How to Change the Language Used for Outlook.com, Office Online & More

One of our readers has recently asked us how to change the language used by OneDrive and other Microsoft services. He told us that his Microsoft account and all the services associated with it (Outlook.com, OneDrive, Office Online and so on) use English as the display language. He would like to change that and use his local language when accessing Microsoft's services online. We wanted to give him a hand, so we published this guide on how to change the display language used by all these Microsoft services.

How to Change the Display Language Used for Outlook.com

Login to Outlook.com using your Microsoft account credentials.

When your inbox is loaded, look for the footer on the bottom of the screen. Depending on your browser, it might not be displayed at first. If that is the case for you, scroll down until you can't scroll any more. The footer is now displayed.

There you will find links like Terms or Privacy & Cookies and also a link which shares the active display language used for Outlook.com.

Click or tap this link and the Language page is displayed. Here you will find all the display languages that can be used for Outlook.com. The list is long and it most probably includes your local language.

Select the display language that you want and click or tap Save to apply it.

Another way to set the language used by Outlook.com is to click or tap the Tools button on the top right of the screen.

A menu with several configuration options is shown. There, click or tap Options.

In the Options page, click or tap the Language link found in the Customizing Outlook.com section.

This action will open the same Language page that was shared earlier. Select the language that you want to use and click or tap Save.

How to Change the Display Language Used for OneDrive & People

If you want to change the display language used by OneDrive or the People service where you manage your contacts, things are a little more straightforward.

Once you log into one of these services, look for the current display language link found on the footer, at the bottom of the screen and click or tap on it.

A small inline popup is shown, with a drop-down list from where you can choose the display language that you want to use.

Select the new display language and don't forget to click or tap Save to activate it.

NOTE: In OneDrive, the footer doesn't have a fixed position at the bottom of the browser window. If there are a lot of files listed, you may not see the footer at the bottom of the screen. Don't panic, just scroll downwards until you get to it.

How to Change the Display Language Used for the Calendar

If you want to change the display language used by the Calendar, first click or tap the language link on the footer, at the bottom of the screen. The Options page is now loaded.

Another way to access the same page is to use the Tools button on the top-right of the screen. Click or tap on it and then on Options.

In the Options page, look for the Language section. Select the display language that you wish to use and click or tap Save on the bottom of the page.

How to Change the Display Language Used for Office Online (Word, Excel and so on)

Changing the language used to display the interface for Word Online, Excel Online, PowerPoint Online or OneNote Online can be done only when starting these tools and prior to creating any new documents.

Once you've opened one of these services, look at the footer on the bottom. There you will see a link called Change language.

A page is loaded with all the display languages that are available for the Office tool you are using. The list is different from tool to tool.

Click or tap the display language that you want to use and the Office tool will be reloaded in that language.

Issues with Changing the Display Language Used by Microsoft's Online Services

When we experimented with changing the display language used by the different services offered by Microsoft, we have noticed that things are more complex than we wished:

For example, when we changed the display language in Outlook.com, the display language got changed in all other Microsoft services except Calendar. We had to manually change the display language for the Calendar so that we use the same language everywhere.

When we changed the display language in Office Online tools like Word Online or Excel Online, the display language was changed only for the tool we used, only for that session. But, when we changed the display language in OneDrive, it got changed both in OneDrive and Office Online, for all sessions.

We simply could not figure out any rule on how display languages are managed on a service by service basis. It seems that the display language set for Outlook.com overrides all other Microsoft services except Calendar.

Another weird thing we have learned is that the number of supported display languages is different from service to service. To give you an example, Outlook.com and Word Online and Excel Online have translations for 126 languages. In contrast, the Calendar and OneNote Online have translations only for 44 languages. This adds even more complexity when you want to change the display language across all services.

If you have some time to perform your own experiments, please don't hesitate to share in the comments below how things worked for you and what you have learned. Both we and other readers will appreciate that.