BIOS is the first operation that takes place as you press your laptop’s power button to boot it up.
It’s responsible for various essential computer functions, such as booting up your laptop and loading the operating system on the hardware. Plus, it keeps track of your personal settings like system time and wallpaper.
Whether you wish to alter system time settings, update BIOS, or enable hardware components, you must know how to enter BIOS.
So, really, how to enter BIOS in an HP laptop?
That we’ll find out in this guide. For instance, this article will walk you through easy steps on accessing BIOS on your HP laptop.
Besides the traditional hotkey method of entering BIOS, we’ll also explore how to access BIOS via the Windows start menu – that too, on different Windows versions.
With that said, let’s dive in.
A laptop goes through a process called POST as you turn it on. This process occurs until the startup screen appears (mainly in the form of the Windows logo).
To enter BIOS on your laptop, press its BIOS hotkey within the POST period – before you see the startup screen.
Different laptops and computers have different BIOS hotkeys, depending on their models and manufacturers. But most HP laptops have ESC or F10 as their BIOS hotkey.
To be precise, the HP laptops from the following series have F10 as the BIOS hotkey:
- HP Pavilion
- HP EliteBook
- HP Stream
- HP OMEN
- HP ENVY
If your HP laptop belongs to any of these series, press F10 as it boots up to enter BIOS. If this hotkey doesn’t work, try ESC instead. Remember, press the BIOS key before the startup screen shows up.
Pressing a BIOS hotkey during the boot-up has been the standard way of entering BIOS for a long time. But as computers became fast, many users found it hard to press the required hotkey within the tight time frame.
So, Microsoft allowed users to access BIOS through Windows Start Menu. This feature is available on all popular Windows versions, including Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows 11.
Below are in-depth methods for entering BIOS on Windows 10 and Windows 11.
Follow these steps to access BIOS on an HP laptop running Windows 11:
Step #1: Open the Settings app on your laptop. Search it using the Search Bar or use the shortcut Win + I.
Step #2: Navigate to System to access System settings.
Step #3: Select Recovery.
Step #4: Click Restart Now next to the Advanced Startup option. As you press this button, your laptop will actually restart.
Step #5: When a screen comes up after the restart, select Troubleshoot and go to Advanced options.
Step #6: Click UEFI Firmware Settings and select Restart. It will restart your laptop once again.
Step #7: As the restart process completes, you’ll be taken to the BIOS screen.
The process of entering BIOS on a laptop with Windows 10 is quite similar to that of Windows 11.
Step #1: Open the Settings app on the laptop (use the shortcut Win + I)
Step #2: Go to System > Recovery.
Step #3: Click Restart Now under the Advanced Startup option. (It will actually restart your laptop).
Step #4: On the next screen, select Troubleshoot and navigate to Advanced options.
Step #6: Select UEFI Firmware Settings and click Restart. Your laptop will restart again.
Step #7: That’s it; the BIOS screen will appear next.
Note: Follow the same steps to enter BIOS in an HP laptop running older Windows versions (Windows 8 or Windows 8.1) through the Windows start menu.
It’s easy to access BIOS in HP laptops using Windows 8 or newer since you get two options – press the BIOS hotkey or use the Windows start menu.
But if your HP laptop has Windows 7, Windows Vista, or another older Windows version, you can only enter BIOS through the hotkey.
Follow these steps to access BIOS in an HP laptop with an older Windows version:
Step #1: Power off your HP laptop.
Step #2: Turn it on.
Step #3: Quickly press the BIOS hotkey (mostly ESC or F10) before the Windows logo appears. (Sometimes, the laptop itself indicates which key to press to enter BIOS).
Step #4: That’s it; you’ll be taken to the BIOS settings. If you’re unable to press the BIOS hotkey timely, restart the laptop once it boots up and try again.
If you’re unable to enter BIOS on your HP laptop, there still are some fixes you can try, such as:
More often than not, users cannot access BIOS settings because of the fast boot-up speeds of their laptops (thanks to fast-speed SSD drives).
In such a case, you can try reducing your laptop’s startup speed to give you extra seconds to press the BIOS key. Follow these steps to do that:
Step #1: Open Control Panel on your laptop.
Step #2: Select Power Options and click Choose What the Power Button Does.
Step #3: Here, access the Fast Startup settings and click Disable Fast Startup.
Step #4: Confirm the action and restart your laptop.
Step #5: Retry pressing the BIOS key to see if it takes you to the BIOS configuration.
In some cases, the laptop doesn’t allow accessing BIOS settings because of some error, such as boot failure. Or, it may show the blue screen of death as you press the BIOS key.
A USB boot disk can be a great way to overcome these issues. Follow these steps to enter BIOS using a USB boot disk:
Step #1: Connect a boot-enabled USB device to your HP laptop.
Step #2: Turn on your laptop and select the USB device as the boot device.
Step #3: Instead of pressing the Install Now button, click Repair Your Computer instead.
Step #4: On the next screen, click Troubleshoot and navigate to UEFI Firmware Settings.
Step #5: Now, click Restart and see if you can access BIOS now.
Note: If nothing seems to work, consider reaching out to a computer technician in your area and asking them to help resolve the issue.
Since we used the word BIOS excessively in this guide, you might wonder what it really is. Simply put, BIOS is a crucial startup program for your laptop.
It stands for Basic Input/Output System and controls many essential processes.
For instance, it’s responsible for running your laptop hardware and loading the operating system into the RAM for execution.
Generally speaking, BIOS is embedded into a laptop as a motherboard chip. It’s an EPROM (erasable, programmable, read-only memory) that lets you reprogram or modify its data.
Further, unlike RAM, BIOS retains the data when power is turned off. As the power is turned on, it retrieves the same data.
In fact, BIOS stores your personal settings like system time and date.
Apart from that, it also manages data transfer between your laptop’s operating system and all the devices connected to it – including the CPU, RAM, keyboard, printer, and hard drives.
BIOS runs the POST process whenever you turn on your laptop. POST stands for Power-On Self Test and verifies the essential devices are connected to your laptop before turning it on, such as its RAM (more on this below).
As a crucial startup program, BIOS performs many essential computer functions. Here’s an overview of important functions performed by BIOS:
POST is a process that runs whenever you turn on your laptop. If you wish to enter BIOS, you must press the BIOS key during the POST process.
It lasts for a few or many seconds depending on the laptop. This process is quicker in newer laptops with faster storage drives.
The POST test quickly inspects the hardware parts of your laptop, ensuring all essential components are connected. These include the graphics card, keyboard, mouse, and processor.
If any device is disconnected or misbehaves, it shows an error on the screen and plays beep sounds to indicate the issue.
You can use the beep sound codes to determine the issue with your laptop. For instance, two long beeps refer to a parity error that requires resetting or replacing memory.
CMOS is a microchip used in all laptop and computer motherboards.
It stands for Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor and stores system information like time & date settings, hardware configurations, and BIOS settings.
The BIOS is also responsible for managing data storage in this chip in your laptop.
BIOS also manages the BIOS drivers in your laptops. These built-in programs boot your laptop as you press the power button and kickstart the hardware parts.
They also manage basic operational controls for the proper functioning of your laptop.
The bootstrap loader is an app that loads the operating system on your laptop’s hardware.
It scans the storage drives of your laptop to find the operating system files so it can load them into RAM.
BIOS is responsible for the operation of the Bootstrap loader in a laptop.
That said, the Bootstrap loader is being replaced by EFI in newer laptops. It stands for Extensible Firmware Interface.
Entering BIOS in an HP laptop is quick and easy. It requires pressing the BIOS key as your laptop boots up (before the startup screen appears).
The BIOS key in most HP laptops is F10, including laptops from HP Pavilion, HP EliteBook, HP Stream, HP OMEN, and HP ENVY series. But some HP laptops also have ESC as the BIOS hotkey.
If you struggle to access BIOS through the BIOS hotkey method, consider trying the Windows start menu method.
But if you’re running older Windows (Windows 7 or Windows Vista, etc.), pressing the BIOS hotkey is your only option!