By Codrut Neagu on 10/21/2014
You may need to know the exact version of the BIOS that's installed on your computer's motherboard. Traditionally, this meant that you had to restart your computer, manually enter the BIOS and check the version information that it displayed. This is just one way of doing it and definitely not the quickest. If you're using a Windows computer, there are several other ways of learning the BIOS version and, in this article, we will share them:
NOTE: If you use a computer on a regular basis, it's unlikely that you never heard the term BIOS. However, in case you'd like to read a bit of information about it, explaining what it is and what it does, read this article: Simple Questions: What is the BIOS & What Does It Do?.
This is the traditional way of finding information about your system's BIOS version. Also, getting access to this information is different for every computer. Some devices show the version of the BIOS during the POST process that takes place as soon as you start your computer, while for others you need to enter BIOS to see it. Unfortunately the POST process is very fast and you might not have the time to see anything so you will still need to enter the BIOS.
To access it, you'll have to press a key (or a combination of keys) on your keyboard while starting your computer. The manufacturer of your motherboard can choose whatever key it wants you to press, but commonly used keys include Delete, F2, F10 and F12. You will find the right key to press in your motherboard's manual. In case your device uses an UEFI BIOS, you should first read this tutorial and see how to access it.
Once inside the BIOS, look for an information page. There, you will find the version of the BIOS used by your computer's motherboard.
You can determine your computer's BIOS version by using the System Information tool that's found in Windows. You can learn how to launch and use this tool by reading this tutorial: System Information - Learn Your Computer's Complete Configuration.
In the System Information window select System Summary in the panel on the left. In the right panel, look for an item called BIOS Version/Date. Its value shares the version and the date of your computer's BIOS.
The BIOS information is also accessible via the Registry Editor. First, you'll have to launch it. If you're using Windows 8 or 8.1, search the term"regedit" on the Start screen and click or tap the regedit.exe search result.
If you're using Windows 7, type "regedit" in the search field from the Start Menu and click the regedit.exe search result.
Once you've opened Registry Editor, use the left panel to navigate to this location:
On the right panel, you'll find two registry keys called SystemBiosDate and SystemBiosVersion. The values assigned for these entries are what we're looking for.
Command Prompt can also be used to find information about the version of your BIOS.
To learn the version and date, run this command:
Note that we are using the capital letter I and not the lowercase letter L. Press Enter and the BIOS information is displayed.
If you need to know the BIOS version but not the date when it was released, run the following command:
The data displayed should look similar to the screenshot below.
You can also read the Windows Registry from the Command Prompt, using the following command:
Running this command will extract all the BIOS information stored inside the Windows Registry and display it in the Command Prompt window. Then, all you have to do is locate the BIOSVersion and BIOSReleaseDate entries.
If the Command Prompt is too old-school for you, you might prefer to use the newer Powershell. Once you've opened it, enter the following command:
The BIOS version should be the first piece of information displayed, in the SMBIOSBIOSVersion entry.
If none of the above methods suits you, you might prefer to use third-party applications that share this information. A good example is CPU-Z. You can download it from here. In the Mainboard tab of this application you can see the BIOS version of your computer's motherboard.
There are many similar applications that can share this information. Another application that we like is Speccy.