How to Reset a Forgotten Dell Administrator BIOS Password

By Daniel Foster

BIOS passwords are a convenient way to secure a computer, but unlike most Internet passwords, they are impossible to recover. Maybe you inherited a Dell from a family member and do not know the password, or perhaps you own the computer and forgot the password. Regardless of the situation, resetting a Dell BIOS password is a simple process. Although it does require opening the computer, no knowledge of PC repair is necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Small flathead screwdriver

Step 1

Unplug the Dell and hold the power button for 10 seconds. This will ensure no electricity remains inside the PC and protect you from electric shock.

Step 2

Remove the side panel from the computer. You will see the motherboard. To reset the password, you will need to reset the motherboard.

Step 3

Find the CMOS battery. It is a silver disk about the size of a quarter. Its location varies by Dell model, but it is often located near the white PCI slots.

Step 4

Pry the CMOS battery out with a small flathead screwdriver. Wait a few minutes and replace it. This will reset all motherboard settings, including the password. Put the cover back on the computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Resetting the motherboard will return it to its original factory configuration. Any setting changes previously made will be lost.