What is Windows 10 WHQL setting in the BIOS?

Some of the OEMs have a unique feature in the BIOSWindows 10 WHQL Setting – which allows one to run some particular test when it comes to drivers. The settings seem to have cited on a couple of MSI motherboards as well and have left many to the confusion. In this post, we are clarifying about this particular setting.

Windows 10 WHQL BIOS

Windows 10 WHQL setting in BIOS

The Windows 10 WHQL Setting in the BIOS:

  1. Checks for signed drivers during the boot process
  2. Lets you enable UEFI support.

Before we talk about the setting, let’s get to know a bit about WHQL. It stands for Windows Hardware Quality Labs. The program certifies that the drivers are compatible with Windows version, and is also applicable to hardware.

So what is this setting doing in the BIOS? There are two possible explanations.

1] Check for signed drivers during boot

The first possible explanation is it is to check for hardware drivers compatibility. When you enable this in BIOS, the computer will run a full test during boot, and if it finds drivers which are not entirely signed, then it will halt the boot process. The BIOS can’t interact with the boot process of an operating system. The UEFI (Universal Extensible Firmware Interface) can do this, and that’s why it can check if all drivers are WHQL certified. It does by examining the drivers listed in the registry and compiling hardware database.

It is best for consumers not to use this option because it is possible that they might have such drivers. If you have accidentally enabled it, get back to BIOS settings, and choose something else or use default settings.

2] Enable Full UEFI Support

The second possibility is that this or any similar option enables full UEFI Support. It should only be used when you have a computer which is UEFI ready. You can choose to disable BIOS and switch to UEFI. Apart from making sure your computer is prepared if you are using the dual OS on your computer like Linux

I am assuming that its not a global setting. Some OEM seems to be using it, and it’s only confusing. However now that UEFI has become mainstream, OEMs will not be using this and instead, have BIOS or UEFI as options. That’s something we hope for.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.