How to Change Boot Order Windows 7/10/11

By default, your PC starts up from its internal hard disk or solid-state drive, but that isn’t always the option. You may need to boot from an external device like a DVD or USB stick to fix problems with your Windows installation, set up a different operating system, or check for errors in the RAM.

A one-time boot menu is a valuable tool for changing the boot order in Windows. By pressing a specific key during startup, you can access the menu and make the necessary changes.

The key to accessing the one-time boot menu varies depending on your computer, but it is typically either Esc or F12.

You may also see the Boot Menu key listed within the splash screen at startup. If not, consult your motherboard’s user manual or online documentation for more information. Note: The manufacturer sets the Bios key, which could be F2, F9, F10, F11, or DEL.

If unable to find BIOS company try using one of the below keys:

  • F3
  • F4
  • F10
  • F12
  • Tab
  • Esc
  • Ctrl+Alt+F3
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del
  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Del (using Del from the keypad)
  • Ctrl+Insert
  • Ctrl+Shift+Esc
  • Fn+[any “F” function key] (on some laptops)

How to Access the BIOS Settings

When you power on a computer, the BIOS is responsible for initializing all of the hardware before handing off control to the bootloader, which then boots the operating system. The BIOS is also responsible for providing a set of diagnostic and setup functions.

Usually, you can access these functions by pressing a key during startup (often F2, F10, DEL, or ESC). If you can’t figure out which key to press, you can check your PC or motherboard’s user manual or online documentation.

Tip: During the boot process, press the BIOS Setup key quickly several times. If the Windows logo comes up, you need to restart your computer and try again.

How to Change Boot Order in BIOS

The exact process for changing the boot order on your computer will vary depending on the motherboard manufacturer, but you can use the following steps as a general guide.

  • First, navigate to the tab or section in the BIOS setup utility that displays the list of bootable devices or your computer’s boot order.
  • Next, highlight each device in the list (Removable Devices, CD-ROM, Hard Drive, etc.) and arrange them in the order you want.
  • If the BIOS displays options such as First Boot Device, Second Boot Device, Third Boot Device, and so on, select each item and pick a device from the pop-up menu.
  • Finally, save your changes and exit the BIOS.
chang boot order Bios

By following these steps, you should be able to change the boot order on your computer.

See more about How to do it in this video

How to Access UEFI and Change Boot Order

Restarting into the UEFI from Windows is a relatively simple process.

Just boot into Windows 10 or 11, launch the Start menu, and go to Settings > System > Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced Options.

Once there, select Restart now and wait for your PC to reboot into WinRE.

From there, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > UEFI Firmware Settings > Restart and your system will load into the UEFI. While in the UEFI, you can change various settings related to boot order, security, and more.

UEFI Firmware Settings

In order to change the boot order in a UEFI system, the user must first navigate to the Boot tab within the UEFI interface. Once there, they will be able to see a list of all the bootable devices or boot orders. The user can then change the boot order as needed by setting a USB device as the first boot device, for example.

Finally, they must save their changes by switching to the Save tab. This process will ensure that the next time the computer is turned on, it will boot from the correct device.

Note: Just be sure not to change any settings that you’re not familiar with, as doing so could potentially cause problems with your system.

Andy Avery

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

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