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UEFI for Windows 11: What You Need to Know

By ·Categories: Tech Explained·Published On: July 30th, 2021·3.2 min read·

With the impending release of Windows 11, hardware requirements have been a popular topic. Today we’ll be focusing on using UEFI for Windows 11. If you haven’t seen our blog or video about TPM 2.0, be sure to check them out. One of the things we mention in those pieces is changing settings in the BIOS and ensuring you’re utilizing UEFI.

In our latest Tech Edge video we brake down the difference between BIOS and UEFI. Hit play below to watch the video or read the transcript below. Be sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel for the latest news and updates.

The Difference Between BIOS and UEFI

The terms BIOS and UEFI are often used interchangeably, but in reality they’re two different generations of firmware-based computer instructions. BIOS, which stands for Basic Input Output System, is the older of the two instruction sets. In 2007 BIOS was largely supplanted by UEFI, which stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface. UEFI offers a few major advantages over BIOS, including enhanced security features, but many UEFI motherboards still offer BIOS support while in Legacy mode.

BIOS Definition

Why Do You Need UEFI for Windows 11?

Microsoft has decided to leverage the advances of UEFI in Windows 11 in order to offer enhanced security for users. This means that Windows 11 MUST run with UEFI, and is not compatible with BIOS or Legacy Compatibility Mode. When checking to see if your PC is Windows 11 capable, you must also enable Secure Boot, which is a UEFI-only feature. 

UEFI Definition

How to Check if You’re Using UEFI

You can check your Windows install mode before enabling Secure Boot by searching for the System Information app in the search bar and checking your BIOS Mode setting. If your system reports that it is in UEFI mode then you are good to go. However, if it doesn’t report being in UEFI mode, then you are in a mode not supported by Windows 11.

If you switch over to UEFI at this point, your operating system likely won’t boot, due to the hard drive being set to Legacy boot mode instead of UEFI. It’s always a good idea to document your BIOS or UEFI settings before changing them in case you need to revert those settings later.

If you didn’t document your settings changes and your computer no longer boots – don’t panic. You can still reset your system back to Legacy mode. If you’re using an OnLogic computer, you can refer to our Support site to find the appropriate motherboard manual for your system, and follow the instructions there.

The Key Takeaway About UEFI for Windows 11

The big takeaway here is that your system will need to be set to UEFI to install Windows 11. If you’ve been using Legacy mode in Windows 10, you’ll need to switch to UEFI and then do a fresh install before trying to upgrade to Windows 11.

As we mentioned in our TPM video, this could all still change. We’re months away from Windows 11 making its debut, and Microsoft will continue to evaluate hardware requirements as they release the new OS to their Windows Insiders and partner OEMs like OnLogic.

We’ll keep you updated, so if you found this information helpful, be sure to subscribe to the OnLogic YouTube channel. You can find a few helpful links below, but If you still have questions, leave them in the comments and we’ll be happy to help.

Helpful Resources:

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About the Author: Darek Fanton

Darek is the Communications Manager at OnLogic. His passion for both journalism and technology has led him from the newsrooms of local papers to the manufacturing floor of IBM. His background in news gathering has him always on the lookout for the latest in emerging tech and the best ways to share that information with readers. In addition to his affinity for words, Darek is a music lover, juggler and huge fan of terrible jokes.
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