How do I clear a laptop BIOS or CMOS password?

Note: The steps below are for a laptop computer and do not include steps on how to clear a desktop BIOS or CMOS password.

A laptop BIOS password is more secure than a traditional desktop to help protect the data if it was stolen. If you are the original owner of the laptop, we highly recommend contacting the manufacturer of the laptop. Companies such as Dell, Lenovo, and Toshiba can reset the password if you are the original owner using the Service Tag, disk, or give you exact steps for your laptop.

If you are not the original owner of the laptop, there are some ways to bypass the password depending on the manufacture and model of the laptop.

Laptop password system disabled code

5 to 8 character code on System Disabled screen

  1. As the computer is booting press F1, F2, or Del to enter CMOS setup.
  2. In CMOS setup when prompted for a password, guess three times until you're giving the code. If after entering the wrong password three times the computer is displaying a 5 to 8 code, as shown in the picture, continue to the next step.
  3. Write down the code and visit Dogbert's BIOS Password Backdoors scripts page to download Python and the free Python scripts to clear many of these types of passwords.

Clear by dip switches, jumpers, jumping BIOS, or replacing BIOS

Finally, if the above suggestions do not apply to your laptop you will need to open the laptop and clear the password using dip switches, jumpers, jumping the BIOS using a paperclip or soldering a wire to pins on the BIOS, or in some situations replacing the BIOS chip.

Which step you take depends on the manufacturer and model of your laptop computer. For most end users we highly recommend having the laptop serviced by a qualified technician who can properly disassemble a laptop.

Contact laptop manufacturer

If the above steps do not help remove the CMOS password for your laptop we suggest contacting the laptop manufacturer for steps on how to clear the password. Many manufacturers have strict policies setup to help protect their customers laptops, which only they have information about.

Additional information

  • See the CMOS definition for related links and information.