BIOS is a bit of software that runs when you turn your system on. In most cases, you never actually boot to it, the only exception being when you have no OS installed. Even then, you don’t go to the BIOS settings panel. BIOS is where you can control a lot hardware settings for your system. For example, you can change the device boot order, enable or disable Bluetooth, enable or disable virtualization, and more. BIOS is an older software and it is now being replaced with UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). UEFI is more secure for one and it supports Secure Boot which checks your OS for integrity and malware before it boots up. UEFI looks a lot like BIOS on most systems so it’s hard to tell whether you have UEFI or BIOS Legacy firmware.

System Info

Windows 10 can run UEFI but the operating system is hardly the deciding factor. It has more to do with your hardware than the OS. Assuming you have Windows 10 installed on your system, you can check if you have UEFI or BIOS legacy by going to the System Information app.

In Windows Search, type “msinfo” and launch the desktop app named System Information. Look for the BIOS item, and if the value for it is UEFI, then you have the UEFI firmware. If it says BIOS Legacy, then that’s the firmware you’re running.

Access UEFI Settings

BIOS has been around for such a long time most people have a vague idea as to how it can be accessed. You have to tap a key when you turn on your system that will force your system to go to BIOS instead of booting the OS. The key differs for different laptops/desktops but that’s the general way of accessing it. UEFI is accessed the same way; you have to tap a specific key when you turn on your system to boot to UEFI.

Alternatively, if you’re on Windows 10, you can boot to UEFI from the Settings app. Go to the Update Security group of settings and go to the Recovery tab. Click ‘Restart Now’ under Advanced Startup. On the Advanced Startup screen, go to TroubleshootAdvanced OptionsUEFI Firmware Settings.

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UEFI on most systems looks a lot like BIOS. On some laptops, it has a proper GUI but those are in the minority. UEFI will not offer any special settings that BIOS did not. If your system didn’t already come with UEFI, you cannot update it to UEFI. The BIOS is what is compatible with your hardware.