How to Get to BIOS on a Dell Computer

By Melynda Sorrels

There are many ways to open the BIOS. Actually, there is usually one or two ways per computer. Different manufacturers have different ways to access BIOS. The BIOS is usually stored on a ROM chip on the motherboard which stores hardware setup information for the computer. Without the BIOS you would have to reconfigure your hardware every time you reboot the computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Dell Computer

Inspiron, Optiplex. Latitude, Dimension, Precision models

Step 1

Turn on your computer. If your computer is already on then reboot it. You need to see the initial display screen to get into the BIOS.

Step 2

Press the "F2" key when you see the initial screen displaying the BIOS provider information. If using the Optiplex and Dimension models, press the "DEL" key instead of the "F2" key.

Step 3

Enter password if required. When finished in the BIOS be sure to save your changes. For changes to take place you must reboot the computer.

Dell 400 model

Step 1

Turn on your computer. If your computer is already on then reboot it. You need to see the initial display screen to get into the BIOS.

Step 2

Press the "F3" or "F1" key when you see the initial screen displaying the BIOS provider information.

Step 3

Enter password if required. When finished in the BIOS be sure to save your changes. For changes to take place you must reboot the computer.

Dell 4400 model

Step 1

Turn on your computer. If your computer is already on then reboot it. You need to see the initial display screen to get into the BIOS.

Step 2

Press the "F12" key when you see the initial screen displaying the BIOS provider information.

Step 3

Enter password if required. When finished in the BIOS be sure to save your changes. For changes to take place you must reboot the computer.

Older Dell computers

Step 1

Turn on your computer. If your computer is already on then reboot it. You need to see the initial display screen to get into the BIOS.

Step 2

Press either "Ctrl + Alt + Enter" keys, or the "Del" key when you see the initial screen displaying the BIOS provider information.

Step 3

Enter password if required. When finished in the BIOS be sure to save your changes. For changes to take place you must reboot the computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • In case an OEM splash screen appears first, hit the "ESC" key to see the boot up information. Then you can hit the appropriate key to enter the BIOS.