BIOS Access on a Dell Inspiron Laptop

By Benny Taylor

A hot-key is used to access your system BIOS.
i laptop notebook keyboard image by willem169 from

Key system hardware settings for your Dell Inspiron laptop can be changed through your machine's BIOS (basic input/output system) settings. These include the time and date, the order in which the drives connected to your machine attempt to boot, and the system's hardware passwords.


All Dell computers have a BIOS settings program that controls your hardware configuration settings. These settings are stored in a battery powered CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) chip, which maintains the settings when the laptop is off.


You can access the Dell Inspiron's BIOS utility by pressing the "F2" key on the laptop keyboard as soon as the laptop starts up and displays the Dell logo. If you do not press the key quickly enough, the operating system will begin to load normally. If this happens, you will need to power down the laptop and try again, pressing the F2 key as soon as you have pressed the power button.


If your Dell laptop is a company machine, your IT department may have protected the BIOS settings with a password. If a BIOS password is enabled, you will be unable to change any settings without entering the password.


The BIOS utility allows you to change settings that could render your computer inoperable if set incorrectly. If you do not have sufficient knowledge of establishing proper BIOS settings, it is best to seek assistance from an IT professional.