How To Change Your Boot Order In BIOS

CG Director Author Christopher Harperby Christopher Harper   /  Published 

Want to know how to change your boot order in BIOS or when doing so is most useful? You’ve come to the right article.

Stick around and I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to change your boot order in BIOS.

When To Change Your Boot Order In BIOS

You Can’t Boot Into Windows

If you’re unable to boot into Windows, this is definitely a good time to change your boot order in BIOS.

If you have any kind of a recovery USB drive for Windows or portable Linux installation, this is when it will come in handy for troubleshooting and fixing your PC.

Change boot order to prioritize your flash drive if this sounds like your use case.

You’re setting up a new PC and want to install an OS

When you’ve finished building your PC and are about to install your OS, the default boot order will often be set up wrong to read from your USB or CD/DVD installation medium.

Changing your boot order will fix this issue and let you load your OS setup.

You’re Dual Booting

If you’re simply dual booting operating systems and want to change how your PC handles it, adjusting the boot order in BIOS is exactly how to do it.

Even if Windows and Linux are installed on the same storage drive, they must still use different partitions in different formats.

If you’ve installed Linux on your PC, you may have Linux’s GRUB (Grand Unified Bootloader) instead of Windows Boot Manager.

GRUB should still allow you to boot into Windows, but you may need to change settings in GRUB if you want to set Windows as the system’s first choice instead of auto-selecting Linux after a short timer.

How To Change Your Boot Order In BIOS

1. Open Your BIOS

First, you’ll want to open your PC’s BIOS. The exact key to do this during your boot process will vary depending on your motherboard manufacturer, but it will most likely be F2 or Delete.

You should also see the appropriate BIOS entry keys whenever you turn on your PC, however briefly, alongside your motherboard logo on its splash screen.

If you don’t want to restart and use the manual key shortcut for opening your BIOS, you can also use Windows’ Advanced startup method.

Change advanced startup options

By opening Start and typing “Change advanced startup options”, you can open a Settings window with the option for an Advanced startup.

Advanced Startup's Restart Now option

Click “Restart now” on this screen to get into an Advanced startup.

On Windows, an Advanced startup gives you a variety of system repair and troubleshooting options.

For the sake of this article, though, we’re just looking for our “UEFI Firmware Settings”, which will be labeled as such in the options for your Advanced startup.

UEFI Firmware Settings

2. Identify Boot Order Menu

Once in your BIOS using either method discussed above, locate your Boot menu.

It may also be labeled “Startup” or “Drives”, but it will generally be a major submenu in your BIOS software. Locate that menu as pictured in my screenshot below:

Boot Menu

You should be able to find an ordered list of your current Boot Order and the partitions/drives being used for those boot options at this point in the guide.

3. Sort According To Preference

Sort Boot Option

Now, you can select them and sort them according to your preference. In my PC, I have no strongly-compelling reason to switch my boot drive from my SATA SSD, so I’m fine sticking with it and the default Windows Boot Manager.

Maybe I should start dual booting for more Linux coverage, though…

Over to You

And that’s all!

Have any other questions about BIOS settings or PC hardware? Take them to the comments section below, where me or another CGD writer will give them a proper wrasslin’.

Alternatively, you can use the CGD Forum to engage in longer-form tech talks with other Enthusiasts and Experts, especially if you’re already working on a project of your own.

Until then or until next time, happy computing!

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Christopher Harper

I have been a passionate devotee to technology since the age of 3, and to writing since before I even finished high school.

These passions have since combined into a living in my adulthood and have made writing about PC Hardware very satisfying.

If you need any assistance, leave a comment below: it’s what I’m here for.


Also check out our Forum for feedback from our Expert Community.

Leave a Reply

  • johns

    how do i know what boot is windows, do enable setting in advanced and how?

    • Christopher Harper

      It should be labeled as Windows Boot Manager if already installed.

      If your BIOS is only reporting the drives without labeling, you’ll need to determine which drive has Windows on it. It will most likely be a SATA or NVMe drive. Unless you’re already dual-booting or have a recovery USB inserted, though, you shouldn’t need to worry about having additional (incorrect) boot options to choose from.