This tutorial explains what is BIOS, why and how to update the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) on Windows 10 with the help of screenshots:
BIOS is the in-built flash memory that comes with the motherboard and is responsible for the hardware initialization at the time of system boot.
In this tutorial, we will guide you through an easy and very important task, and that is how to update BIOS on Windows 10.
What You Will Learn:
What is BIOS
BIOS is also called CMOS. First of all, BIOS is a bunch of code provided by the manufacturer of the CPU to the Motherboard manufacturer.
It’s the Basic Input Output System of a PC that gets powered on as soon as the system starts booting. It comes with the motherboard embedded within as a chip. It’s one of the core processors that are responsible for hardware initialization when the operating system starts booting up. Currently, every modern motherboard has built-in flash memory where BIOS data is stored.
But this memory has a limitation, and that is, it can be infected by BIOS rootkits. To eliminate this problem, the successor to BIOS is Unified Extensible Firmware Interface or UEFI. If anything goes wrong while updating BIOS, it may cause serious damage to your motherboard.
Why Update BIOS
In case you have upgraded your system with some new hardware or processor, and the system doesn’t recognize the same; then you need to update the BIOS.
Recommended OS Repair Tool – Outbyte PC Repair
Before you proceed to update your system BIOS, we suggest you first perform a full system scan using Outbyte PC Repair Tool.
This all-in-one PC repair tool will identify and inform you of vulnerabilities that might affect your PC during a BIOS update by performing a full system scan. The software is easy to install and doesn’t need you to be a technical expert to operate it.
- PC Battery Saver
- Full PC Scan
- Check and perform system updates
How to Update BIOS on Windows 10
Let’s see the step-by-step process with screenshots.
Updating BIOS is very easy when you have all the information regarding a BIOS and how it works. So do not interrupt the process while you are updating your BIOS. You need to be careful if you are from a place where you face power failure quite often. So make sure your computer is hooked into a good UPS.
If you are updating the BIOS of your Laptop, make sure that your battery is 100% charged and can provide backup for at least 20-30 minutes. Ensure that the BIOS you want to install into your Motherboard is 100% compatible with your motherboard and processor. So it is advisable to download BIOS from the official site of the motherboard manufacturer.
Generally, we do not update BIOS until and unless we face any performance issues. And the same is the standard advice from the motherboard manufacturer side. But if you go for a CPU or a RAM overclocking, then you need to update your BIOS to gain better performance. First, we need a Pen drive, and make sure that the Pen drive is completely clean and virus free.
You need to download the BIOS file from the official site. Then unzip the BIOS file into the Pen drive.
Step 1: Check the model of motherboard or laptop
Don’t worry, it’s not a complicated task. If you are a desktop user, you could find it easily. But after this, you have to download BIOS from the official site of the motherboard manufacturer. So consider this step as an important one.
- Find the motherboard box and you will get to know your motherboard’s model no. For example, AMD motherboard has A320, B450, X470, B550, X570, etc. Intel has Z370, H310, Z390, Z490, etc.
- If you don’t have your motherboard box, then simply open your side panel of the CPU cabinet and you could see the model name or the number of your motherboard.
- If your system is up and running, then simply download the CPU-Z application and install it. Start the application and go to the Mainboard tab and you will see the model number of your motherboard as highlighted in the image below.
Recommended Reading =>> What Is A Microprocessor
Step 2: Find BIOS version on Windows 10
The next step is to find the current BIOS version of your system. Because you don’t want to install the same version of BIOS twice. Or you don’t want to downgrade your BIOS by mistake.
To find the BIOS version of your system, follow the below-mentioned options:
Option 1: The command prompt is the best place to find out the BIOS version of your system. First Press Windows key + X to open the WinX menu and select Command Prompt (Admin) or Windows PowerShell (Admin) from the list. Refer to the screenshots below.
Now run Command Prompt (Admin) or Windows PowerShell (Admin) as admin and type the “wmic bios get smbiosbiosversion” and hit Enter. Just copy the command between the inverted commas.
After this, you will see SMBIOSBIOSVersion and the BIOS version of your system. Here in the example, it is A.D0, you may see a different BIOS version.
Option 2: Alternatively, you can type “systeminfo” after Step 1 of the above-mentioned option and hit Enter. This command will provide a long list of your system information and from that list, you can find the BIOS version of your system.
Option 3: Here is another way to find out the current BIOS version of your system, and that is the System Information tool. The system information tool contains all the important information related to both hardware and software. So, you can see the current BIOS version you are running on.
Press Window Key + S and hit Enter and then select System Information from the list.
This method is the simplest of all, and you can get other information related to your system. Just remember the System Summary panel on the left top corner where this information is stored. And My BIOS version is A.D0 as highlighted and underlined in the below screenshot.
Option 4: You can check your BIOS version by directly entering into BIOS. For that, you may have to restart your system and hit Del, F2, F10, or F12 key on your keyboard while your system boots. For my motherboard, it’s Del or the Delete button.
To know which key, you need to press while the system reboots. Please see your motherboard manual or go to the official site of your motherboard manufacturer and download the manual. Refer to the screenshot below for the BIOS picture so you can understand. But remember, your BIOS may look different.
Option 5: Press Windows Key + R to Run command and type DXDiag for DirectX Diagnostic tool. This is a useful tool to check your Display, Audio drivers, and hardware information. From this tool, you can also see the BIOS version you are on.
After running the command if any pop-ups come, just select yes and wait for a few seconds. Go to the System tab of the DxDiag tool and look for the BIOS section. It holds the necessary information regarding the BIOS version as highlighted in the screenshot below for your understanding.
Option 6: Just run the CPU-Z application which you have downloaded earlier and go to the Mainboard tab and look for the BIOS section where you can see the BIOS version of your system.
Shortcut Keys To Open BIOS
Every motherboard manufacturer provides a way to enter into the BIOS or CMOS setup. This interface is different from Windows and allows you to configure settings according to your requirement. It is usually preferred the overclocking of RAM to get better performance.
Below is a list of many common processes to access your computer BIOS setup.
For New Gen Computers,
During the boot process, hit any of the following five keys to enter into your BIOS. These are as follows:
- F2 *
- F10 *
*F1, F2, F10 are the function keys on the top side of your keyboard. In the case of laptops, you may see the brand logo and nothing or may see a message like “Press <F2> to enter BIOS setup”.
Some older computers had different methods to enter into BIOS. Some keys are provided below-
- Page Up key
- Page Down key
Refer to some BIOS menus below for better understanding. And there is no need to panic because entering into the BIOS is not Rocket science.
Some of the Old and New BIOS menu:
Step 3: Methods to flash BIOS on Windows 10
Take a 4GB Pendrive with you. Now make sure that your Pendrive is formatted and free from all kinds of viruses or malware. Because if not, it may cause damage to your BIOS. BIOS Recovery is difficult if somehow you have a corrupt BIOS memory.
So be careful with this point. Now go to the official site of your motherboard manufacturer or in case you are on a laptop, visit official sites only to download the latest compatible BIOS from the “update” option of your system. Once the downloading is completed put the main BIOS file into the Pendrive. If it is zipped then unzip it using WinRAR.
To update BIOS you have to enter into your system BIOS using the following methods:
Method 1: Insert the Pendrive into your system in which you have the latest BIOS file. Restart your system using the Reset this PC option. Now press Windows Key + S and type Reset this PC.
Now, go to Advanced setup and hit the Restart Now option.
Refer to the image below:
Or hold the Shift key and choose the Restart option. After boot, you should see several options available and now choose the Troubleshoot option from these options.
In the Troubleshoot option, you have two options: 1. Reset this PC and 2. Advanced options. Select Advanced options.
Under the Advanced option, again you have several other options. Select UEFI Firmware Settings. After this, your system will reboot again and this time it will boot into your motherboard BIOS menu. Here we are using X470 gaming plus motherboard. The boot menu looks like the image below.
Go to the M-Flash tab and select one file to update the BIOS option. In case you are using a GIGABYTE motherboard, you will have a Q-Flash option. Or if you have an ASUS motherboard, you have the EZ-Flash option available instead of M-Flash.
After this, you have to select the Pendrive in which you have the BIOS file. Select the BIOS, and the system will restart again into the M-Flash mode.
Now the update process should start. It may take several minutes, so make sure that you are on UPS and do not try to restart your computer manually. After the update is completed the system will restart and you will get a message that your BIOS has been updated.
In case you are using a laptop, some manufacturer provides a utility application to update the system BIOS of the computer. For that, you don’t need to follow the above method. But the procedure will be the same and during the installation of the system BIOS, do not restart or lose the power of your system.
Method 2: DOS USB drive
This method is the most complicated method of all. Under this process of Windows 10 BIOS update, you need to create a bootable USB flash drive and copy the latest BIOS version you want to install into your system. After that, you need a script code that will flash the BIOS of your motherboard.
Download the latest BIOS version file as well as the script file. Make sure you have the script file with you. To create a bootable USB drive, first, you have to download Rufus, a third-party tool. After installing Rufus, format the Pendrive using Create a bootable disk using FreeDOS option.
Then transfer the latest BIOS file and the script into the Pendrive. Then restart your PC and boot from the USB drive. For that, you have overridden the boot device and after that boot from the USB drive. Now run the start script using DOS.
This is an advanced process to update Windows 10 BIOS so we recommend you to read the motherboard manual carefully.
Method 3: Windows-based application programs
This method is the easiest method of all. But all motherboards don’t follow this method. This method is mainly used to update laptop BIOS. Though this method is easy, it sometimes interferes with some other processes and may cause BIOS updates to fail.
Under this method, you need a Pendrive which has to be virus-free and download the latest BIOS version in it. Make sure that system security is currently disabled. Because often, it interferes with the BIOS update process.
Below is an image of an MSI laptop using the Dragon Center utility tool, and it is getting an update for the latest version of BIOS.
Select the Checkbox and hit the Install button. It will do the work. But it is highly recommended by some manufacturers not to update BIOS. Computer manufacturers like GIGABYTE, MSI, Dell, Asus, Lenovo offer a built-in tool to update your BIOS. But this feature does not always work. We recommend you to follow the First Method to update Windows 10 BIOS.
FAQs: How To Flash BIOS
Q #1) How safe it is to update the Windows 10 BIOS?
Answer: It’s easy to update the system BIOS for Windows 10 if you follow the steps in the guide mentioned above. However, it’s not recommended by any of the computer manufacturers to update the system BIOS unnecessarily. It changes the complete system setup, and if not performed the right way, you might face issues in booting up the system.
Q #2) How long does it take for a BIOS update for Windows 10?
Answer: It can take around a bit more than 10 minutes time for Windows 10 BIOS update. However, to be on the safer side, keep the timeframe of around 20-30 minutes for the same purpose. Also, make sure that you have a proper power supply without any interruptions, during the time for Windows 10 BIOS update.
Q #3) What are the consequences of a wrong BIOS update? Can my motherboard get damaged due to that?
Answer: A BIOS update can go wrong in the following cases:
- In case, there’s a power failure during the BIOS updating process.
- If the new BIOS has faulty buggy codes.
If any such thing happens, you may face the issues taking place due to BIOS update failure. And if that happens, then you might not be able to boot the system anymore. Though there are ways to recover the loss and get the system functioning back. It’s recommended not to update BIOS now and then without any reason.
Suggested Reading =>>Factory Reset Windows 10 on your PC
Talking about motherboard issues, a wrong BIOS update can severely damage any motherboard. So read the guide thoroughly and then try doing it yourself.
Recap of all the points covered in this tutorial:
- BIOS is the in-built flash memory that comes with the motherboard and is responsible for the hardware initialization at the time of system boot.
- In the case of hardware upgrades, when the OS fails to recognize any device, we’ll require updating the BIOS.
- There are a few steps involved while updating the BIOS on your system. The first step is to check the model number of the motherboard. Then you need to find the BIOS version of Windows 10 used by your system following any of the options mentioned earlier. Download the latest version of the BIOS file by visiting the official site of Windows. Save the file in a free pen drive that has no virus or malware. If you have a corrupt BIOS file, it may damage your system functionalities due to which the system might stop booting. So you need to be very careful.
- Assuming you have a proper BIOS downloaded in your pen drive, thereafter you need to enter the system BIOS setup using any of the methods explained earlier. Then, follow the update procedure as mentioned and get the BIOS update done on Windows 10.
Also read =>> Reset forgotten admin password on Windows 10
Hope you have got a clear picture of how to update Windows 10 BIOS on your PC in a step-by-step process. If in case you face any difficulties on the same, try checking out a few YouTube videos to see it practically. However, for any further queries on this, feel free to ask in the comments section.
Further reading =>> How to disable Sticky Keys in Windows 10