How to Properly Reset Your Computer’s CMOS

 

CMOS (stands for Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor) is one of the internal parts of your computer that serves as a memory used to store your computer’s BIOS or UEFI configuration. This configuration controls what your computer does on boot. If your PC’s BIOS got messed up due to failed overclocking setup or if your system won’t boot up properly, setting the BIOS or UEFI to its factory default settings should do the trick. Doing this however, may lose any custom BIOS configurations. It may be necessary to back up your working UEFI settings, and then restore it later if you have a current complicated setup.

Here are different ways on how you can properly reset your PC’s CMOS. Follow the procedure you think is most convenient for you.

Resetting the CMOS via the External Case Button

If you see a button on your computer’s case labelled as “Clear” or “Reset,” the function of that is to reset the CMOS. Here’s how to do it properly:

STEP 1: Turn off your computer.

STEP 2: Disconnect your computer from the wall outlet.

NOTE: You can unplug the power from the back of your power supply or from the wall outlet.

STEP 3: Locate the case button labelled “Clear” or “Reset” which is typically next to or near the power button.

STEP 4: Using the end of a pen to hold down the button if it’s small, hold the “Clear” or “Reset” button down for five to ten seconds, then release it.

STEP 5: Reconnect your computer to power and reboot.

STEP 6: Press the correct key to enter your BIOS options.

NOTE: On most motherboards, this is the “Delete” key, except for ASRock motherboards which use “F2.”

STEP 7: Adjust your BIOS options as necessary. Some motherboards have the option to load “optimized defaults” which are a great starting point.

Resetting the CMOS by Reseating the CMOS Battery

If you have no other way to reset your CMOS, you can erase saved settings by removing the CMOS battery. This battery allows the volatile CMOS memory to stay powered even when the computer is disconnected from an outlet. By removing and replacing the battery, you’ll erase the CMOS, forcing a reset.

STEP 1: Turn off your computer.

STEP 2: Press the power button multiple times to clear any capacitors.

STEP 3: Disconnect your computer from the wall outlet.

STEP 4: Find the CMOS battery on your motherboard.

NOTE: This is most commonly a CR2032 battery, a coin-sized battery as shown below. You’ll find it near the PCI Express slots on most motherboards. Consult your motherboard’s manual for its exact location.

STEP 5: Gently remove the CMOS battery.

NOTE: If it is secured by a metal clip, slide the battery out from under the clip. Take care not to bend the clip.

STEP 6: Wait a few minutes, then replace the CMOS battery.

STEP 7: Restart your computer.

Resetting the CMOS with a Motherboard Button

Some higher-end motherboards have a board-mounted button to reset the CMOS. This can be accessed by opening the computer case and locating the button within the case. It will typically be labelled something like “CLR,” “CLEAR” or “RESET.”

STEP 1: Turn off your computer.

STEP 2: Press the case’s power button multiple times to discharge any motherboard capacitors.

STEP 3: Disconnect your computer from the wall outlet.

NOTE: You can unplug the power from the back of your power supply or from the wall outlet.

STEP 4: Locate the correct button on your motherboard.

NOTE: If you’re not sure where to find it, look at your motherboard’s manual.

STEP 5: Press and hold the button for five to ten seconds with your finger or the eraser end of a pencil. If you use your finger, make sure to ground yourself by tapping a bare metal surface (doorknobs are great) before touching anything inside your computer.

STEP 6: Reconnect your computer to the power source, and then reboot it.

STEP 7: Press the correct key to enter your BIOS options.

NOTE: Most motherboards use the “Delete” key, but look for your splash screen.

STEP 8: Adjust your BIOS options as necessary.




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