How to Change BIOS-Like Settings In Boot Camp

Updated July 20, 2017

Apple's Boot Camp allows a Macintosh OS X-based computer to run Microsoft Windows too. The BIOS controls hardware settings such as boot or start-up order, laptop battery settings, hardware clock and certain integrated devices. Windows XP and later can control most BIOS settings through the Control Panel, with the exception of boot order. Apple computers use a new extensile firmware interface (EFI), instead of a BIOS. Windows can access all the BIOS-equivalent EFI settings with the drivers that were installed by the Boot Camp Assistant.

Open the "Apple" menu and click "System Preferences."

Click the "Startup Disk" icon in the "System" section.

Click the system you want to use. To start Windows by default, click the "Windows on BOOTCAMP" option. To start OS X by default, click "Mac OS X." Click "Restart" to restart in Windows, or close the "System Preferences" Window.

Open the Windows "Start" menu and click "Control Panel."

Click the "Boot Camp" icon in the Windows Control Panel.

Click "Macintosh HD" or "Windows" to select the default system to start with the computer.

Click "Restart" to restart in Mac OS X, or click "OK" to save the settings.


To start Windows or Mac without making it the default operating system, press the "Option" key when your Mac starts to show the boot menu and pick either Windows or Mac. You can change power management, and turn wireless and bluetooth on or off in the same sections of the Control Panel you would use on a regular PC. Boot Camp is useful when running graphics or processor intensive applications that are too slow in virtualisation programs such as Fusion, Parallels and Virtualbox.

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About the Author

Mark Pool has been a technical writer and translator specializing in information technology since 2001. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English from Columbia University, he went on to study the IT sector and receive technical certifications from Microsoft, Cisco and Red Hat.