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Solutions Help

Getting Access to Your BIOS

  Generic Access  

When the computer first start, the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) checks the keyboard for a special key press, to signify you wish to enter the BIOS setup. Typically you have about 2 seconds to press the key. Many systems will display a brief message showing the key needed to enter setup. For example:


Press F2 to enter Setup


If you see the Windows logo or Windows progress bar, it is too late to enter BIOS setup.

Common keys used to enter setup include F1, F2, F10, Esc, Del, Ctrl-Alt-Del, and a few others. Using the key shown on-screen is the best choice if seen, otherwise use our guide below to get the right key, or you can just try each of the keys on each boot cycle to find the right one.

The timing of the key press can be tricky. We recommend watching for the keyboard reset where the three keyboard LEDs flicker on then off. At that point tap the key you need for Setup and keep taping it on-off at about once per second until the BIOS indicates it is going into setup or the setup screen appears.

In some cases the BIOS may display a keyboard error (which is not the case) and/or displays a message to press a specific key to enter setup. Press that key.

Setup Key Locator:

  Setup Access by Computer Manufacturers  
Acer   Del or F2 for current models

F1 or Ctrl-Alt-Del or Ctrl-Alt-Esc for older models

(owned by HP)
  F10 for current models

F1, F2, F10, or Del for older models

Dell   F2 for current models

Del, Ctrl-Alt-Del, Fn+Esc, Fn+F1, Del or F3 for older models

eMachines   F2, Tab or Del

Fujitsu   F2

Gateway   F1 for current models

F2 for some older models

  F1, F2 or Esc for most models

F10 or F12 for Tablet PCs

IBM   F1 or F2 for older models (Lenovo now sells current models)

Thinkpads access at Windows via Start->Programs->Thinkpad CFG

Lenovo   F1 or F2 for current models

Fn+F1, Ctrl-Alt-Ins, Ctrl-Alt-F3 for older models

MPC Computers  

F1, F2 or Del

NEC   F2

Panasonic   F2

Sharp   F2

Shuttle   F1 or F2

Sony   F1, F2, or F3

Toshiba   F1 or Esc
  Setup Access by BIOS Vendors  
  These vendors sell BIOSes to computer manufacturers and motherboard makers. Some computer manufacturers also make there own BIOSes, but do not sell them to others.  
(American Megatrends)

Del for current versions

F1 or F2 for older BIOS versions

Award BIOS
(Award Software, now owned by Phoenix)
  Del for most versions

Ctrl-Alt-Esc for some older BIOSes

(Datatech Enterprises, may be out of business)


(Microid Research, now owned by Phoenix)
Phoenix BIOS
(Phoenix Technologies)
  Del for current versions

, Ctrl-Alt-Ins or Ctrl-Alt-S for older versions
  Setup Access by Motherboard Manufacturers  
abit   Del

ASRock   F2

ASUS   Del

BFG Tech   Del


DFI   Del

ECS Elitegroup   Del or F1

EVGA   Del

Foxconn   Del


Intel   F2

JetWay   Del

Mach Speed   Del

MSI (Micro-Star)   Del

PCChips (Elitegroup)   Del or F1


Shuttle   Del or Ctrl-Alt-Del

TYAN   Del or F4

XFX   Del