What to Know
- For AMI, press Del after power up or F1 or F2. For Award, press Del key or Ctrl+Alt+Esc. See the list for others.
- As the computer boots, look for the BIOS manufacturer logo or text. Each manufacturer is accessed differently.
This article explains how to access BIOS after you locate the manufacturer name, and what to do if you can't determine the BIOS manufacturer.
How to Access BIOS Setup Utility
BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is your computer’s firmware, the base-level software that helps control your hardware. Accessing BIOS can be necessary at times, and this is usually an easy thing to do. However, if you’ve tried the basic BIOS access steps and still can’t get in, the information here may help you.
The first suggestion is to take a look at one or both of these lists of BIOS access keys:
- BIOS Setup Utility Access Keys for Popular Computer Systems
- BIOS Setup Utility Access Keys for Popular Motherboards
Every computer’s motherboard has a BIOS manufacturer, so if neither of the above resources helps, this list of BIOS access keyboard commands based on the original manufacturer should get you in without a problem.
As your computer boots up, look for one of the following manufacturers to flash on the screen. The name usually appears as a logo in the top-left corner or as text at the very bottom of the screen.
The beep you hear when you first turn on your computer is referred to as the Power On Self Test (POST).
After verifying the creator of the BIOS on your system, reference the information below and use the appropriate keyboard command to access the utility.
AMI BIOS Key (American Megatrends)
AMIBIOS, AMI BIOS
- Press Del after powering on the computer.
- Some older motherboards may prompt for the F1 or F2 key instead.
Award Software BIOS Key (Phoenix Technologies)
AwardBIOS, Award BIOS
- Press the Del key to enter the BIOS Setup Utility on nearly all AwardBIOS powered motherboards.
- Some older systems asked for Ctrl+Alt+Esc.
DTK BIOS Key (Datatech Enterprises)
- Press the Esc key, right after powering on the PC.
Insyde Software BIOS Key
- Press F2.
- If there’s an error during POST and you hear a beep code or see an error message, press F1 instead (F2 addresses the POST error in this scenario, and doesn’t launch the BIOS setup utility).
Microid Research BIOS Key
- Press F1 to access the utility.
Phoenix Technologies BIOS Key
Phoenix BIOS, Phoenix-Award BIOS
- Press Del during the POST, immediately after the computer starts.
- Many older systems required Ctrl+Alt+Esc, Ctrl+Alt+Ins, or Ctrl+Alt+S.
Trouble Finding Your BIOS Manufacturer
If you haven't found the BIOS manufacturer of your system, and you can't see that information when you reboot, there are a few other methods for finding this information.
One easy method is to use a system information tool. Most of those programs include that information.
Another way to find the BIOS manufacturer that doesn’t require a software download is to look in the System Information tool included in Windows. See our guide on checking the current BIOS version for help, which includes not only the version but also the BIOS manufacturer. In that guide, you’ll also find some alternative methods for finding out BIOS information, such as using a BIOS update tool or the Windows Registry
If All Else Fails
If you're still having trouble entering BIOS or can't figure out what company supplied the BIOS on your motherboard, here are some keyboard commands you can randomly try:
- Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Del (using Del from the keypad)
- Fn+[any "F" function key] (on some laptops)