How to Change BIOS-Like Settings In Boot Camp

By Mark Pool

Updated February 10, 2017

Apple's Boot Camp allows a Macintosh OS X-based computer to run the Microsoft Windows operating system. The BIOS controls hardware settings such as boot or startup order, laptop battery settings, hardware clock and certain integrated devices. Windows gives access to some BIOS settings through the Control Panel, with the exception of boot order. Apple and newer Windows computers use the extensible firmware interface instead of a BIOS. Windows can access all the BIOS-equivalent EFI settings with the drivers that were installed by the Boot Camp Assistant.

Select System Preferences from the Apple menu on your Apple OS X computer. Click the Startup Disk icon in the System section.

Click the system you want to use. To start Windows by default, click the Windows on BOOTCAMP option. To start OS X by default, click Mac OS X. Click "Restart" to restart in Windows, or close the "System Preferences" Window.

Launch the Control Panel on your Windows PC by right-clicking the Windows button on the desktop start bar.

Click the Boot Camp icon in the Windows Control Panel. Click Macintosh HD or Windows to select the default operating system to start with the computer.

Click Restart to restart in Mac OS X, or click OK to save the settings.


You must have Boot Camp installed to make these changes.

To start Windows or Mac without making it the default operating system, press the Option key when your Mac starts to show the boot menu and pick either Windows or Mac. You can change power management, and turn wireless and Bluetooth on or off in the same sections of the Control Panel you would use on a regular PC. Boot Camp is useful when running graphics or processor intensive applications that are too slow in virtualization programs such as Fusion, Parallels and Virtualbox.