Windows 8: How to Disable Secure Boot

Dennis Faas's picture

We recently received this letter from an Infopackets fan in Arizona:

"Hi Infopackets squad,

I'm interested in downgrading my new PC from Windows 8 Pro to Windows 7. I know that in order to do that, I need to disable something called Secure Boot. What is Secure Boot, and how do I disable it?

Thanks for the help,

Gail C."

My response:

Great question, Gail. We'll be running a feature story soon giving you more information about how to downgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 7. However, in this article we'll be focusing exclusively on the Secure Boot feature.

Secure Boot Protects Systems from Malware

Secure Boot is a feature in Windows 8's Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, or UEFI. It's there to ensure that all operating systems running on a computer are digitally signed, meaning they are legitimate and not affected by malware.

In other words, Secure Boot is a security feature designed to keep your PC safe from malware attack.

However, you can't go about downgrading a Windows 8 system to Windows 7 without disabling Secure Boot.

How to Disable Secure Boot in Windows 8

To do that, boot your Windows 8 computer to the main screen. Next, search for an application known as 'Powershell.'

Once Powershell opens, type in the command: 'confirm-SecureBootUEFI' (no quotations). Then hit enter.

You will then be presented with several pieces of system information. If that data indicates that Secure Boot is installed on your system, you will need to disable Secure Boot in your PC's BIOS. Let's do that now.

Next, go into Windows 8's 'Charms' menu and enter 'Settings'. Then click 'Change PC Settings' and then 'General'. On the next screen, scroll to the very bottom and click 'Restart Now' under the 'Advanced Startup' tab.

On the next screen, click 'Troubleshoot'. On the following screen, click 'Advanced Options'.

Once you've reached the 'Advanced Options' screen, look for a 'UEFI Firmware Settings' option. If it's there, you can click and disable it.

(Note that this option will only appear if you have Secure Boot enabled. If it's already disabled, then you're way ahead of the game!)

From there, you'll put your Windows 7 installation CD into your computer's DVD drive and restart the computer. You'll then initiate the Windows 7 installation process, which we'll be covering in an upcoming article.

Stay tuned!

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