Computer devices being brought by different brands relying on a wide variety of BIOS manufacturers allow users to enter the CMOS or BIOS setup in different ways. Due to this, a certain combination of keys may let you access the BIOS on a certain computer, but the same may not work for others.
In this article, we’ll be discussing several ways so that you can always figure out how to enter the BIOS or CMOS setup.
Attention If You Have a MAC!
Apple computers don’t include a BIOS. In place of a BIOS, these PCs use an EFI. Unlike a BIOS, this particular feature needs not be modified depending on the computer hardware. Compared to the BIOS, the EFI performs slightly better in that it offers smoother integration between the software and hardware of Apple computers, which is why you don’t really need a BIOS to run a MAC.
One More Thing to Note
Make sure the CMOS setup of your computer isn’t password-protected because if it is, the instructions in this article won’t be of any use to you.
How to Enter the BIOS or CMOS Setup?
Computer brands these days leave users with any of these buttons: Del, Esc, F1, F2, and F10, should they want to enter the BIOS on their computers. Make sure you use the one specified for your particular model during the boot time. Please note that F1, F2, F10, etc. are the function keys located right on the top of your keyboard.
If a diagnostic tool is opened as you press F2, most likely F10 is the set up key. F10 may let you access the boot menu, and if it does so, F2 should be the set up key for your computer. You need to press setup keys as your computer boots up.
As a general rule, you should see a message like this: “Press <F2> to enter BIOS setup” upon the computer startup. Older PCs may not display the same. Instead, you may see a flashing block that instructs the right time to press the F1/F2 keys.
Are you still wondering which key to use? Well, here’s a piece of advice. First, you need to make a ‘stuck key’ issue (error). To do this, you have to hold any random key(s) during the computer boot process. If you can manage to get that error, the option to enter the setup or continue should be available.
As you may have known, the process to enter the BIOS/CMOS varies from brand to brand, you may still have to struggle finding the right way. In that case, you need to look for the motherboard’s manual which should provide you the required instruction (the appropriate key) to access the BIOS.
Many users don’t feel interested in preserving the documentation from the manufacturers of motherboards. Don’t worry if you’ve lost it somehow. Visit the website of the manufacturer of your computer’s motherboard. Most companies keep these helpful resources available on their websites.
After entering the CMOS setup, a blue screen should appear, but that’s not a guarantee for all computers. Your computer screen may have a different color. Whatever manufacturer you like, you should come across nearly the same information and options.
What If You Want to Change Anything or Save Changes in CMOS?
After getting your way inside the CMOS setup, you may need to adopt different ways to change the settings. How the settings will be actually depends on the manufacturer of BIOS.
Some BIOS menus allow the user to select their target categories and assign different values by using the Arrow and Enter keys. In some BIOS menus, you may have to use the ‘Page up’ and/or ‘Page down’ keys for doing the same tasks.
What If You Want to Change the Existing Value of Some Settings?
Some BIOS menus don’t include any setting to let users change the speed, clock, or other things. The reason is that the motherboards don’t accept those settings. For those options to be available, you need to avail an update for the BIOS.
Sometimes, changes made by a user revert automatically to their default settings. Sometimes, the time and date settings can’t be kept up-to-date. Any of these signs tell that you should immediately replace your CMOS battery.
How to Save the changes?
Any change you make may need to be saved, and it’s done by using F10, the most common key to save changes. Only a few models use other ways to let users save the changes. Look at either the bottom or top of the screen to know which particular screen permits that.
What If Yours Is an Older Machine?
While modern computers are seen to use almost the same method to allow users to enter the BIOS, older models, especially the ones before 1995 had different methods. To enter the BIOS on those PCs, users had to use a combination of keys instead of one particular key. Please look at the list below to know which sequences are common.
- Ctrl + Alt + Enter
- Ctrl + Alt + Ins
- Ctrl + Alt + S
- Ctrl + Alt + Esc
- Page Up key or Page Down key
How to Enter the Acer BIOS?
You might be wondering why we’re talking about this brand where there’s dozens of others. We’re discussing because a lot of customers who have at least one Acer device are found to ask us how they can enter the BIOS.
When an Acer computer fails to boot, or the user simply needs to bring the BIOS back to its original state, he/she has to use the F10 key. Press that key as the computer is starting. As you keep holding the key, you’re likely to hear a couple of beeps which indicate that the settings have already been restored.
Knowing how to enter the BIOS or CMOS is the first step if you want to make any changes to the settings. Please be advised to have an appropriate procedure in the know before doing that.