How to change language in Windows

Updated: 09/22/2017 by Computer Hope

The Microsoft Windows operating system allows users to change the display language from one language to another. Some restrictions may apply, depending on the version of Windows. Follow the steps below for your version of Windows to change the display language settings.

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Click on the Language option.
  3. Under Change your language preferences, click the Add a language option.
  4. Select the language you want to add and click the Add button.

Note: Some languages have sub-options or different dialects that you will also need to choose. If the Add button changes to "Open," you need to select a sub-option for that language.

  1. The selected language will be added to the language list. To make the added language be the primary language, click on the language in the list and click on the Move up option to move it to the top of the list.

Windows 8

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Under the Clock, Language, and Region section, click the Add a language link.
  3. Under Change your language preferences, click the Add a language option.
  4. Select the language you want to add and click the Add button.

Note: Some languages have sub-options or different dialects that you will also need to choose. If the Add button changes to "Open," you need to select a sub-option for that language.

  1. The selected language will be added to the language list. To make the added language be the primary language, click on the language in the list and click on the Move up option to move it to the top of the list.

The language pack you added may need to be downloaded and installed in Windows 8 before it can be used. Next to the language name, if it says "Windows display language: Available for download," follow the steps below.

  1. Click the Options link to the right of the language name.
  2. Click the Download and install language pack link under the Windows display language section.
  3. The download and install process will begin. After that process has completed, restart the computer for the new display language to take effect.

Windows 7

Note: Changing the language in Windows 7 requires you to have the Ultimate edition or Enterprise edition. Home and Professional editions do not have the language option.

In Windows 7, you will first need to download and install the language pack you want to use. Then you will be able to select and change the display language.

Download & Install Language Pack

  1. Open the Start menu and navigate to All Programs > Windows Update.
  2. Click the Optional Updates option.
  3. Check the box for the language pack you want to download and install, then click OK.
  4. Run the Install Updates process to download and install the language pack.

Change Display Language

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Click on the Clock, Language, and Region option.
  3. Click on the Change the display language link.
  4. In the Choose a display language drop-down list, select the language you to use as the display language and click OK.
  5. Restart the computer for the new display language to take effect.

Additional information

  • See our language pages for further information and related links on each of these terms.