Boot Menu

Updated: 10/07/2019 by Computer Hope
Boot Menu

The Boot Menu is a menu accessible when a computer is first starting up. It can contain many different device options to boot to, including CD, DVD, flash drive, or hard drives, and a LAN (network). The Boot Menu allows a user to load up other operating systems or applications, even if the computer itself already has an operating system on it. A Boot Menu is also useful for installing a new operating system on a computer because the user can choose what device to use.

How to enter the Boot Menu

When a computer is starting up, the user can access the Boot Menu by pressing one of several keyboard keys. Common keys for accessing the Boot Menu are Esc, F2, F10 or F12, depending on the manufacturer of the computer or motherboard. The specific key to press is usually specified on the computer's startup screen. The Boot Menu allows a user to select what device to load an operating system or application from as the computer is booting.

If desired, the order of the devices listed in the Boot Menu, also called the boot sequence, can be changed.

Boot sequence vs. Boot Menu

A Boot Menu allows the user to specify what boot device to use as the computer is booting. The boot sequence is a setting in the BIOS setup that tells the computer what order to look at available boot devices on a computer. In other words, the boot sequence is followed every time the computer boots automatically with no user interaction. For a Boot Menu option to be used, the user must press the key to get into the Boot Menu and then select the boot option.

Note

All modern PC's allow the user to customize the boot sequence. However, not all computers have an option to enter a Boot Menu.

Boot, Hardware terms, Hidden partition