TPM Device not Detected – Quick fixes

Are you looking for a way to fix the “Alert! TPM device is not detected” error message appearing whenever you try to boot your Dell laptop.

“Alert! TPM device is not detected” typically indicates that the system cannot find the TPM chip on your device, usually referring to the chip soldered to the mainboard of your laptop.

In some cases, we can still bypass the message and boot the system normally, but advanced security features that rely on the TPM chip won’t work properly.

When you encounter the error, if you use any Windows BitLocker functionality to encrypt a partition on your system, it will not work anymore. All Bitlocker passwords and encryption are stored in the TPM chip, so the system cannot access them if it don’t recognize the chip.

“Alert! TPM device is not detected” error message may look like one of the images below.

TPM device is not detected
Alert! TPM device not detected

What is TPM device

TPM stands for Trusted Platform Module. A TPM device is a piece of security hardware that performs a variety of cryptographic operations. Cryptographic keys, digital signatures, and other sensitive data are stored on the TPM chip.

TPM devices can be used to authenticate devices and users, as well as to offer a secure basis for applications like disk encryption and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Management. Because the TPM chip is tamper-proof, it is more secure than software-based security solutions.

Microsoft have been pushing hard for TPM usage recently. In fact, Windows 7 and Windows 10 both have extensive support for TPMs. Windows 11 will only run on PCs that have TPM capabilities. Security features at the operating system level such as Windows Hello face-recognition login feature on a newer laptop requires a TPM to be enabled.

“Alert! TPM device is not detected” causes

Below are the most common causes of “Alert! TPM device is not detected” error.

  • Outdated BIOS: BIOS upgrades are crucial for ensuring your device is in optimal condition. A new BIOS contains bug patches, better compatibility features and enhanced performance.
  • TPM chip damaged: If the TPM ‘breaks’ or becomes otherwise inaccessible, all cryptography dependent on keys stored by the TPM also breaks

Now let’s move on to possible solutions you can try:

Solution: Reseating the battery

The very first thing you can try once seeing “TPM device is not identified” error message is reseating your battery. A lot of Dell laptop users who have suffered from this issue reported that removing the battery and plugging it back in after a few minutes fixes the problem for them.

When you remove the batteries from your laptop, the board should resets itself and you start with a clean slate when you plug it back in.

To do so, flip your laptop upside down and follow the arrow directions to securely remove the battery. Because each Dell laptop is unique in terms of make and model, you must first identify the battery on your specific laptop and proceed from there. Reconnect the battery and restart your laptop after about 30 seconds to see whether the problem persists.

Solution: Update BIOS Firmware

If reseatting the battery doesn’t fix the problem, it is likely that the problem is caused by your laptop’s firmware.

Like we mentioned earlier, a new BIOS often contains bug patches, better compatibility features and enhanced performance. There is a good chance updating BIOS would fix the problem if you haven’t updated your BIOS firmware in a few years. Follow the instructions below to find the latest BIOS firmware.

  • Head over to https://www.dell.com/support/contents/article/product-support/self-support-knowledgebase/software-and-downloads/supportassist.
  • Follow the instructions on the site to install Dell SupportAssist utility. It can automatically detect any outdated drivers on your system and have them installed. To do this, simply click on the Download & Install SupportAssist option and then follow the on-screen prompts. For more information, see the Dell knowledge base article Dell SupportAssist (formerly Dell System Detect): Overview and Common Questions.
  • Alternatively, browse to https://www.dell.com/support/drivers and enter the Service Tag, Express Service Code, or the Serial number of the Dell product, then click Search to have Dell redirect you to the product’s page.
  • Find the appropriate BIOS update for your Dell laptop. Usually it is packaged in an executable and involves no other user interaction than a single click to run. Make sure your laptop battery is fully charged and/or have a stable power source before updating your BIOS.

Solution: Enable TPM in BIOS

If the computer does not detect the Trusted Platform Module, the TPM device in the laptop is most likely disabled at the BIOS level, rendering it “invisible” to the operating system.

If this is the case, we have to go to the BIOS settings enable it. TPM comes in two flavors: TPM 1.2 and TPM 2.0, the same instructions can be applied to enable both of them. Follow these steps to Enable TPM in BIOS.

  • Go to BIOS by pressing one of these keys during boot: DelF2, or F9. On most Dell laptops, you can press the F2 key several times once the Dell logo appears.
  • Look for Security section. Then, search for anything related to TPMIntel Platform Trust Technology (IPTT), or AMD CPU fTPM. Enable TPM visibility using these settings. Each BIOS have its own layout and should contain a toggle bar to enable/disable the TPM chip,
  • Once you’re done, save and exit. Reboot the machine to see whether the TPM chip is recognized or not.

Reset BIOS Defaults

In rare case, you may need to reset the BIOS (basic input/output system) to factory defaults. This may be accomplished by going to the BIOS menu and selecting “Load Default” or “Reset”. This will restore all BIOS settings to their factory defaults, which can frequently resolve booting troubles. Remember that restarting the BIOS will also reset any custom settings you’ve made, so make a backup of your BIOS settings before resetting them.

Follow the instructions below to reset the BIOS settings for Dell laptops:

  • First and foremost, ensure that your laptop is turned off and not plugged in to any power source.
  • When the Dell logo appears, press the F2 key several times until Entering System Setup appears.
  • On the BIOS setting screen, look for Restore Settings or Load Defaults (whichever is listed). Please do note that the BIOS or UEFI interface may vary across different Dell computers. If you cannot find the options, it is best to consult the user manual of your Dell laptop/computer.
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