How to Boot to the UEFI BIOS on any Windows 8.1 Tablet or Device

If you have a Windows 8.1 tablet or device with a UEFI BIOS, then booting to the BIOS no longer works the way it did on classic desktop PCs. Luckily, Windows 8.1 provides a method that works when using both touch and a mouse and keyboard. Also, if you have a Surface tablet from Microsoft, there are some handy buttons you can use for a fast boot to the BIOS. Here's how it's done:

I will start with the method that works on all devices, including non-Microsoft tablets like Nokia Lumia 2520, Toshiba Encore, Lenovo Miix, Delll Venue Pro, ASUS VivoTab Smart, HP Omni, Razer Edge or Samsung ATIV Tab. The last section of this tutorial covers the special shortcuts available on Surface tablets.

Go to PC Settings & Perform an Advanced Startup

Booting to the UEFI boot on all Windows 8.1 tablets and devices, means first logging on to Windows and going to PC Settings. There, click or tap "Update and recovery".

Next, click or tap Recovery.

Here, go to the Advanced startup section on the right, and click or tap Restart now.

Windows 8.1 restarts in Advanced mode, where you can access plenty of options, including the one for booting to the UEFI BIOS.

Boot to the UEFI BIOS on your Windows 8.1 Tablet or Device

The screenshots included in this article were made on a virtual machine with Windows 8.1. This means that on your tablet or device you might see some additional options which are missing from my screenshots.

After Windows 8.1 restarts, a blue screen is displayed where you are asked to choose an option. On your tablet you are likely to see an additional option, named Use a device, which you should ignore. You need to click or tap Troubleshoot.

Next, click or tap Advanced options.

Lots of options are now displayed, including one named "UEFI Firmware Settings" (missing from this screenshot). Click or tap "UEFI Firmware Settings".

Then, you are asked to restart one more time in order to change UEFI Settings. Tap Restart and the UEFI BIOS is loaded in a few seconds.

The Fast Way to Boot to the UEFI BIOS on Surface Tablets

Microsoft has provided on their Surface tablets a quick method for booting to the UEFI BIOS, which involves pressing a few buttons.

First of all, you have to shut down your Surface. If you need some help with that, read this guide: 6 Ways to Shut Down or Restart a Windows 8 & Windows 8.1 PC or Device.

Then, while the Surface tablet is still turned off, press and hold the Volume Up (+) button, on the left side of the device.

Press and release the power button and, when the Surface logo is displayed, release the Volume Up (+) button.

The UEFI BIOS settings are now displayed.

Unfortunately this method doesn't work on non-Microsoft tablets. For example, I tried it on a Toshiba Encore and it didn't work. Dell Venue Pro users reported the same thing on several forums.


I hope you found this guide useful. If you know of other ways to boot to the BIOS on Windows 8.1 tablets, don't hesitate to share them via the comments form below. They will surely be useful to others.