Secure Boot isn't configured correctly: troubleshooting

Applies To: Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2

The "Secure Boot isn't configured correctly" watermark appears on the Windows desktop when the PC is capable of using the Secure Boot security feature, but the feature is not activated or configured correctly.

This message may appear after updating your PC from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1.

What is Secure Boot?

Secure Boot helps to make sure that your PC boots using only firmware that is trusted by the manufacturer. For more info on Secure Boot, see Secure Boot Overview.

Is my PC unsafe?

Your PC may be OK, but it's not as protected as it could be, because Secure Boot isn't running.

You may need to disable Secure Boot to run some hardware, graphics cards, or operating systems such as Linux or previous versions of Windows. For more info, see Disabling Secure Boot.

Can I just dismiss this alert or remove the watermark?

Yes. Go to Windows Update for a patch that gets rid of the watermark.

I'd like to use this feature. How can I enable it?

Try enabling Secure Boot through using the PC BIOS menus.


Be careful when changing BIOS settings. The BIOS menu is designed for advanced users, and it's possible to change a setting that could prevent your PC from starting correctly. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions exactly.

Enabling Secure Boot

  1. Open the PC BIOS menu. You can often access this menu by pressing a key during the bootup sequence, such as F1, F2, F12, or Esc.

    Or, from Windows: go to Settings charm > Change PC settings > Update and Recovery > Recovery > Advanced Startup: Restart now. When the PC reboots, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options: UEFI Firmware Settings.

  2. Find the Secure Boot setting, and if possible, set it to Enabled. This option is usually in either the Security tab, the Boot tab, or the Authentication tab.

    On some PCs, select Custom, and then load the Secure Boot keys that are built into the PC.

    If the PC does not allow you to enable Secure Boot, try resetting the BIOS back to the factory settings.

  3. Save changes and exit. The PC reboots.

  4. If the PC is not able to boot after enabling Secure Boot, go back into the BIOS menus, disable Secure Boot, and try to boot the PC again.

  5. In some cases, you may need to refresh or reset your PC to its original state before you can turn on Secure Boot. For more info, see How to restore, refresh, or reset your PC.

  6. If the above steps don’t work, and you still want to use the Secure Boot feature, contact your manufacturer for help.

    For additional troubleshooting steps for PC manufacturers: see Secure Boot isn't configured correctly: Determine if the PC is in a manufacturing mode (info for manufacturers).

See Also


Disabling Secure Boot


Secure Boot Overview

Other Resources

Why is there a "SecureBoot isn't configured correctly" watermark on my desktop?
Microsoft Support KB article 2902864