Acer is one of the most famous brands for computers (desktops, laptops, tablets) and other related products (smartphones, monitors, cloud solutions, etc.). Acer computer is used widely around the world. In this post on MiniTool, let’s talk about the Acer boot menu, which is responsible for starting up a device. What’s included in the boot menu? How can you access it? How to change the boot order on Acer laptop?

What Is Acer Boot Menu

What is the boot menu? Literally, it’s a menu in charge of computer boot. By default, you can’t see the boot menu (also called the startup menu) when starting up your computer normally. But if you are careful enough, you’ll find that there’s an on-screen prompt telling you which key to press to access the boot menu easily.

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A lot of options are included in an Acer boot menu: system information, boot device options, BIOS setup, etc., just like the boot menu on other computers. These options are very useful when you have special needs (booting from USB/CD/DVD instead of the hard drive) or run into problems that need to be fixed by changing settings in the boot menu.

Acer boot menu

Booting to safe mode, startup repair, and other states have been proving to be very useful to help users accessing systems & repair related issues.

How to Access Acer Boot Menu & Acer BIOS

Acer offers a series of models (such as Aspire One, Aspire Timeline, and Aspire v3/v5/v7) to meet users’ different requirements. Though they have a lot in common, the Acer boot menu key is not the same. F12 is the most common key to press in order to access the boot menu on your Acer laptop (and desktop).

How do I get to the boot menu on an Acer?

  1. Please shut down your Acer laptop.
  2. Keep pressing the F12 key on your keyboard from the start. (Though pressing F12 is only required when the Acer logo appears, you’d better keep pressing it in case you miss the window; it disappears in a flash.)
  3. After entering the boot menu, you can navigate to the corresponding boot options and make changes to them by pressing the arrow keys. (Please remember to save changes when you exit the boot menu.)

The other two commonly used keys to access Acer boot menu Windows 10 are Esc and F9.

Acer boot menu key and BIOS key

Warning: The F12 Boot Menu is disabled by default in some Acer laptops; you must enable it in BIOS when necessary.

How to enable the F12 Boot Menu on Acer?

  1. Press F12 to access the Acer boot menu.
  2. Go to the Main menu tab by pressing the right arrow button.
  3. Press the down arrow to select F12 Boot Menu.
  4. Press Enter to change the status from Disabled to Enabled.

Acer F12 Boot Menu

What is the Acer BIOS?

In fact, Acer BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is a part of the Acer boot menu; it’s included in it. You can define which device to use, the boot order, and the setup of BIOS related features in the BIOS setup menu. The most common Acer BIOS key to press in order to access the BIOS settings menu is F2. If this didn’t work, you can try to access the BIOS menu by pressing Del, which is another commonly used key on Acer computers.

How to access Acer BIOS?

You can press the F2, the commonly used Acer BIOS key, after starting/restarting a computer to pause the startup sequence. This is an easy way to trigger the Acer BIOS menu (setup menu), but you need to keep pressing the button to avoid missing the correct window and time. Once the Acer laptop boot menu shows up on your computer screen, you can get the information you want or change some settings by using the left, right, up, and down arrow keys.

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Can you update Acer BIOS?

Warning: You should only update the BIOS when your Acer computer is malfunctioning and all the troubleshooting solutions are failed.
  1. Make sure your Acer laptop is fully charged or insert the Acer desktop adapter into an electrical outlet.
  2. Start your Acer computer.
  3. Press Windows + S and type information into the search box.
  4. Select System Information from the search result.
  5. Look for the BIOS Version/Date option under the Item column.
  6. Take a screenshot or take a picture of the Version/Date information (you can also write down the information manually).
  7. Open a Web browser and go to the Acer official site.
  8. Search for the BIOS for your Acer model.
  9. Click Download and wait.
  10. Open or ZIP file and double click on the bat.
  11. Follow the on-screen instructions to update BIOS on your Acer computer.

BIOS Version/Date

Some people said their computer can’t boot after the BIOS update. Please don’t worry too much since there are several solutions to it.

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Acer Boot from USB

By default, the Acer computer boots from a hard drive. If you want to boot Acer from USB on Windows 10, you’ll need to change the boot order in BIOS.

Steps to change boot order Windows 10:

  1. Shut down your Acer computer.
  2. Press the Acer BIOS key, F2 or Del, to access the BIOS setup window.
  3. Press the right arrow on the keyboard to select the Boot menu tab.
  4. Adjust the boot priority order by using the up and down arrows. (Put the target USB option first in the list.)
  5. Exit the setup utility and remember to save changes (shift to Exit and press Yes).

How To Change Boot Order Safely On Windows Device?

Tip: You can also follow this guide to change boot drive Windows 10 by selecting CD, DVD, external hard drive, or a network (click to know more about network booting).

How to Boot from USB on Acer Laptop

The guide on how to boot from USB below also works for how to boot from CD.

  1. Connect the USB drive properly to your Acer laptop.
  2. Restart the Acer computer and press the Acer BIOS key to enter the BIOS menu.
  3. Change the boot order, making the USB option the first item in the boot priority list.
  4. Exit BIOS and save changes.
  5. Your Acer laptop will start successfully if the USB boot drive is fine and the BIOS settings are correct.

Acer Boot priority order

Boot from USB Not Working

Some people said that they have tried to boot Windows from USB in a laptop, but failed neither using UEFI nor Legacy. This also happens to Acer laptop users; and there are many reasons that should be responsible for the boot failure (PC ignoring the boot order is one of the common causes). In this case, you’d better follow the steps below to create a bootable USB disk yourself and use it to recover data from the corrupted internal hard drive on Acer.

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Force Boot from USB & Recover Data

You have tried the above methods (accessing & modifying the Acer boot menu and Acer BIOS) to boot Acer from USB but failed? Don’t worry; there’s another solution to Acer boot from USB: creating a bootable USB disk or CD/DVD manually and booting Acer with it.

Get an edition of MiniTool Power Data Recovery that includes the Snap-in WinPE Bootable Builder.

  1. Several licenses are provided for users; please choose a suitable one after browsing the license comparison page.
  2. Save the setup program on another computer -> double click on it -> follow the instructions to install this software properly.

License for home users

How to create a bootable USB disk (it also works for creating a bootable CD/DVD)?

  1. Double click on the icon to launch the software -> copy & paste your license into the textbox of the Register window -> click on the Register button to continue.
  2. Wait for a couple of seconds until you see the Thank you window -> click on the OK button to get into the software.
  3. Connect a USB flash drive to the PC (make sure it has no data or the data on it is not needed anymore) -> click on the Bootable Edition icon in the upper right part.
  4. Please select the media type by clicking WinPE-based media with MiniTool plug-in.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to choose a media destination and then wait for the USB disk building process to finish.
  6. Click Finish and now you can remove the USB drive properly from the PC.


MiniTool Media Builder

If you have useful data on that USB but you forget to backup/transfer them before bootable disk building, you'd better follow the steps mentioned in this article to perform USB stick recovery on PC.

Note: Still hesitate? Don’t worry; MiniTool provides you with a trial edition to experience software performance first before getting a license for it.

Free Download

How to force boot from USB (works for Acer Aspire and other series)?

  1. Turn off your Acer laptop.
  2. Insert the bootable USB disk you have made just now into the laptop and turn the Acer back on.
  3. Press the F12 button on the keyboard quickly after the splash screen.
  4. Use the arrow keys to select the USB drive as the first boot device.
  5. Press Enter and wait for the laptop to boot automatically.

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How to recover data with the bootable USB drive?

  1. Press any key to boot the PC from the bootable disk you’ve made, as prompted.
  2. Wait for a few seconds until you see the screen resolution changing window.
  3. You can wait for the countdown to complete or click on the OK button to continue.
  4. In the next software launching window, you can also wait for the countdown or click OK.
  5. Click on the first option in the MiniTool PE Loader window to launch MiniTool Power Data Recovery correctly.
  6. Please select Logical Drives from the left sidebar when you enter the main software interface.
  7. Specify the Acer drive that keeps your needed data in the right pane. Then, double click on it to start a full scan.
  8. Wait for the scan to process; it may take some time depending on the drive capacity, amount of data, and other factors.
  9. Browse the files and folders found on your hard drive on Acer; pick out the ones you really need by adding a checkmark into the square box in front of each item.
  10. Click on the Save button.
  11. Select a storage path for the selected files waiting to be recovered on the Acer laptop. You need to connect an external drive to the Acer computer and select it as the target storage destination.
  12. Click OK to confirm and wait until you see a congratulations window saying that the files have been recovered successfully.

changing screen resolution

Launch the software

Bonus tip:

Your USB flash drive may not be recognized by or showing up on the computer. There are many reasons for this problem; please find them and the corresponding solutions on this page.

Acer Secure Boot

If you’re careful enough, you’ll find there’s a Secure Boot option in the Acer Boot menu. Actually, it's a unique and innovative feature designed to stop malicious software or unauthorized media from loading during the startup process.

The Secure Boot is enabled by default, but you may need to disable it when you want to set dual boot. Here’s how to disable Secure Boot in BIOS for Acer notebooks running Windows 8:

  1. Shut down your Acer laptop completely.
  2. Turn it on and press F2 repeatedly until you enter the BIOS.
  3. Use the right arrow key to select Security.
  4. Use the down arrow key to select Set Supervisor Password; then, press Enter.
  5. Create a password & hit Enter; confirm the password & hit Enter.
  6. Use the right arrow key to select Boot.
  7. Use the down arrow key to select Secure Boot; then, press Enter.
  8. Select Disabled and press Enter.
  9. Press F10 and click Yes.

This also works for disabling Secure Boot on the Acer tablet.

Disabled Secure Boot

How to disable Secure Boot in UEFI/BIOS for Acer desktops running Windows 8:

  1. Shut down Acer desktop.
  2. Press Delete to enter UEFI/BIOS.
  3. Choose Authentication by using the right arrow key.
  4. Select Secure Boot -> press Enter -> select Disabled.
  5. Choose Boot Options with the right arrow.
  6. Select Launch CSM -> press Enter -> select Always.
  7. Press Enter -> press F10 -> click Yes.

For some models, there’s a Boot Filter option and you should change it to Legacy.

Launch CSM

Troubleshoot Security Boot Fail

Acer security boot fail is a hot topic among Acer desktop/laptop/tablet users; it could occur on any Acer models. The following methods show you how to troubleshoot security boot fail on Acer.


#1. Disable Secure Boot

The steps are mentioned in the above section.

#2. Run SFC

  1. Turn off your Acer computer and then turn it back on.
  2. Hold down the Shift key when you see the sign-in screen.
  3. Click Start -> click Power -> choose Restart.
  4. Select Troubleshoot in the Choose an option window.
  5. Select Advanced options -> click Command Prompt.
  6. Type sfc/ scannow and hit Enter.
  7. Wait for the scan to complete.

You may also try to run DISM if running SFC is not working (how to fix when DISM failed?).

SFC scan

#3. Startup Repair

  1. Repeat step 1 ~ 4 in method 2 (Run SFC).
  2. Select Advanced options -> click Startup Repair.
  3. Wait for the self-diagnosing and repairing process to end.
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#4. System Restore

  1. Repeat step 1 ~ 4 in method 2.
  2. Select Advanced options -> click System Restore.
  3. Wait for the restarting process.
  4. Choose your account and type the corresponding password.
  5. Select a restore point from the list.
  6. Wait for the restore to complete.

System Restore

How to make the most of System Restore in Windows 10?

#5. Reset This PC

  1. Repeat step 1 ~ 4 in method 2.
  2. Select Reset this PC.
  3. Choose from Keep my files and Remove everything.
  4. Click Reset and wait.

Reset this PC

Besides, you can also try to recover the system from a system image or by performing a clean install.

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Acer computers (desktops, notebooks/laptops, and tablets) are used widely around the world. The boot menu is very significant in booting Acer for you. You should get to know the Acer boot menu and Acer BIOS especially when you need to change boot order (to boot from another device) or run into boot failure cases.

This post introduces the Acer boot menu and options, teaches you how to boot Acer from USB, and shows you how to troubleshoot when Acer security boot fails. Please pick up the part you’re most interested in to read.

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