Sunday, May 5, 2013

How to Access the BIOS in Windows 8


Accessing the BIOS on PCs has also been a must for most of us, even if it is still seen as a power-user feature. However, getting access to the BIOS in Windows 8 machines might prove difficult. Windows 8 boots so fast that it is really difficult to get to it. Even more, if you can access the BIOS, how can you navigate through it on a Windows 8 tablet device, if you don’t have a keyboard at hand?

Accessing the BIOS

The first thing you will need to do is to disable “Fast Startup”. Open the Control Panel, and then select Power Options. Select the “Choose what the power buttons do” on the left menu. You might need to enable the advanced settings that might be unavailable (do so by taping/clicking on “Change settings that are currently unavailable”). Now you should be able to un-check the “Turn on fast startup” option.


This will slow down the Windows 8 startup process so you can actually access the BIOS. Then, shut down your device.

To access the BIOS you need to press and hold the Windows Button and the Power Button at the same time. This will booth your device into the BIOS.

Navigating the BIOS on a tablet device

The next thing you will find, is that in most tablet devices, you won’t have a keyboard attached to it. If this is the case, it becomes handy to know how to navigate around the BIOS screen without keyboard, since you won’t be able to navigate using touch.

The way to navigate might vary between manufacturers and BIOS versions, but here’s one way that works for most tablets:

  • Windows + Power = boot into BIOS
  • Volume Up/Down = navigate up and down within the current screen
  • Rotation Lock = select the current option
  • Rotation Lock + Volume Up/Down = navigate between BIOS screens
  • Exit = Windows

Windows RT

As far as I can tell, this option is not available in Windows RT. You can’t change the startup process or access the BIOS, which makes sense since Windows RT is a strip down version of Windows 8, and chances are that you don’t need to access the BIOS on a Windows RT tablet. Windows RT runs on ARM and most ARM devices will come with the OS pre-installed (and in any case you are not supposed/allowed to be able to re-install or copy Windows RT).

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