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How to reset BIOS to default settings

If you buy a laptop or a desktop that doesn’t have any OS installed on it, it’s still going to come with a BIOS set up. You can make changes to the BIOS without installing an OS and there are few restrictions on what changes you can make. Of course not all changes may sit well with the OS you install. If you ever need to, you can always reset BIOS to its default settings. Here’s how.

Access BIOS

The first thing you need to do is access BIOS on your PC. If you haven’t installed an OS, this is going to be easy because it will go straight to the set up menu where you can choose to enter BIOS. If you’ve already installed an OS, you need to tap the right key to access BIOS. These keys differ based on your system manufacturer.

Reset BIOS to default

Getting to your BIOS is the hard part. The rest is pretty easy. Tap the F9 key and you will see a message asking if you want to Load optimized defaults. The message you see may differ depending on your device however, in all cases you will have to tap the F9 key.

Accept the reset by selecting Yes with the arrow key, and tapping Enter.

Resetting BIOS doesn’t erase data. If you have an OS installed, and data on your drives, it will be exactly as you left it. It is worth mentioning that some features on your OS may not work after the reset.

An anecdotal example of this is a laptop I bought years ago which had Bluetooth disabled by default from the BIOS. I had to enable it in order to pair Bluetooth devices. If I were to reset the BIOS for said laptop, the Bluetooth functionality would no longer work on my desktop.

Something similar might happen so if you find that certain features aren’t working on your desktop after you reset BIOS, check what the hardware and software requirements for the feature are. If the requirements include something that must be enabled or disabled from BIOS, you should enable/disable it accordingly to get the feature to work.

Resetting BIOS isn’t much of a troubleshooting solution. It may help in some cases but is unlikely to solve any problems with your OS. Resetting BIOS doesn’t roll it back to an older version, however it may enable or disable Secure boot depending on whatever the default setting was.

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