How to Clear the Dell Latitude BIOS Password
By Ruri Ranbe
The BIOS controls the startup operation on your Dell PC; if you set a password to lock the BIOS, your laptop won't initialize the bootstrap process unless you enter the appropriate password. The feature is ideal for keeping out unauthorized users -- up until you forget your credentials. If you still know your password but want to remove the access restrictions from your Dell Latitude, you can do that in system setup. If you don't remember your password, however, you must enter a backdoor code to bypass the lock or consult Dell for support.
If You Know the Password
Turn on the Latitude and then type your existing password into the prompt to unlock your PC.
Press "F2" repeatedly on the Dell logo screen to access system setup. If you set a supervisor password, type the password at the prompt and then press "Enter."
Scroll down to and select "System Security" using the cursor keys. Press "Enter."
Highlight "Password Status" and then press "+" or "-" to toggle the option to "Unlocked."
Select "System Password" and then press "Enter" twice to clear the password. If you set a supervisor password, select "Setup Password" and press "Enter" twice.
Press "Esc," then "Y" to save your changes and exit the BIOS.
If You Don't Know the Password
Turn over your Dell Latitude and locate the 10-digit service tag on the bottom of the computer.
Sign on to another PC and browse to the BIOS Master Password Generator for Laptops website (link in Resources).
Enter your service tag into the available field and then click "Get Password" to see the list of backdoor passwords for your BIOS.
Write down the password listed next to "Dell by Serial Number." Turn on your Latitude and enter this password into the prompt to bypass the lock.
If your service tag is only seven digits long, append "-595B" to the tag and write down the resulting password. Repeat for "-D35B" and "-2A7B." Try each generated password to see which one works.
If the generator fails to come up with a viable password or if the password provided doesn't work, contact Dell Support for further assistance.
Ruri Ranbe has been working as a writer since 2008. She received an A.A. in English literature from Valencia College and is completing a B.S. in computer science at the University of Central Florida. Ranbe also has more than six years of professional information-technology experience, specializing in computer architecture, operating systems, networking, server administration, virtualization and Web design.