How to Bypass UEFI Boot: A Comprehensive Guide

The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) has become the standard for booting modern computers. It offers enhanced security features, faster boot times, and improved compatibility compared to the older BIOS system. However, there are situations where you might need to bypass UEFI boot, such as troubleshooting a boot issue, installing an older operating system, or accessing a specific device. This guide will explore the various ways to bypass UEFI boot, providing you with the necessary steps and considerations.

Understanding UEFI and Legacy Boot Modes

Before diving into the methods, it’s crucial to understand the difference between UEFI and legacy boot modes.

  • UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface): A modern firmware interface that provides a graphical environment for booting and configuring your system. It offers features like secure boot, faster boot times, and support for larger storage drives.
  • Legacy Boot Mode: The older BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) boot mode, which uses a text-based interface and has limitations compared to UEFI.

Most modern computers come with UEFI enabled by default. However, you might encounter situations where you need to switch to legacy boot mode or bypass UEFI entirely.

Reasons to Bypass UEFI Boot

Here are some common reasons why you might need to bypass UEFI boot:

  • Troubleshooting Boot Issues: If your computer is experiencing boot problems, bypassing UEFI can help identify the source of the issue.
  • Installing Older Operating Systems: Some older operating systems might not be compatible with UEFI boot and require legacy boot mode.
  • Accessing Specific Devices: Certain devices, like older hard drives or optical drives, might not be recognized in UEFI mode, making legacy boot necessary.
  • Enabling Legacy Hardware Support: If you’re using legacy hardware that isn’t compatible with UEFI, bypassing UEFI boot can ensure proper functionality.

Methods to Bypass UEFI Boot

There are several ways to bypass UEFI boot, each with its own advantages and limitations. Here are the most common methods:

1. Using the BIOS/UEFI Setup Menu

The most straightforward way to bypass UEFI boot is to access the BIOS/UEFI setup menu and change the boot order or disable UEFI support. This approach is usually system-specific and requires knowledge of your motherboard’s BIOS options.


  1. Access the BIOS/UEFI Setup Menu: During the boot process, press the designated key (usually F2, F10, Del, or Esc) to enter the BIOS/UEFI setup menu.
  2. Locate Boot Options: Navigate to the boot settings section, usually found under “Boot” or “Advanced Boot Options.”
  3. Change Boot Order: Modify the boot order to prioritize legacy boot devices (like a USB drive or hard drive) over UEFI devices.
  4. Disable Secure Boot: If your system supports secure boot, you can disable it to allow booting from non-UEFI devices.
  5. Enable Legacy Support: Some motherboards offer a specific option to enable legacy boot mode, often called “Legacy Boot Support” or “CSM (Compatibility Support Module).”
  6. Save Changes: Once you’ve made the necessary changes, save and exit the BIOS/UEFI setup menu.

Note: The specific steps and options might vary depending on your motherboard manufacturer. Refer to your motherboard’s manual for detailed instructions.

2. Using a Bootable USB Drive

If you can’t access the BIOS/UEFI setup menu or prefer a more direct method, using a bootable USB drive can help bypass UEFI boot. You can create a bootable USB drive with a legacy-compatible operating system, a diagnostic tool, or a boot manager.


  1. Prepare a Bootable USB Drive: Download a bootable ISO image (e.g., a legacy-compatible operating system like Windows XP or a boot manager like Rufus) and use a tool like Rufus or UNetbootin to create a bootable USB drive.
  2. Change Boot Order: During the boot process, access the boot menu (usually by pressing F8 or F12) and select the bootable USB drive.
  3. Boot from USB: The system will now boot from the USB drive, allowing you to bypass UEFI boot.

Note: This method might require disabling Secure Boot in the BIOS/UEFI setup menu beforehand.

3. Using the Command Prompt (Advanced Users)

For advanced users, the command prompt can be used to bypass UEFI boot by modifying the boot configuration data (BCD). This method is more technical and involves navigating the command prompt and executing specific commands.


  1. Access the Command Prompt: Boot from a bootable USB drive or repair disk and access the command prompt.
  2. Identify the Boot Configuration Data (BCD): Use the bcdedit command to list available boot entries.
  3. Modify the Boot Entry: Use the bcdedit command with specific parameters to modify the boot entry for the desired operating system and disable UEFI boot.
  4. Verify Changes: Re-run the bcdedit command to confirm the changes made.

Caution: Modifying the BCD requires advanced knowledge and can potentially cause system instability if done incorrectly. Proceed with caution and refer to reliable resources before attempting this method.

Considerations and Risks

Bypassing UEFI boot can have potential risks and drawbacks. Consider the following factors before proceeding:

  • Security Risks: Disabling secure boot can leave your system vulnerable to malware and unauthorized access.
  • Compatibility Issues: Legacy boot mode might not support all modern hardware and features.
  • Data Loss: Modifying boot settings incorrectly can lead to data loss or system instability.

It’s essential to back up your important data before attempting any UEFI boot bypassing methods.


Bypassing UEFI boot can be necessary for troubleshooting, installing older operating systems, or accessing legacy devices. This guide has provided a comprehensive overview of different methods to bypass UEFI boot, including accessing the BIOS/UEFI setup menu, using a bootable USB drive, and utilizing the command prompt. Remember to understand the risks and considerations involved before attempting any of these methods. If you’re unsure about the process, consult a qualified technician or refer to your motherboard’s documentation for specific instructions.


1. What is UEFI Boot and why would I want to bypass it?

UEFI Boot is a newer, more advanced boot system that replaces the older BIOS system. It offers many benefits like faster boot times, improved security, and support for larger hard drives. However, some users may need to bypass UEFI Boot for specific reasons. This could include installing older operating systems that aren’t compatible with UEFI, troubleshooting boot issues, or accessing legacy hardware.

While UEFI Boot is generally preferred, bypassing it can be necessary in certain situations. If you are facing compatibility issues or need to access legacy hardware, understanding how to bypass UEFI Boot can be beneficial.

2. Is bypassing UEFI Boot risky?

Bypassing UEFI Boot can potentially introduce risks if done incorrectly. For example, disabling Secure Boot can make your system more vulnerable to malware attacks. It’s essential to follow the instructions carefully and understand the implications of each step. It’s also a good practice to back up your data before making any significant changes to your system’s boot settings.

It’s crucial to weigh the risks and benefits of bypassing UEFI Boot before proceeding. Consult your motherboard’s manual and online resources to ensure you understand the potential consequences and mitigate potential risks.

3. Can I bypass UEFI Boot without losing my data?

Generally, bypassing UEFI Boot should not result in data loss. However, it’s always advisable to back up your important data before making any significant changes to your system’s settings. This ensures you have a copy of your files in case something goes wrong.

While bypassing UEFI Boot itself doesn’t directly lead to data loss, unexpected system behavior or errors during the process can potentially cause data corruption. Backups offer a safety net to protect your valuable information.

4. How do I know if my computer uses UEFI Boot?

You can check if your computer uses UEFI Boot by entering the BIOS/UEFI settings. This is typically done by pressing a specific key during startup, such as F2, F10, or Del. Once in the BIOS/UEFI settings, look for an option related to boot mode or boot order. If you see “UEFI” or “UEFI Boot” listed, it means your computer uses UEFI Boot.

Alternatively, you can check your motherboard’s manual or online documentation for information about your system’s boot mode. These resources usually provide detailed information about your computer’s hardware and firmware settings.

5. Can I bypass UEFI Boot on any computer?

While the general principles are similar, the specific steps for bypassing UEFI Boot can vary depending on your computer’s manufacturer and motherboard model. It’s crucial to consult your motherboard’s manual or online documentation for detailed instructions tailored to your specific hardware.

The availability of options for bypassing UEFI Boot can also vary depending on your system’s firmware version and configuration. Some systems may offer more flexibility, while others might have limited or no options for modifying boot settings.

6. Can I still use UEFI Boot after bypassing it?

Yes, you can usually revert back to UEFI Boot after bypassing it. This typically involves changing the boot mode back to UEFI in the BIOS/UEFI settings. The exact steps for reverting to UEFI Boot can vary depending on your system’s model.

It’s important to note that some systems might require reinstalling the operating system to fully revert to UEFI Boot. Consult your motherboard’s manual or online documentation for instructions specific to your system.

7. What are some alternative solutions to bypassing UEFI Boot?

Before bypassing UEFI Boot, consider exploring alternative solutions that might address your specific needs. For example, if you’re facing compatibility issues with an older operating system, you could try using a virtual machine to run it within your current operating system. Alternatively, you could update your system’s BIOS to a newer version that might support legacy hardware.

By exploring alternative solutions, you might be able to achieve your desired outcome without the risks associated with bypassing UEFI Boot. Consulting online forums and communities dedicated to your specific operating system or hardware can provide additional insights and guidance.

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