How to access UEFI Firmware settings on Windows 8.1

In this article, we’ll discus how to reboot the system into BIOS or UEFI Firmware settings. Windows 8.1 is deigned 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 8.1

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 600x299 How to access UEFI Firmware settings on Windows 8.1

  • Now click on Update & Recovery option.

bios2 How to access UEFI Firmware settings on Windows 8.1

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

bios3 600x278 How to access UEFI Firmware settings on Windows 8.1

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

bios4 600x361 How to access UEFI Firmware settings on Windows 8.1

  • Under Troubleshoot select UEFI Firmware settings.

bios5 600x324 How to access UEFI Firmware settings on Windows 8.1

Now it should take you to the BIOS you need. Sometime 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.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
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.
  • myr4ik07

    Good

  • Daniel B.

    Thanks for the great article, but it’s odd – right when I arrive at the “Advanced Options” screen, I don’t have a UEFI Firmware settings…? Maybe I missed it, but I was following your article, step by step.

    The ironic part of the story though, is that I am trying to get my BIOS to Legacy, so I can reboot, have my keyboard and mouse seen, so I can then downgrade to Windows 7. 8 isn’t horrible, but it is average to poor IMO. 7 is what I like, and I hope 9 is the best of 7 and 8.

  • Jim Heidecker

    I also followed these steps (I have 8.1 installed) and do not see the UEFI Firmware settings.

  • Sam

    I tried the same and unable to see the UEFI firmware setting. Some suggested to disable the hibernation, I did that but still doesn’t help. Anyone know the correct way of doing this? I need to boot from my DVD. Thank you.

  • Willy

    I recall a shortcut: press “Shift” while clicking on “Restart”. This takes you directly to the Advance Start-up screen. Now, I need to find where I read about that shortcut.

  • http://www.thewindowsclub.com Anand Khanse

    Yes – That option has been mentioned here : http://www.thewindowsclub.com/startup-settings-windows-8 :)

  • 1BigBear

    I have experienced the same problem regarding the display of UEFI in “Advanced Settings”. From other posts I assume its because my motherboard predates the UEFI inclusion. When using F2 during Start-up, I get a screen prompt for a password/unlock key with a hint number. I have tried all my passwords without success and I think that going this route may access my computers BIOS. Can anyone help WRT where I can find the password or how to proceed? Thank you

  • TweedleDee

    When I restart my computer from the Advanced Startup and then hit restart. I choose Troubleshoot/Advanced options/UEFI Firmware Settings and restart, the computer beeps about 6 times and restarts, the computer is on, but the monitor goes to sleep.

  • sdfghjkl

    I use a Dell PC it was update to windows 8.1 today and I am wanting to downgrade it. However, I can’t even move using my keyboard arrows key on the menu, I;m pretty sure my keyboard is working perfectly. How do I use the bios menu then?

  • waseem

    I think to access UEFI in windows 8.1. you should convert your MBR to GPT first… check it whether your file system is MBR or GPT

  • Kerrie

    I don’t have a UEFI firmware settings in my advanced options

  • CraigNT55

    TweeleDee, did you get an answer to your question? I also experience the sleeping monitor.

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