This article explains how to change the boot menu timeout period that is set by default. The methods covered below work with most Windows versions, including Windows 11. You can adjust the duration required to choose an operating system using the built-in Windows 11 or 10 options if the 30-second default boot menu timeout for your computer to display installed operating systems is not long enough.
What Is Boot Menu Timeout
When you turn on a computer with multiple operating systems installed, like Windows 10 on one hard drive and Windows 11 on another, it doesn’t directly boot into any OS.
It will open a menu. Instead, it automatically shows the available operating systems for 30 seconds. The boot menu timeout refers to this period of waiting. It establishes the duration of the boot menu display, allowing you to choose which operating system to load and proceed.
Your computer will load the default operating system automatically if you do not select an OS and the boot menu timeout finishes. There are helpful built-in methods to modify this default boot menu timeout value. The boot menu timeout value is configurable from 0 to 999 seconds.
How to Change Boot Menu Timeout in Windows
Given below are three methods you can use to increase or decrease the boot menu timeout on Windows:
- Using the System Configuration window
- Using the System Properties window
- Using Windows Terminal
1] Using the System Configuration window
Changing the boot menu timeout via the system configuration settings is a simple method you can use to solve the issue:
- Type msconfig in the Windows search bar and click the top result.
- Click the Boot tab on the System Configuration window.
- Type a number between 3 and 999 in the Timeout field on the right.
- Next, click the check box to select the Make all boot settings permanent option and click Apply.
- Click the Yes button when prompted and restart your PC for the changes to apply.
2] Using the System Properties window
You can change the name of your computer, utilize Performance Options, establish system restore points through System Protection, and accomplish much more with the System Properties window. Additionally, there is the option to choose the boot menu timeout via the System Properties window, as given below:
- Open Windows Settings and navigate to System > About.
- Select the Advanced system settings option from the About page.
- In the System Properties window, click the Advanced tab. Next, under the heading Startup and Recovery, click the Settings button.
- In the startup and Recovery settings window, click the drop-down menu under Default operating system and choose your preferred one.
- Click the option Time to display list of operating systems.
- You can now choose a timeout value between 0 and 999.
- Press OK to save the changes.
Note: The default operating system will load immediately if you select 0 as the value. Thus, you should pick a timeout value that will give you enough time to choose the operating system in the boot menu.
3] Using Windows Terminal
The boot menu timeout modification is one of the many quick changes that Windows’ Terminal allows you to make. Let us see how:
- Open Windows Terminal as an administrator, type the command given below, and press Enter:
- When you run this command, it will display the boot menu’s current time.
- Next, type the command given below and press Enter.
Note: Make sure you replace SECONDS with your preferred time-out value, for example, 40 or 60.
bcdedit /timeout SECONDS
- Once you run the command, you will get in the Terminal window stating that the operation is completed.
In Windows versions, changing the boot menu timeout is a simple yet essential step. You can customize the boot menu’s duration before your computer boots up automatically by adjusting the timeout. You gain more time and control over the boot process as a result. This minimizes unnecessary delays, helps choose different operating systems and boot options, and troubleshoots startup issues.