How to Update the BIOS on a PC: 3 Ways to Get New Firmware

Your PC’s BIOS (also called its UEFI or its firmware) is the low-level software that the motherboard uses to interact with your CPU, cooling systems, expansion cards and ports. Over time, both motherboard makers and PC OEMs (including those who make laptops) issue BIOS updates that fix bugs, add support for new CPUs or features and sometimes improve performance or thermal management. 

Usually, there’s no urgent need to update your BIOS, so you don’t need to rush out and grab the latest version if you’re not having a problem. However, sometimes you really do need a new version. For example, older Intel 600 series motherboards require BIOS updates before they can work with 13th Gen “Raptor Lake” CPUs, and AMD 300, 400 and 500 series motherboards may need BIOS updates to recognize processors that came later, like Ryzen 5000 series. The fixes for the infamous Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities also require BIOS updates.