How to add, change and remove keyboard input languages in Windows 10

Many people type in more than one language on their computers and devices with Windows 10. If you are one of them, you may need to install a new keyboard input language, add a specific variant of a keyboard input language, switch between keyboard languages, or you may need to remove some of your installed keyboard input languages. If you need to do any of these things, then you should read this tutorial:

NOTE: This guide is tested and confirmed to work with Windows 10 April 2018 Update, and Windows 10 October 2018 Update. If you do not know what version of Windows 10 you have, read this guide: What version, edition and type of Windows 10 do I have installed?

How to add a new keyboard input language, in Windows 10

First, open the Settings app. A quick way to do that is to press Windows + I on your keyboard. Then, go to "Time & Language."

Windows 10 Settings

In the column on the left, choose "Language." A list of related settings is shown on the right. Click or tap the "Add a language" button found in the "Preferred languages" section.

Language settings in Windows 10

A list is shown with all the languages that are available in Windows 10. You can scroll through it, but that might take too much time until you find the language that you want to install.

Installing a new language in Windows 10

A faster method is to type the name of the language that you want to install. Depending on your language, you might need to choose between multiple variations that are specific to different regions and countries. Below, you can see the long list of variations that are available for the Spanish language, which includes countries like Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Spain and so on. For each language, you see several symbols and features available:

  • The letter A and symbol from an Asian language - it says that the selected language is available as a display language for Windows 10.
  • A microphone symbol - signals that speech recognition services are available in this language. This feature is available only for major languages like English, Spanish, Chinese, and so on.
  • A computer display and a text bubble - it tells you that text-to-speech services are available for the selected language. Again, only major languages have this feature available in Windows 10.
  • A handwriting icon - it signals that handwriting recognition is available for the selected language. This is useful only for tablets with pens and touchscreens, like the Surface Pro.

Once you find the language and the variation that you need, click or tap on its name, and press Next.

Choosing a language to install in Windows 10

You are shown a summary of what is going to be installed. Since you do not want to change the display language, uncheck the box that says: "Install language pack and set as my default Windows display language." Also, uncheck the features you may not want, like speech or handwriting. However, Basic typing must be selected if you want to be able to type in the chosen language. Then, press Install.

Selecting the language features to install in Windows 10

Wait for the selected language to be downloaded and installed. This may take a couple of minutes. When this process is finished, it appears in the list of available languages. You also get a notification in the Action Center, about its successful installation. You can use the new language to type after you see it in the list of preferred languages, and the typing symbol is shown, like in the screenshot below.

The language features that are installed for the selected language

You can now close the Settings app.

How to add a specific variant of a keyboard input language

Many languages have different variants of keyboard inputs. For example, the Spanish language has the standard Spanish QWERTY input, the Latin American QWERTY, and the Spanish Variation QWERTY, each with their quirks and differences.

If you want to install a particular variant for a keyboard input language, open Settings, go to Time & Language and choose Language in the column on the left. Then, on the right, select the language that you want to edit and press Options.

Accessing the options available for a language, in Windows 10

You are shown several options for the selected language. Press the "Add a keyboard" button and choose the variation that you desire from the list.

Adding a new typing variant of a keyboard language, in Windows 10

You can now see the variation that you selected in the list, and you can start using it right away.

The language options for Spanish, available in Windows 10

You can close the Settings app

How to change the keyboard input language, in Windows 10

After installing the desired keyboard input language, you can change it at any time. One way is to use the mouse or touch. In the right corner of the Windows 10 taskbar, click or tap on the short name of the current keyboard input language. A list is shown with the languages that are installed. Click or tap the language that you want to use for typing.

The menu for switching keyboard input languages in Windows 10

Now you see the selected keyboard input language shown as active.

The active keyboard input language from Windows 10

Another way to change the keyboard input language is to press the left ALT key on the keyboard together with SHIFT (Left ALT + SHIFT). Press these keys once, and you go to the next keyboard input language in the list. Press them one more time, and you go to the next language, and so on.

How to remove a keyboard input language from Windows 10

When you no longer need to use a particular keyboard input language, open the Settings app, and go to "Time & Language." In the column on the left, choose "Language" and, on the right, select the language that you want to remove. Then, click or tap the Remove button beneath its name.

Removing a language from Windows 10

The language and all its input variations are now removed.

If you want to remove only a particular variation of a keyboard input language, select the language in the list and press Options. Then, choose the variation that you want to remove by clicking or tapping on its name. Press the Remove button shown beneath the variation name and you are done.

Removing a keyboard input language variant from Windows 10

Close the Settings app and resume working on your Windows 10 computer or device.

How many keyboard input languages do you use?

We are a multi-lingual team, and we use two or three keyboard input languages on a regular basis. What about yourself? How many languages do you use? What keyboard input language did you install on your Windows 10 device? Comment below and let's discuss.