How To Add & Switch Keyboard Languages In Windows Phone 8.1

Windows Phone 8.1 devices generally have English plus your native language as the default keyboard input languages available for typing messages and emails. In today's world many of us know more than one language and we communicate with people all over the world. In such situations we need more than one keyboard input language installed on our smartphones. How do you add a new keyboard input language in Windows Phone 8.1? Let's find out in this tutorial.

What You Should Know About Keyboard Input Languages In Windows Phone 8.1

Before you start, there are a couple of things you should be aware of:

  • You can install any keyboard input language available for Windows Phone 8.1, regardless of the place you bought your smartphone from. The most up-to-date list of languages available in Windows Phone 8.1 can be found here: Feature and service availability. Look for the Languages section and check for the supported languages in the On-screen keyboard list
  • Adding new keyboard input languages means that you will be able to switch instantly among all the keyboard languages installed on your device. Also, new letters and symbols become available as you switch between languages. Last but not least, the keyboard layout changes from language to language, so that it includes the most used characters in that language.
  • When installing a new keyboard input language you may need to download additional data. It is best to add new languages when you are connected to a wireless network, to save time and money.

How To Install A New Keyboard Input Language In Windows Phone 8.1

Start by opening your smartphone's Settings.

Scroll down and tap the Keyboard section.

On the keyboard screen all the keyboard input languages installed on your Windows Phone 8.1 device will be displayed. To install a new keyboard language, tap Add keyboards

A list with all the languages available for installation is now displayed. Notice that, if additional data needs to be downloaded, the size of the download is displayed next to the name of the language.

Choose the keyboard input language(s) you want to add to your smartphone. Tap the checkbox near their name(s) to select the language(s) you want to install. When you've made your selections, tap Done

This takes you back to the Keyboard screen. Here, you will see the progress of the download & installation process.

If any keyboard language needs additional data downloaded before being installed, a message is displayed underneath the language, stating that your phone is "Preparing download...".

If you choose to stay on this screen, you will see that, after a while, the status changes to "Downloading...".

If you didn't set your updates to be downloaded automatically, you will be notified that an update is available. Tap the notification for more information.

Now, on Phone update screen, tap Download.

Wait for the update to be downloaded.

When the download is over, the message changes to "Preparing to install".

However, you don't have to wait on this screen for Windows Phone 8.1 to download the data it needs. It will take a while to download all the necessary files, depending on the speed of your Internet connection. When the download is over, you are notified that "An update is ready to be installed". Press Install in the Phone update screen.

Windows Phone will now automatically restart.

If everything worked out well, at the end, you'll see a new screen sharing that the update is completed. Tap Done and the Start screen is shown.

How To Remove A Keyboard Language From Your Windows Phone 8.1

If, for some reason, you don't need one of the languages installed on your Windows Phone 8.1, you can remove it any time. To do that, go to the Keyboard screen, as shown in the previous section.

Press and hold the input language you no longer need. A button is shown with the Removeoption. Tap on it.

The selected keyboard input language is removed from your phone, without the need for further confirmations or restarts.

How To Switch Between Keyboard Input Languages While Typing

When typing any kind of text, you will notice a key showing the active language on the bottom of the keyboard. Its name changes depending on the active language used to type. For example, if you use United States English it says ENG, if you use Romanian it says ROM, etc.

To switch between the languages installed on your phone, tap this button and Windows Phone 8.1 cycles through the available languages.

If you have several input languages installed, you can also press and hold this key. This action opens a list displaying all the languages available for input. Tap the language you want to use.


As you can see from this tutorial, adding, removing and switching between keyboard input languages in Windows Phone 8.1 is easy. Also, the number of available languages is quite high and many users will be able to take advantage of their native language features such as text suggestions or autocorrect.

If you are looking for other useful tips & tricks about Windows Phone 8.1, don't hesitate to check our recommendations below.