The BIOS (Basic Input Output System) is one of the most important components on your computer that makes possible for the software to interact with the hardware.
Basically, the BIOS instructs the system the steps to perform various basic functions like starting up, and it also finds and configures the hardware, such as processor, memory, hard drive, and others.
Usually, the BIOS doesn’t receive updates regularly, but sometimes manufacturers (for example, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, etc.) may need to roll out a patch to fix a bug, improve the system stability, or enable a new feature on your Windows 10 device.
If you have a computer that features a BIOS, it’s a good idea to find out the version that is currently installed to see if you need to apply a new update to improve the functionality of your device.
In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to check the BIOS version installed on your computer running Windows 10, and what you need to do to install the new version.
How to tell the BIOS version on Windows 10
Similar to previous versions, on Windows 10, checking the BIOS version is a straightforward process, use these steps:
Search for System Information, and click the top result.Quick tip: Alternatively, you can also use use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command, and the type msinfo32, and click OK to open System Information.
Under the “System Summary” section, look for BIOS Version/Date, which will tell you the version number, manufacturer, and the date when it was installed.
Once you complete the steps, if the install date is greater than a year, chances are that your manufacturer may have a newer update available.
You shouldn’t confuse BIOS with UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). They’re similar, but not the same. UEFI is the system available on newer devices that replaces the BIOS that overcomes many of the limitations. It’s also something that manufacturers can update more easily, even automatically using Windows Update.
How to update the BIOS on Windows 10
The BIOS is one of those components that never included an easy update mechanism. To find out if there is an update available, you can refer to the steps mentioned above to see your device “System Manufacturer” and “System Model”, and with that information, you’ll need to check your manufacturer’s support website to see if there is a new BIOS update.
If there is a new update, check the latest version available against the version installed on your computer. If the version is greater than the one you have, then you can go ahead and download the update.
Installing a new BIOS update doesn’t have one set of steps that you can use on every computer. The instructions will always be different per manufacturer, and even device model, as such make sure to follow the steps from your device manufacturer’s support website.
Typically, you’ll need to double-click an executable (.exe) file and follow the on-screen directions.
Before updating to a new version, always make sure to close any running application, and if you’re working on a laptop, make sure to keep it plugged into a power source. Although most of the time it is safe to update your system’s BIOS, if you lose power, your device may stop booting.