Change Boot Order in Windows Linux Dual Boot with Grub Customizer

This tutorial shows you how to easily change grub boot order to make Windows as default OS in Windows-Linux dual boot with the help of Grub Customizer.

Many people prefer to install Linux in dual boot mode with Windows. Some of them use Linux as their primary OS while some prefer Windows as their primary OS.

When you install Ubuntu or Linux Mint or elementary OS along with Windows in dual boot mode, Linux becomes the default OS. At the boot time, on the grub screen, if you do not choose Windows for login within 10 seconds (default Grub timeout), it boots up into the Linux.

Grub Screen
A graphic illustration of grub screen in Ubuntu-Windows dual boot setup

This grub behavior creates problem if you prefer to have Windows as your primary OS. You have to wait till the computer boots up and stay close to your computer to choose Windows for login.

This is inconvenient, I can understand. The good news is that you can customize grub to your liking.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you the graphical method to change the Grub boot order and make Windows default.

GUI Method: Change Grub Boot Order with Grub Customizer

Grub Customizer is a graphical tool that allows you to customize server aspects of the Grub bootloader. You can reduce the grub boot time, change the background and change the boot order among several other things.

Let me show you how to use this tool.

Install Grub Customizer in Ubuntu-based distributions

Starting with Ubuntu 20.04, it is available in the Universe repository. This means that you can easily install Grub Customizer on Ubuntu from the software center:

Grub customizer in Ubuntu software center
Grub Customizer in Ubuntu Software Center

Or, use the apt command to install the package in terminal:

sudo apt install grub-customizer

Installation instructions for Ubuntu 18.04

For Ubuntu 18.04 and Linux Mint 19 series, you’ll have to use PPA. Open a terminal and use the following commands one by one:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer 
sudo apt update
sudo apt install grub-customizer

Using Grub Customizer

Once installed, search for Grub Customizer in the menu and open it.

Grub customizer Ubuntu
Start for Grub Customizer in application menu

It requires the admin password because you are dealing with an important configuration that requires root privileges. Enter your password.

After that, you’ll see a screen where you can access the configuration. You can see that Windows lies at the bottom after so many Ubuntu options.

All you have to do is to move Windows over the first Ubuntu. You can use the arrow option from the top menu for this task.

Using Grub customizer to change the grub order
In Grub Customizer, select Windows Boot Manager and then press the Up arrow on the menu to move it up the order

Once done, you should have Windows on the top of this list. At this point, you should save this configuration.

Making Windows the default in dual boot
When Windows Boot Manager is on the top, save it

This will edit the Grub menu and you can see the changed boot order at the next restart.

Windows as the default OS in dual boot menu of the grub
Now you’ll boot into Windows by default

Bonus tip: Reduce the grub boot time

If you do not interact with the grub menu at the boot time, it takes 10 seconds to boot into the default operating system. You can use Grub Customizer and reduce this boot time to something of your choice like 3 seconds or 5 seconds.

You can do this from General Settings tab in Grub Customizer.

It’s an optional tip and will help you in reduce boot time (if you don’t manually press the enter key).

Reduce the default boot time in Grub
Change the value in Boot default enter after from 10 to 3 or 4 seconds and then save the changes

You can do some other grub customization as well with this wonderful tool.

I hope the tutorial helped you to change the grub boot order in Ubuntu and other Linux distribution and make Windows the default OS in your dual boot system. Grub Customizer is an amazingly simple tool for this task.

Questions, suggestions, a word of thanks are always welcome.

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