BIOS (Basic Input Output System) is a tiny piece of code your computer must go through during the booting process. Before loading your operating system into the main memory, it performs the hardware-related tests known as the Power On Self Test (POST). Then, it notifies you if it finds any fault in your system.
You won’t be able to load your operating system if your machine is stuck in BIOS. And if that’s the case, you’re presumably in big trouble. You can fix this issue by checking the hardware connections or tweaking the right BIOS settings.
In this article, we will mainly discuss how to exit out of the stuck BIOS and how to fix it if your PC won’t exit from it.
How to Enter and Exit the BIOS?
Entering the BIOS in a Windows PC is not a big deal once you start your computer. You can enter the BIOS by pressing the certain keys depending upon your PC manufacturer. Normally the keys are F2, F10, F12, or DEL Key.
The key that you must press is shown just after you boot your PC. You can also look at that and identify the key. You can use advanced recovery settings to enter the BIOS as well.
Some of the keys to enter the BIOS concerning their manufacturers are listed below:
Dell: F2 or F12 Acer: F2 or DEL Samsung: F2 Gigabyte: F2 or DEL MSI: DEL HP: F10 Toshiba: F2 Lenovo: F2 or Fn+F2
Once you enter the BIOS settings and make necessary changes, press the F10 key to exit from it. If it is not the F10 key, you can see which key is used at the bottom of your BIOS screen. Similarly, if you have not made any changes to the BIOS settings and want to exit from it, press the Escape (Esc) key.
How to Fix if PC Is Stuck at BIOS?
Playing with the BIOS settings is quite tricky. Its incorrect configuration may sometimes land you in trouble. You may not be able to exit BIOS because of it, or your PC may automatically boot into BIOS. Moreover, hardware issues can also get you stuck at the BIOS screen. Here we will see some fixes for what to do if your PC won’t exit out of it.
Check Your Keyboard
Sometimes, the keys on your keyboard may get stuck, and it might be causing the problem. Normally the key to enter the BIOS settings is F2 or DEL key. Check if those keys are stuck and fix them if there are any.
Check Connections of Peripheral Devices
When the BIOS performs the Power On Self Test (POST), it checks if everything is okay with the connected peripherals. It checks for recent hardware changes in your system. If the external hardware devices (example: external hard drives, keyboard, mouse) are not connected properly, it may always redirect you to the BIOS settings.
Make sure they are properly connected. Power off your machine and remove all the external devices connected to it. Replug it to see if the problem is solved.
Disconnect the External Storage Device
You might sometimes insert external storage disks into your PC and forget to remove them. It won’t be a problem if the external drive has a bootable file. Else booting your PC will directly take you to the BIOS page.
Remove all the external disks connected to your PC before booting your PC to solve the problem.
Set BIOS to Default
You must be very careful when you make changes to the BIOS settings. You may unknowingly alter the BIOS settings to be incompatible with your machine. In such a case, the most straightforward option is to set BIOS to default values. Follow these steps to set it to default values:
Open your BIOS Setup Utility tool. At the bottom of the screen, you will see a shortcut key mentioned for Load Optimized Defaults (Generally the F9 key). Press that key and save the modifications. OR
Navigate to the Save & exit tab and load defaults from there.
Loading the default settings fixes the problem most of the time. Try other fixes discussed below if it does not work.
Reset the BIOS Physically
If setting the BIOS to default values did not help, you can try to resetting the BIOS by removing the CMOS battery. Once you remove the battery and boot your PC, BIOS settings will be restored to default. You can also consider replacing the battery and see if it works. This method also works to repair the corrupted BIOS.
To accomplish this, you’ll need to turn off your computer and open the case. Locate and remove the CMOS battery from your motherboard. To discharge any leftover energy, keep pressing the power button for a few seconds. Replace the old battery with a fresh one and restart the computer.
Disable Secure Boot and Fast Boot
This method comes out to be the most working method according to many people. Enabled secure boot and fast boot can cause boot issues and stick you inside the BIOS. Follow these steps to disable these modes:
Navigate to Security options inside BIOS.
Disable the Secure boot option and save the modifications.
Next, navigate to the Boot tab in the BIOS menu.
Disable the fast boot option and then enable CSM.
Save the modifications and then restart your computer.
However, disabling the secure boot is not recommended. If disabled, the unsigned drivers and programs like malware can take over your PC, and you may face a problem.
Check Your Boot Device Priority Settings
The hard disk is where your OS is installed. So, you should always put your hard drive in the boot order priority. Trying to boot from the device without bootable files will always boot your PC to BIOS, and you will get stuck there.
Get to the Boot tab on your BIOS settings.
Set your boot disk (normally hard disk) in the first place of boot device priority.
Save changes and exit.
Restart your computer to see if the problem is solved.
Boot Into Safe Mode
Usually, three or more unsuccessful restarts will lead you to the page where the troubleshooting option is shown. Then follow these steps to boot into safe mode:
Once your PC reboots, you need to choose the option: Safe Mode with Networking.
Safe mode boots your computer only with very basic system files required for it. Once booted into Safe mode, you will then be able to review the latest apps that were installed or updated. You can see the drivers and additional hardware that just got installed. Possibly, one of those issues must be causing trouble. You can easily figure that out.
Startup Repair using Bootable Media
Startup repair can also come in handy if you can’t get out of the BIOS screen. In case you can’t get into startup repair settings within Windows, you will need a bootable media to do it. Follow these steps to perform startup repair using bootable media:
Create a Windows installation media using a bootable USB device.
Boot from the USB and click Repair your computer once the Windows Setup Screen opens.
Startup repair will then diagnose your PC for any errors and fix the issue.
Update the BIOS
Updating the BIOS is almost not recommended. It is generally updated to solve the compatibility issues (for example: when using a new processor with your motherboard). It is a critical process; you may make your motherboard useless if anything goes wrong. There must be no power cut, or you must not reboot your PC during the updating process. Follow these steps to update your BIOS:
First, you need to know which BIOS version is installed in your system. To find this, search msinfo in your Windows search box and open System Information from the search results. You will see your current BIOS version there.
Then, Go to your PC manufacturer’s website, and get the most recent BIOS (or UEFI).
Unzip the file and save it to a USB flash device.
Enter the BIOS / UEFI mode by restarting your PC.
Please navigate to the menu which says BIOS/UEFI update and update it.
We already have a comprehensive guide to updating the BIOS safely. You can study it in detail from there.