Changing the User Interface Language

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 22, 2017)

If you are reading this tip, chances are good that you are using a version of Windows that displays information on-screen in English. However, you may be more comfortable using a different language for the user interface. Fortunately, Microsoft makes available modifications for the operating system that may help you in that regard. Exactly how you procure the modification you need depends on the version of Windows you are using. (It seems that Microsoft changes procedures for languages with just about every version of the operating system it releases.)

If you are using Windows 8 or Windows 10, you can find a very helpful page here:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/windows/hardware/commercialize/manufacture/desktop/add-language-packs-to-windows

There is a great deal of technical information about language packs on the page. You'll want to pay particular attention to two sections of the page. First, you'll want to read the section entitled "Other Considerations." (There are some important "gotchas" to note in this section.) Then, you'll want to read the section "Where Do I Download the Language Packs?" Here you'll find the links to the actual download pages.

If you are using Windows 8, you may also find this page helpful:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh825678.aspx

The page has links that lead back to the page previously mentioned, but it provides a good high-level view of what languages you can tweak Windows to use.

For Windows 7 users, you need to be using Windows 7 Ultimate and have administrative privileges (both are required). If this matches your situation, visit the following website:

http://download.microsoft.com

Using the search box, look for "Windows 7 Language Interface Pack" (without the quotes). You'll see a bunch of choices come up, but you are only interested in those that start with "Multilingual User Interface (MUI) Pack." (You may have to click through quite a few search results pages to find them.) There should be separate packs for both 32-bit Windows and 64-bit Windows. Click the download link for the pack that matches your version of Windows and follow the instructions to complete the download.

Once the MUI Pack is downloaded, move it from the download area to your desktop, as it is easier to work with there. Then follow these steps:

  1. Click Start and then Control Panel. Windows displays the Control Panel dialog box.
  2. Click Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods. (This option is available under the Clock, Language, and Region heading.) Windows displays the Keyboards and Languages tab of the Region and Language dialog box.
  3. Click the Install/Uninstall Languages option.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

 This tip (12965) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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