This guide details how you can reset your BIOS (or CMOS) to its default settings. This guide applies regardless of the Windows version you currently have installed on your computer: XP, Vista, 7, 8.

You can follow the instructions from this guide for most major manufacturer of computers: Dell, HP, Asus, Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba, Samsung, and more.

If you need to reset BIOS to default values in order to fix a boot error, also use Easy Recovery Essentials (our recovery and repair disk) Automated Repair feature that can automatically find and fix boot errors on your computer.

How to Reset BIOS

Method #1: BIOS Menu

By opening the BIOS menu and finding the Default Settings option, you can reset the BIOS directly from its menu.

To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Restart your computer
  2. Notice the key that you need to press at the first screen that appears on your screen. This key opens the BIOS menu or “setup”.Here’s how Dell shows the necessary key for entering BIOS:
    Dell BIOS screen showing special key options

    Notice the key guide in the top-right corner.

    This key is usually any of the following, depending on your computer manufacturer: Esc, Del, F2, F8, F12.

  3. Find the option to reset the BIOS settings. This option is usually called any of the following:
    • Load Default
    • Load Fail-Safe Defaults
    • Load BIOS Defaults
    • Load Default Settings
    • Load Setup Default
    • Get Default Values
  4. Save these changes
  5. Exit BIOS

Method #2: Clear the jumper

Your computer’s motherboard has a special jumper that can clear the BIOS saved settings and revert it to its original values.

By clearing the jumper, you can also reset the password for the BIOS menu.

To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Shutdown your computer
  2. Flip the power switch to make sure the computer receives no power.

    Make sure you’re grounded. Static discharges can damage your computer.

  3. On the motherboard, find a jumper that’s named like any of the following:
    • CLEAR
    • CLR CMOS
    • CLR PWD

    This jumper is usually placed near the CMOS battery.

  4. Set the jumper to the Clear position
  5. Power on your computer
  6. Start your computer
  7. Once your PC has booted, turn it back off move the CLR jumper back to its original position. Otherwise, each time you reboot, your settings (and clock) will automatically reset!

Method #3: Replace the CMOS battery

If Method #2 above doesn’t work (your computer doesn’t have the mentioned jumper), you can also try to remove and replace the CMOS battery.

This method works if your computer has a CMOS battery. Not all motherboards have the battery.

To reset the BIOS by replacing the CMOS battery, follow these steps:

    1. Shutdown your computer
    2. Remove the power cord to make sure that your computer receives no computer.

Make sure you’re grounded. Static discharges can damage your computer.

  1. Find the batter on your motherboard
  2. Remove it. If the battery doesn’t move easily, stop following this method to reset the BIOS, go to Method #1 or Method #2.
  3. Wait 5 to 10 minutes
  4. Add the battery again
  5. Power on your computer

More Information

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)

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