How to access UEFI Firmware settings on Windows 10/8.1

In this article, we’ll discuss how to reboot the system into BIOS or UEFI Firmware settings. Windows 8.1/10 is designed to have a really fast boot time. In fact, it’s too fast to interrupt. Most of the decisions happen during the boot and are over in the first 2-3 seconds itself. These 2-3 seconds include the time allowed for firmware initialization and POST (< 2 seconds). In SSD-based UEFI systems, the “F8 window” is always visible for less than 200 milliseconds. Because of this Microsoft had to find out alternative ways to boot into BIOS or UEFI Firmware Settings.

In Steven Sinofsky’s article at MSDN, he addressed this problem and how they came up with a fix for this problem.

We ultimately solved these problems with a combination of three different solutions. Together they create a unified experience and solve the scenarios without needing to interrupt boot with a keystroke:

  1. We pulled together all the options into a single menu – the boot options menu – that has all the troubleshooting tools, the developer-focused options for Windows startup, methods for accessing the firmware’s BIOS setup, and a straightforward method for booting to alternate devices such as USB drives.
  2. We created failover behaviors that automatically bring up the boot options menu (in a highly robust and validated environment) whenever there is a problem that would keep the PC from booting successfully into Windows.
  3. Finally, we created several straightforward methods to easily reach the boot options menu, even when nothing is wrong with Windows or boot. Instead of these menus and options being “interrupt-driven,” they are triggered in an intentional way that is much easier to accomplish successfully.

Each of these solutions addresses a different aspect of the core problem, and together they create a single, cohesive end-to-end experience.

Access UEFI Firmware settings on Windows

In this article, I’ll show how to access that menu.

  • Go to All Apps screen on Windows 8 UI Menu and click on PC Settings.

bios1

  • Now click on Update & Recovery option.

bios2

  • Now under Update & Recovery select Recovery option.
  • Now in Recovery under Advanced start-up screen click on Restart now.

bios3

  • In Windows 10, open Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced startup. It looks as follows:

access UEFI Firmware settings

  • While rebooting it will take you to Advanced Start-up screen, there click on Troubleshoot.

bios4

  • Under Advanced options select UEFI Firmware settings.

bios5

Now it should take you to the BIOS you need.

Sometimes I wonder why we need to go through these process to get to the BIOS, it’s a little too much. Well, we asked for a fast boot time, and we got it. So it’s a small price to pay for a great performance.

Well, if you know any other alternative options do let us know.

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Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one’s and not of his current employers. He blogs at captaindbg.com.