How To Boot To BIOS On Dell

A well-known conventional method to boot into BIOS is by using the dedicated function key during the device startup. The downside of this method is that the function key isn’t the same for every Dell device and users only get seconds of time to press the key. For the other methods, users need to boot into the operating system.

From the Initial Display Screen

The most convenient method of entering into the BIOS on Dell devices is from the Initial Display Screen. When the computer is powered on and the manufacturer logo is displayed,  you can press specific keys and enter the BIOS.

On Dell devices, follow these steps to access the BIOS.

  1. Press the Power button to start the computer. If it is already powered on, restart it.Press the Power button
  2. When you see the manufacturer’s name and logo, press the F2 key. If asked, enter the password.

The key you have to press to enter in order to enter the BIOS may differ according to the model you own. Here is the list of Dell models, along with their respective BIOS access function keys.

Device Model  Function Keys to Access BIOS
Inspiron, Latitude F2
Optiplex, Dimension  Del
Dell400 F3 or F1
Dell4400  F12
Older Dell Computers Ctrl + Alt + Enter

From the Recovery Environment

This method will only work if the BIOS mode is UEFI. In the case of Legacy BIOS, you have to use the first method to access it. Here are the steps you need to check the BIOS mode on your Windows Device.

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run.
  2. Type msinfo32 and hit enter to launch the System Information window.
  3. Search for the BIOS mode details in the System Summary.bios-mode-uefi-legacy
  4. Check if it is UEFI or Legacy.

Access the UEFI BIOS through the Recovery Environment using these steps.

  1. Go to the Power options from the start menu.
  2. Click on the Restart button while holding down the Shift key. 
  3. The computer restarts and boots into the Advanced Recovery Environment
  4. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > UEFI Firmware Settings.UEFI firmware settings
  5. Click on Restart.
  6. Finally, the system will restart and enter the BIOS.

You can refer to our other article to get into the Windows recovery environment and access the advanced options.

From the Command Prompt

It is not possible to directly open the BIOS using the Command Prompt. However, you can start up in the Recovery environment using a command line and then navigate to the BIOS.

  1. Press Ctrl + X and click on Windows Terminal (Admin).
  2. Click on Yes to run the Command Prompt with elevated privileges.
  3. Now, enter this command line and hit Enter.         
    shutdown.exe /r /oRestart to RE
  4. Your device will now restart and enter the Recovery Environment.
  5. Choose the Troubleshoot option.Windows-RE-Troubleshoot
  6. Then go to Advanced Options > UEFI Firmware Settings, and click on Restart.UEFI firmware settings
  7. You will now get booted to the BIOS (UEFI).
  8. Additionally, If you want to extract some information without booting into the BIOS on your dell computer, you can do it using Windows PowerShell.
    1. Press Windows key + R to open Run.
    2. Type powershell and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter.
    3. Now, type this syntax and hit enter.
      Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_BIOS | Format-List *Powershell for extracting the BIOS info
    4. You will get the BIOS details like version, product serial number, and other different information.

From the Shortcut

You can create a shortcut for the recovery environment and access the BIOS from it very easily. 

  1. Right-click on the desktop.
  2. Go to New > Shortcut.
     press new then shortcut
  3. Paste this under the location field in the Create Shortcut window and click on Next.
    shutdown /r /o /f /t 00
  4. Give a name for the shortcut and click on Finish. This will create a shortcut on your desktop. 
  5. Open the shortcut file to boot into the Recovery Environment. 

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