This guide explains how to use the BCDEdit (bcdedit.exe) utility for the following Windows versions: Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10

BCDEdit is the command-line utility that you can use to manage BCD stores on your computer. BCDEdit works similarly to Bootcfg.exe available on Windows XP systems, but with more options available and various improvements.

BCDEdit on Windows

You must be logged-in as an Administrator in order to use BCDEdit.

Always create a backup of your current BCD file before using the utility with the help of the /export parameter:

bcdedit /export C:\exportBCDfile

To open bcdedit, you need to:

  1. Open Command Prompt
  2. Type:
    bcdedit
  3. Press Enter

When you type bcdedit in Command Prompt, the output is your computer’s current BCD configuration:

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.0] 
Copyright (c) 2006 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

C:\Windows\system32>bcdedit

Windows Boot Manager 
-------------------- 
identifier              {bootmgr} 
device                  partition=C: 
description             Windows Boot Manager 
locale                  en-US 
inherit                 {globalsettings} 
default                 {current} 
resumeobject            {0} 
displayorder            {current} 
toolsdisplayorder       {memdiag} 
timeout                 30

Windows Boot Loader 
------------------- 
identifier              {current} 
device                  partition=C: 
path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe 
description             Microsoft Windows Vista 
locale                  en-US 
inherit                 {bootloadersettings} 
recoverysequence        {0} 
recoveryenabled         Yes 
osdevice                partition=C: 
systemroot              \Windows 
resumeobject            {0} 
nx                      OptIn

BCDEdit on Windows XP

Windows XP doesn’t have a bcdedit.exe utility available, but the bootcfg.exe utility instead. Bootcfg.exe is part of the Windows XP’s Recovery Console.

To read about bootcfg, follow our guide: Bootcfg – Guide for Windows XP.

BCDEdit on Windows Vista

To run bcdedit.exe on a Windows Vista system, you have these options available:

  • Use the original Windows Vista installation media to access Command Prompt
  • If Repair Your Computer option is available on Advanced Boot Options menu, boot into this mode to access Command Prompt
  • Use Easy Recovery Essentials

If you have the Windows Vista installation DVD, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the installation media and boot from it
  2. Select a language, time and keyboard and click Next
  3. Click Repair your computer
    Windows Vista Repair Your Computer Menu

    Windows Vista Repair Your Computer Menu

  4. Select the operating system
  5. Click Next
  6. At the System Recovery Options screen, click Command Prompt
    Windows Vista System Recovery Options

    Windows Vista System Recovery Options

  7. Type:
    bcdedit.exe
  8. Press Enter

If you have the “Repair Your Computer” option available, you can access Command Prompt from there:

  1. Restart the computer
  2. Press the F8 key to open the Advanced Boot Options menu
  3. Select Repair Your Computer and press Enteradvanced-boot-options-repair-computer-windows-vista-on-dell
  4. If Repair Your Computer isn’t available, the recovery tools aren’t installed on your computer.
  5. At the System Recovery Options screen, click Command Prompt
  6. Type:
    bcdedit.exe
  7. Press Enter

If you use Easy Recovery Essentials Command-line:

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials
  2. Burn the ISO Image. Follow our instructions on how to burn a bootable ISO image. If you’d like to have a recovery USB instead, follow our instructions on how to make a recovery USB.
  3. Boot Easy Recovery Essentials from the CD, DVD or USB
  4. Select Launch Command Line

    Easy Recovery Essentials screenshot

To download Easy Recovery Essentials, click here.

BCDEdit on Windows 7

The options to run bcdedit.exe on Windows 7 systems are similar to those of Windows Vista.

If you have the Windows 7 installation DVD available, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the DVD in the optical drive
  2. Boot from it by restarting the computer and pressing any key when prompted
  3. Select a language, time and keyboard
  4. Click Next
  5. Click Repair your computer
    Windows 7 setup Install Now dialog, with repair your computer link

    Install Now (Windows 7)

  6. Select the operating system from the list and click Next
  7. At System Recovery Options, click Command Prompt
  8. Type:
    bcdedit.exe
  9. Press Enter

If you have the “Repair Your Computer” available at “Advanced Boot Options” (most Windows 7 systems have these recovery tools installed), follow these steps:

  1. Restart the computer
  2. Press the F8 key to open Advanced Boot Options
  3. Select Repair your computer
    Advanced Boot Options on Windows 7

    Advanced Boot Options on Windows 7

  4. Press Enter
  5. At the System Recovery Options, click Command Prompt
  6. Type:
    bcdedit.exe
  7. Press Enter

If you use Easy Recovery Essentials Command-line:

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials
  2. Burn the ISO Image. Follow our instructions on how to burn a bootable ISO image. If you’d like to have a recovery USB instead, follow our instructions on how to make a recovery USB.
  3. Boot Easy Recovery Essentials from the CD, DVD or USB
  4. Select Launch Command Line

    Easy Recovery Essentials screenshot

To download Easy Recovery Essentials, click here.

BCDEdit on Windows 8

On Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 systems, you need to have the original installation media (DVD or USB drive) in order to access Command Prompt.

If you have the installation media, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the Windows 8 DVD or Windows 8.1 USB drive
  2. Restart the computer and boot from the DVD/USB
  3. Click Repair your computer
    Windows 8 Repair Your Computer Menu

    Windows 8 Repair Your Computer Menu

  4. Click Troubleshoot
    Troubleshoot in Windows 8 recovery options screen

    Troubleshoot in Windows 8 recovery options screen

  5. Click Command Prompt
  6. Type:
    bcdedit.exe
  7. Press Enter

If you use Easy Recovery Essentials Command-line:

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials
  2. Burn the ISO Image. Follow our instructions on how to burn a bootable ISO image. If you’d like to have a recovery USB instead, follow our instructions on how to make a recovery USB.
  3. Boot Easy Recovery Essentials from the CD, DVD or USB
  4. Select Launch Command Line

    Easy Recovery Essentials screenshot

To download Easy Recovery Essentials, click here.

BCDEdit on Windows 10

On Windows 10 systems, you need to have the original installation media (DVD or USB drive) in order to access Command Prompt.

If you have the installation media, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the Windows 10 media
  2. Restart the computer and boot from the DVD/USB
  3. Click Repair your computerWindows 10 Setup screen
  4. Click Troubleshootwin10_restore
  5. Click Command Prompt
  6. Type:
    bcdedit.exe
  7. Press Enter

If you use Easy Recovery Essentials Command-line:

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials
  2. Burn the ISO Image. Follow our instructions on how to burn a bootable ISO image. If you’d like to have a recovery USB instead, follow our instructions on how to make a recovery USB.
  3. Boot Easy Recovery Essentials from the CD, DVD or USB
  4. Select Launch Command Line

    Easy Recovery Essentials screenshot

To download Easy Recovery Essentials, click here.

Commands and parameters

For the complete list of commands and parameters you can use with BCDEdit, type:

bcdedit /?

Whenever you are using this utility to modify a BCD store, make use use of these parameters:

  • /createstore to create a new empty boot configuration data (BCD) store.
  • /export to export the current configuration of the BCD store.
  • /import to import a previously exported configuration file.
  • /create to create a new entry in the BCD store.
  • /delete to create an entry from the BCD store.
  • /deletevalue to delete a specified value.
  • /set to set a new value.
  • /default to specify the default entry.
  • /timeout to specify the timeout at startup value.

For example, to create a new entry in the BCD file to load Windows XP, run these commands:

  1. bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d "Windows XP"
  2. bcdedit /set {ntldr} device partition=C:
  3. bcdedit /set {ntldr} path \ntldr
  4. bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast

More Information

Linked Entries

Support Links

Applicable Systems

This Windows-related knowledgebase article applies to the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP (all editions)
  • Windows Vista (all editions)
  • Windows 7 (all editions)
  • Windows 8 (all editions)
  • Windows 8.1 (all editions)
  • Windows 10 (all editions)

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