How to Change the Default Language & Region in Windows 10

Dan Price 06-04-2016

Are you looking for ways to change your default language and region in Windows 10?


Perhaps you bought your computer in a different country or moved to a new country Expat on the Cheap: A Quick Guide to Affordable International Living We love to travel, and as such, we know a few things. Here are some tips to becoming an expat in an affordable way. Read More , maybe you’re trying to master a new language Learn a New Language Just by Browsing the Web in Chrome This extension makes it easy to pick up new language vocabulary without any effort on your part. Read More , or perhaps you’re bilingual and need to quickly switch between different dialects.

Luckily, Microsoft has made it very easy to both install new languages and change between existing languages. In this article we take you through a step-by-step guide.

Note: This is a post-installation guide.

1. Install a Language Pack

Firstly, let’s take a look at how to install a language pack. This is a necessary step before you can change your system’s language.

The ability to install new languages How to Change the System Language in Windows 8 You can change your account's system language in Windows 8, even if you don't understand it. We'll walk you through the process with screenshots. Read More is a surprisingly new feature; in older versions of 5 Traces of Windows XP Inside Windows 10 Revealed Windows 10 wasn't created from scratch. If you look closely, You will find traces of past Windows versions. We'll show you remnants of Windows XP, which survived 14 years of Windows evolution. Read More Windows 5 Traces of Windows XP Inside Windows 10 Revealed Windows 10 wasn't created from scratch. If you look closely, You will find traces of past Windows versions. We'll show you remnants of Windows XP, which survived 14 years of Windows evolution. Read More it was not uncommon to find a system locked to a particular language.


Before we begin, make sure you are logged into Windows 10 using an administrative account Windows Administrator Account: Everything You Need to Know Starting with Windows Vista, the built-in Windows Administrator account is disabled by default. You can enable it, but do so at your own risk! We show you how. Read More . If you are the only user of a machine, it will be your main login, but if there are multiple users it could be someone else’s account.


Next, open the Start Menu and click on Settings > Time and Language > Region and Language.

The first option on the right-hand pane will allow you to change the region. This is useful for finding localized content and apps. It’s great if you live abroad and either a) want to be shown new stuff relevant to where you live, or b) want to keep a connection with you home country. You can set it to any country you desire, but note that it may affect the functionality of Cortana How to Set Up Cortana & Remove Her in Windows 10 Cortana is Microsoft's greatest productivity tool since Office. We'll show you how to get started with Windows 10's digital assistant or how to turn Cortana off for improved privacy. Read More .



The second option is where you can install new languages. Click on Add a Language and you’ll be presented with a list of more than 140 languages to choose from.

Click on the one you want and it will immediately start installing. You’ll be shown a notification telling you that it could take a while. The language will show up in your language list while it installs.



Once the process is finished, the message below the language will change from Searching Windows Update to Language Pack Installed. When you see this message, you are ready to move on.


2. Change the Display Language

To change the display language, click on the newly-installed language pack and select Set as Default.



As per the on-screen message, the new language will be displayed next time you sign-in. Follow Start > [Username] > Sign Out to allow yourself to log in again.

Keep in mind that if you follow these steps, you’ve not necessarily changed the global settings – the language on your sign-in screen and welcome screen, as well as the default language for new accounts, will be unchanged.

In the image below, you can see I have changed my user’s default language to Spanish, but the global settings are unaltered.


To change all the global settings, you’ll need to right-click the Start Menu and head to Control Panel > Region > Administrative > Copy Settings then tick the two checkboxes next to Welcome Screen and System Accounts and New User Accounts. You’ll see all the settings automatically update. Restart your system for the changes to take effect.


3. Switch Between Keyboards

When you install a new language pack, the associated keyboard is automatically installed along with it. This has several benefits – especially in cases when languages have different characters or make regular use of accents on letters How To: Easy Keyboard Shortcuts For Accent Marks on Letters [Mac] Read More .

You can easily switch between installed keyboards How to Instantly Switch Any Keyboard's Layout Wherever You Go This portable app makes it incredibly easy to change any keyboard's layout from QWERTY to any other layout. Read More by either pressing Windows Key + Space or by left-clicking on the three-letter language code on the right-hand side of the taskbar.


4. Install a Keyboard Without a Language Pack

If you want to add a new keyboard but have no intention of changing your system’s display language, it is also easy to accomplish.

Go back to the language screen by clicking on Start > Settings > Time and Language > Region and Language.

Highlight the language pack that you want to associate your new keyboard with and click Options. Next, click Add a New Keyboard and make your choice from the list.


You can also remove keyboards from this menu; useful if you want to change your system language to Spanish, but want the only keyboard to be English QUERTY. Just highlight the keyboard you want to delete and click Remove.


5. Change Speech Options

The last section of language that needs addressing is speech – both input and output. Input is what your computer will recognize when you’re issuing voice commands 6 Coolest Things You Can Control with Cortana in Windows 10 Cortana can help you go hands-free on Windows 10. You can let her search your files and the web, make calculations, or pull up the weather forecast. Here we cover some of her cooler skills. Read More , output is the language Cortana will use How to Find Which Windows 10 Apps Work With Cortana Cortana can be really useful, but how are you supposed to know which apps support her? Here's how to find out in the blink of an eye. Read More .

As with the previous settings we’ve covered, you’ll need to open the Start Menu, then head to Settings > Time and Language. This time, however, select Speech from the left-hand pane.


The top option, titled Speech Language, allows you to set your input method. It is worth noting that you need to have installed the corresponding language pack before you can change your speech input language.

The option below – Text-to-Speech – is where you can choose the voice used by Cortana. Every time you install a language pack, the corresponding Cortana voice will also be installed. Choose your preference from the drop-down menu.

Do You Use Multiple Languages?

Although the individual options are quite straightforward to change once you know how, it’s fair to say that Microsoft doesn’t do a great job of making the location of these settings The Windows 10 Settings Guide: How to Do Anything and Everything Do you know your way around the Settings app in Windows 10? Here's everything you need to know. Read More obvious. It doesn’t seem sensible that so many menus and sub-menus are used just to change your language, keyboard, and speech.

If you use multiple languages on your Windows 10 system, we’d love to hear from you. How easy do you find it to manage several languages? Are the amount of options and settings satisfactory? Is there anything that Microsoft overlooked that you feel should be included?

As always, you can get in touch via the comments section below.

Related topics: Computer Maintenance, Language Learning, Windows 10.

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  1. Hans Brueggemann
    June 13, 2020 at 5:22 am

    I have installed the Persian language package. It was very easy.
    Unfortunately the fonts do not contain any Persian numbers.
    Can you tell me which font I have to download to get those ?

  2. Vivek
    April 25, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    Is it possible you can either give script to make these changes or provide GPO configuration ?

    We want it either while during deployment or first time user logs in

  3. Arun
    September 26, 2018 at 1:30 am

    we are trying to include multiple language packs in our image through which is deployed through sccm but we are unable to. Any idea how we can make multiple languages available to users without having them to put in a admin credentials.

  4. Christophe
    November 9, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    I can install language packs, but the button "Set as default" is greyed out.