How do I clear a laptop BIOS or CMOS password?

Updated: 12/31/2020 by Computer Hope
Note

The steps below are for a laptop computer. For a desktop computer, see: How to clear an unknown 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 laptop's original owner, and you forgot the password, 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 to unlock your laptop.

If you're not the laptop's original owner, there are some ways to unlock the password, depending on the manufacturer.

5 to 8 character code on System Disabled screen

Laptop password system disabled code

You can attempt to get a 5 to 8 character code from the computer, which may be used to clear the BIOS password.

  1. As the computer is booting, press F1, F2, or Del key to enter BIOS setup.
  1. When prompted for a password in the CMOS setup, guess three times until you get the code. If, after entering the wrong password three times, the computer displays a 5 to 8 character code, as shown in the picture, continue to the next step.
  2. 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.
Note

If no code is displayed, try the following suggested solution.

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

If the above suggestions do not apply to your laptop, you need to open the laptop and clear the password using dip switches or jumpers. You may also jump the BIOS using a paperclip by soldering a wire to pins on the BIOS or replacing the BIOS chip.

The location of dip switches or jumpers on the motherboard depends on the brand and model of your laptop. Check the technical documentation for your laptop and contact the manufacturer to determine which motherboard is in your laptop. Search the Internet for the motherboard model manual with a diagram of where components are located, including the dip switches or jumpers to reset BIOS.

Which step you take depends on the manufacturer and model of your laptop computer. 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. Many manufacturers have strict policies to help protect their customers' laptops, and only they have the information on how to clear CMOS passwords.

Additional information