The estimated reading time for this post is 165 seconds

Accidentally locked yourself out of your own computer? bios passwordDepending on which BIOS password you are trying to recover, the process is different.  A User password is needed to gain access to the operating computer and the rest of the computer, and a Supervisor password is only asked in order to change BIOS settings.

The steps to recover a User BIOS password is hard, if not impossible, because there’s way to bypass it or reinstall the BIOS without major complications. Recovering Supervisor BIOS password can also be an annoyance, but it doesn’t hinder your access to the computer. Many computer manufacturers charge a large amount of money to recover it. If you can’t afford to take the time shipping it, wait weeks and pay the bill, you can try some of these tricks in the hope to recover it.

There are four ways to recover the password: via hardware, back door password, software, or send it to your manufacturer.

Hardware

The CMOS battery on a motherboard

Image by Technibble

For Desktops, the process to recover the password varies widely on your motherboard model. The easiest way to remove it is through hardware. Many motherboard models have a jumper or a button-sized battery called the CMOS battery that would reset the BIOS(and therefore the password) when the jumper is reset or the battery is removed. Since the location of the jumper and battery varies widely depending on your computer, you will have to search for it on Google.

On Laptops, the BIOS cannot  be reset by hardware, since laptops typically lack an internal CMOS battery or jumper switches. You will have to resort to other techniques.

Back-door Passwords

Many manufacturers keep an alternate and secret password on their own BIOS. They are used to remove the password on the computers that are sent to them. However, some models have their algorithms hacked and released by hackers.

To use a back-door password, you need to have another computer around and:

  1. Boot up the computer
  2. system disabled messageWhen asked for password, enter the wrong password until a System Disabled message comes up
  3. Write down the number/code next to the message.
  4. Download the right password recovery tool for your model. Commonly used backdoor password can be found here. Laptops owners can use the tools on this blog. Credits goes to the authors of the utilities.It is possible that your model isn’t listed anywhere there, in that case, you will have to resort to other methods or try to find other backdoor passwords. Share your find in the comments section so I can add it here!
  5. Enter the error code in the recovery utility, the program will give you the backdoor password.
  6. Enter the given password and it should work.

Software

Removing BIOS password using software is probably the fastest and most reliable way to solve this problem, but you will have access to the operating system in the first place. If you are trying to recover a User password, you’re out of luck. But for Supervisor passwords, it’s possible. This forum post gives you a tutorial on how to achieve this.

This post is probably incomplete due to the wide variety of computer models out there, if you have additional information, don’t hesitate to comment below!

You might also like: