations, surely you will find the one that fits your configuration or system.

  • Ctrl + Esc
  • Ctrl + Alt
  • Ctrl + Alt + (+)
  • Ctrl + Alt + S
  • Ctrl + Alt + Enter
  • Ctrl + Alt + Ins
  • Ctrl + Alt + Esc

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