How to Convert Legacy BIOS to UEFI in Windows 10

Change Legacy Bios To Uefi Hero

In previous versions of Windows, you were forced to reinstall the entire operating system if you wanted to convert Legacy BIOS or Master Boot Record (MBR) to UEFI or GUID Partition Table (GPT). However, in Windows 10 Microsoft, a new and simple tool called MBR2GPT was introduced. It lets you convert from Legacy BIOS to UEFI with just two commands.

Here is how you can covert from Legacy BIOS to UEFI in Windows 10.

Why Convert Legacy to UEFI?

You probably have some inkling why you’d want to change from the Legacy BIOS to UEFI, but just to confirm, here’s what you need to know. Both BIOS and UEFI perform the same function on your PC – namely under-the-hood software integrated into your motherboard chip that lets you control various important low-level things.

Your BIOS/UEFI lets you control things like boot order, connected hardware, fan speeds, the physical lights on your computer and system time. Modern motherboards even let you undervolt and overclock your CPU! It’s powerful stuff.

UEFI is basically the new BIOS, performing the same job but better. With UEFI, you get faster boot times (ostensibly), higher drive capacities, better update methods and driver support, and a 64-bit mode (where BIOS is only 16-bit).

In other words, switching to UEFI is a bit of an upgrade and worth doing. Note that even modern computers tend to still call the motherboard software the BIOS, even if it’s technically UEFI.

Things You Need to Know Beforehand

Though converting Legacy BIOS to UEFI in Windows 10 is easy, there are a few things you should know and do before proceeding.

1. There will be no data loss while converting Legacy BIOS to UEFI. However, as a precaution, please back up your system.

2. You should be using Windows 10 v1703 or higher. If you are not sure, press Win + R, type winver and press Enter. On the second line, you should see “version 1703” or higher.

3. The disk you are trying to convert should not have more than three partitions. If you have more than three partitions on the Windows 10 installation drive, either merge or delete excess partitions.

4. If you are using BitLocker to encrypt your system, decrypt the drive and disable BitLocker protection before starting the conversion process. With BitLocker protection turned on, Windows 10 cannot convert your drive from Legacy BIOS to UEFI.

5. After converting, you may have to change your motherboard firmware settings from Legacy BIOS to UEFI. Depending on your motherboard manufacturer, the procedure to switch from one to the other will be different. Have your motherboard manual handy to make things easier for you.

If you want to know more, we have a full guide on the differences between UEFI and BIOS for you to check out.

Check Whether You Are Using Legacy BIOS

The last thing you need to check is whether you are using Legacy BIOS. After all, there is no use converting if you are already on UEFI.

To find out, search for “Create and format hard disk partitions” in the Start menu and press Enter to open the built-in Disk Management tool. Now, right-click on the Windows installation disk and select “Properties.”

win10-bios-to-uefi-select-properties-in-disk-options

In the properties Window, go to the “Volumes” tab. Here, if you see “Master Boot Record (MBR)” next to “Partition style,” you are on Legacy BIOS. If, on the other hand, it says “GUID Partition Table (GPT)” like in the image below, then you’re already on UEFI and don’t need to do anything more!

Change Legacy Bios To Uefi Volumes

Convert Legacy BIOS to UEFI

Once you’ve confirmed you are on Legacy BIOS and have backed up your system, you can convert Legacy BIOS to UEFI.

1. To convert, you need to access Command Prompt from Windows’s advanced startup. For that, press Win + X, go to “Shut down or sign out,” and click on the “Restart” button while holding the Shift key.

Change Legacy Bios To Uefi Shut Down 1

2. The above action will reboot your system to the Advanced Startup screen. Here, go to “Troubleshoot -> Advanced Options” and select the option “Command Prompt.”

win10-bios-to-uefi-select-command-prompt

3. Validate the disk you are trying to convert. Type the below command and press Enter.

If you see the “Validation completed successfully” message, then you can proceed to the next step. If you see any errors, your disk or system may not meet the conversion requirements.

win10-bios-to-uefi-validate-command

If you have problems validating at this point, then enter the following command:

Change Legacy Bios To Uefi Allowfullos 1

4. After validating the disk, execute the below command:

As soon as you execute, Windows 10 will start the conversion process, i.e., add all the required UEFI boot files and GPT components, then update the Boot Configuration Data.

win10-bios-to-uefi-convert-command

5. Restart your system, launch your motherboard firmware settings screen and change it from Legacy BIOS to UEFI. The procedure to change from Legacy BIOS to UEFI depends on your motherboard manufacturer. Consult the manual for the exact steps.

6. After booting into Windows 10, you can verify whether or not you are converted. Just like before, open the disk properties window from the Disk Management tool and go to the “Volumes” tab. Here, you should see “GUID Partition Table (GPT)” next to “Partition style.”

Want to do more under-the-hood tweaking in Windows 10? See how to set up port forwarding on the OS. Or for something more tangible, how about learning to make and receive calls on Windows 10 using your Android phone?

Robert Zak Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

16 comments

  1. Your article sounded great until I checked my disk. As I run a dual boot system, W10 and Linux Mint, I have more than 3 partitions so I can’t convert. I have another computer which I ‘cooked’ recently and lost my BIOS. It’s an HP all-in-one. I have scanned the HP site and Tech News to try and get another copy, but HP says there isn’t one. Can you offer any advice on where I might find a BIOS to load up? The computer is a HP320-1120a. Many thanks

  2. After all these years, I feel stupid having to ask this question.
    Is there any way to print this article with the pictures and instructions.
    You have so many great articles, but being my age (79) it makes it so much easier to follow your instructions line by line (or picture) and check them off when I am done.
    Regards,
    Al Cate

    1. Click print screen button and paste it on Paint then save it to desktop. Then rename them accordingly like 1 then 2 then 3. Then print them all out.

  3. With the Windows 11 news and requirements, this was great to know and super helpful to get those minimum requirements satisfied! Microsoft was one step ahead of us it seems.

    Thanks for the tutorial!

  4. I followed the steps and when I finished and restarted I got an error message like the following

    Intel UNDI, PXE-2.1 (bu ild 083) Copyr ight (C) 1997-2000 Intel Corporation This Product is covered by one or more of the following patents: US6,570, 884, US6, 115,776 and US6,327,625 Realtek PCle GBE Family Controller Series v2.61 (01/07/15) PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable PXE-MOF: Exiting PXE ROM. Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Med ia in selected Boot device and press a key

  5. I think each user should check in the BIOS whether there is an option for BIOS / UEFI boot. If there is not such an option, then DON’T attempt to convert your system. Your system WILL NOT BE capable.
    And yes, this probably means that that system will likely not be upgradeable to Windows 11. Microsoft has a long history of taking billions of dollars from computer manufacturing consortiums to basically cull older machines and generate income for the computer manufacturers. If you purchased your machine on or after about 2016, you’re probably good to go. Otherwise, Microsoft is about to dump your Machine off the Windows 10 cliff, and get very very rich in the process.
    The author here mentions the 16 bit BIOS and 64 bit UEFI, but these systems never interact with the operating system once it’s launched. Its irrelevant, in other words. The 64 bits only provides for more colorful and animated menus. That’s it. It’s the same features as in the BIOS.

  6. I am having a hard time understanding whether the BIOS and UEFI can both be accessed the same way, i.e. by pressing the F2, ESC or whatever key during bootup.
    Or is it that maybe the UEFI can only be accessed once the OS (i.e. Microsoft Windows) has booted up?

    1. F2 key sends you to the Setup Utility. In it you can determine whether you’re using UEFI or Legacy as well as change a number of parameters. Don’t unless you know what you’re doing, especially with computers that have many setup screens, you’ll get lost. Good idea to take written notes.

      BIOS is basic input output system and is often used, a bit confusingly, to refer to a UEFI system. Same concept, different implementation.

      Also Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Information displays most of your computer’s settings/capabilities/hardware.

      Control Panel?
      Start Menu>All Programs>Windows System>Control Panel. Right click and shortcut it to your desktop once you find it. Has all the settings, with many overlaps, that botched Gear Thing is missing.

  7. I have an administrative user. It works as administrator in normal windows (run as administrator, etc). When I access the advanced options/command prompt as shown above it always tells me there are no administrative users on the system. Is this one of those things you can’t get at on the home edition of windows 10?

  8. After this conversion..will our system formatted and erased everything or just conversion…I don’t want to loose all my data.

  9. I needed to change to UEFI in order to expand the PCIe features of my motherboard Z390-A PRO. And that works . Thank you so much !!

  10. Your article was very helpful to me in making my Windows 10 being eligible for a free Windows 11 upgrade. Thank you very much!

  11. I’n here because I wanna thank you!! I followed all the steps very carefully and I’m able to convert my MBR Legacy BIOS to UEFI GPT. I now can also enable TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot. All this hassle for Windows 11 Pro lmao. At least it’s all worth it! My only concern is that, my OS SSD drive is GPT but my other HDD drive where I have my games and softwares is still MBR. Does converting MBR to GPT onlt work with the drive where you install your OS? Or you can do this to other drives you have as well? Where you NEVER installed your OS? Tried validating my other disk drive and iit always failed… Let alone converting it.

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