How to Unlock a Password on a BIOS Intel Motherboard

By Norm Dickinson

The basic information about the hardware in any computer is stored in a chip known as the BIOS, or Basic Input Output System chip. It is a volatile memory chip that will lose the information after a short amount of time if there is not a source of power to keep it intact. A small battery on the motherboard keeps the information in the BIOS when the power is off. This battery can be removed to erase the BIOS information, including any passwords stored inside. Two ways are available to perform this operation.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

Locate and Remove the Coin Cell Type of BIOS Battery

Step 1

Power down the computer and unplug the power cable. Open the case to expose the motherboard. Locate the BIOS battery on the motherboard.

Step 2

Remove the battery by pressing gently on the retaining clip and popping the battery out. Set the battery aside. Leave the system unplugged for an hour.

Step 3

Replace the battery. Keep the same side up as when the battery came out.

Step 4

Plug in the cord and power on the system. Enter the date and time, if prompted. Save changes, if prompted. The system should now boot to the operating system, which also may need a password to access. You can't reset or recover the operating system password with this method.

Locate and Short the BIOS Jumper on the Motherboard

Step 1

Power down the computer and unplug the power cable. Open the case to expose the motherboard. Locate the BIOS reset jumper on the motherboard by checking in the owner's manual or manufacturer's website for the location or by inspecting the motherboard to locate it manually.

Step 2

Move the jumper into the reset or clear position for a few minutes.

Step 3

Replace the jumper to the original position.

Step 4

Plug in the cord and power on the system. Enter the date and time, if prompted. Save changes, if prompted. The system should now boot to the operating system, which also may need a password to access. You can't reset or recover the operating system password with this method.

Tips & Warnings

  • On some old computers, the battery may be shaped and soldered onto the motherboard. In these systems, if a BIOS reset or clear jumper is not available it may be necessary to remove the motherboard and remove the solder connection to remove the battery. Solder a new battery into place. Do not attempt this procedure if you are not comfortable and familiar with soldering techniques.
  • The components inside of a computer are static sensitive and may become damaged if subjected to a static discharge. Properly ground out to the case by wearing a static dissipative wrist strap, static dissipative shoes or by simply keeping contact with the metal part of the computer case at all times.