Is there any way to change locale settings for Windows Explorer only?

Victor Ong April 12, 2012


I recently changed the system locale of my computer so file names in different languages could be seen in Windows Explorer. However, I also realized that many other programs’ fonts/languages have changed. Why is this?

Is there any way to make Windows Explorer show a different locale, but for all other programs show English?

  1. ha14
    April 16, 2012 at 10:34 am

    possibly with windows 7 ultimate?

    Language packs
    the Ultimate and Enterprise editions of Windows 7 were designed for you. These editions can display menus, dialog boxes, Help topics, and other text in 35 different languages. Switching between them is easy and free.

    Type in Chinese, Japanese, and other character-based languages

    The (Partial) Solution for Home Users: Windows 7 Language Interface Packs (LIP)

  2. Oron Joffe
    April 13, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    The system locale dictates how Windows Explorer displays files and in some cases (Right To Left languages, Far Eastern Languages) how text editing can be done. It also affects the default system font and editing preferences for those programs that choose to use the default system settings (which is most packages, with the notable exception of some text editors/word processors etc).

    It may be possible to hack Windows Explorer itself to work with a particular locale, but I've never come across details for doing so and I can't quite see why one would want to do it.

    • Victor Ong
      April 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      As I stated above, I couldn't view the files whose names were in different languages.  That's why I changed it.  But now, all the other programs are in the new locale now.

  3. Bruce Epper
    April 12, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Locale settings are system-wide.  Any non-Unicode applications will use these settings.

      Under Windows 7, you should not need to change locales in order to see file names in different languages since Windows Explorer is a Unicode application and the Regions & Locales settings are only for non-Unicode applications.  I have never had issues reading non-English filenames with it.

    • Victor Ong
      April 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm

      Yes, I though so, but I couldn't view these files.  They were in a usb.  Does this have anything to do with it being a square BLOCK?

      • Bruce Epper
        April 14, 2012 at 7:16 am

        What languages are causing the problem?  Are they all Far East languages or are others involved as well?

        • Victor Ong
          April 15, 2012 at 7:18 pm

          Chinese PRC

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