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How to switch UEFI BIOS to Legacy BIOS on a PC

All computers come with a basic file system loaded on to the memory. This file system can control some hardware components at a basic level, and it allows you to make changes to the system such as setting a password before you can see the boot screen of the OS that’s installed.

For a long time, this file system has been referred to as BIOS. Most users won’t interact with it much because it doesn’t appear if an operating system is installed. Since not many users interact with this file system, they may not know that BIOS has been replaced on many systems with UEFI BIOS.

The UEFI BIOS has replaced the old BIOS which we now refer to as Legacy BIOS. There’s quite a bit of difference between the two if you’re a desktop/laptop/computer component manufacturer. For end-users, the difference is that UEFI BIOS is more secure. 

Switch UEFI BIOS to Legacy BIOS

While UEFI BIOS is the new file system that is used on modern desktops and laptops. Modern operating systems prefer UEF BIOS however there will be exceptions. These exceptions may require that you have Legacy BIOS instead of UEFI BIOS e.g., if you’re trying to install a Linux distro that won’t install on UEFI BIOS.

In this case, you can switch UEFI BIOS to Legacy BIOS. There are no complicated tools involved in doing this. Everything you need is already on your system and you only need to know which setting needs to be changed. 

  1. Shut down your system.
  2. Turn the system On and tap the F2 key to boot to BIOS. If the F2 key doesn’t work, check how you can access BIOS for your PC here.
  3. Go to the Boot tab (may differ based on your BIOS layout).
  4. Look for an option called Secure Boot.

  1. Select it, and tap Enter.
  2. Change its value to Disabled.
  3. Tap the F10 key to save the changes and Exit BIOS.
  4. Turn your system off, and then On.
  5. Tap the F2 key to boot to BIOS.
  6. You will boot to Legacy BIOS.

Go back to UEFI BIOS

If you need to go back to UEFI BIOS, all you have to do is enable Secure Boot from Legacy BIOS.

  1. Power your system On.
  2. Tap the F2 key to access BIOS.
  3. Go to the Boot tab.
  4. Look for Secure Boot and select it.
  5. Tap Enter.
  6. Select Enable.
  7. Tap F10 to save and exit.
  8. When you next boot to BIOS, you will see UEFI BIOS.

BIOS settings

BIOS settings are never the same for different systems and device manufacturers. You may not see a Boot tab in your BIOS. It may be called something else, or the Secure Boot option may be under a different tab altogether.

In some cases, you may not see a Secure Boot option. Instead, you might see a Legacy boot option, or something similar in its place.

To avoid error, you can Google what the legacy/UEFI BIOS setting is called on your particular device.

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