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.
5 to 8 character code on System Disabled screen
You can attempt to get a 5 to 8 character code from the computer, which may be usable to clear the BIOS password.
- As the computer is booting, press F1, F2, or Del to enter CMOS setup.
- In the CMOS setup, when prompted for a password, guess three times until you're given the code. If, after entering the wrong password three times, the computer is displaying a 5 to 8 character code, as shown in the picture, continue to the next step.
- 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 next 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 be able to 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 that motherboard model for a technical diagram of where components are located, including the dip switches or jumpers for resetting the BIOS.
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 in place to help protect their customers' laptops and only they have the information on how to clear CMOS passwords.
- See the CMOS definition for related links and information.