Did you just buy a new laptop, tablet or PC with Windows 10? Is the operating system available only in English? Do you want to use it in another language like Spanish, Chinese, German or Hindi? For Windows 10, Microsoft offers more than 100 language packs that are available for download and use by anyone with a valid license. Here is how to download and install any display language and how to switch from English to the language of your choosing. At the end of this tutorial, we have links to other guides that help you translate every possible part of the operating system. Let’s get started:
NOTE: To give you an example and create this tutorial, we changed the display language from English to Spanish. The steps are the same for changing to any language you want. Also, the guide was created for people using Windows 10 April 2018 Update or newer. If you do not know which version of Windows 10 you have installed, read this guide: What version, edition and type of Windows 10 do I have installed?
Download and install a new display 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.
Click or tap Region & language in the column on the left and then the “Add a language” button on the right side of the Settings window.
A long list is shown with all the languages that are available for Windows 10. You can scroll down until you find the language that you want to use or you can use the search box at the top of the list.
We prefer using search because it is faster at finding what you are looking for. Type the name of the language that you want to install. In our case, we searched for “spanish”. 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.
Click or tap on the language specific to your region. In our case we chose Espanol (Espana). For each language you see several symbols:
- 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, like the Surface Pro.
After you select the language that you want to install, press Next. You are shown a summary of what is going to be installed. You can also check the box that says “Set as my Windows display language,” if you want to switch from English to the selected language. If you do not want any of the optional language features that are shown, uncheck them. Then, press Install.
Windows 10 displays a notification that it is adding some new features. Wait for the selected language to be downloaded and installed.
When this process is finished, it appears in the list of available languages, with the status: “Language pack installed.” You also get a notification in the Action Center, about its successful installation.
The language that you selected is now added to the list of languages that you can use on your computer or device with Windows 10. At this point, the language is installed only as a language for typing on your keyboard, not as a display language that is used to display the user interface of Windows 10. Next, the operating system looks for the language pack in Windows Update and then it says: “Language pack available.“
How to change the display language in Windows 10
The selected language is now downloaded and installed. However, Windows 10 is still in English. If you chose “Set as my Windows display language“ when installing the display language, all you have to do is sign out from Windows 10. Sign in again with your user account. The operating system is now using the language that you have chosen.
Otherwise, you can manually change the display language at any time. To do that, open Settings and go to Time & language. Then, choose “Region & language“ in the column on the left. On the right side, look for the Languages section. Click inside the “Windows display language” drop-down list, and select the language that you want to use.
Windows 10 says that the selected language will be the display language after the next sign-in. Sign out from Windows 10, and sign in again with your user account. Windows 10 is now in the language that you have chosen.
How to change the display language uses for apps and websites in Windows 10
When you choose a new display language, that language is then used in Windows 10, in your Windows 10 apps, and the websites that you visit in Microsoft Edge and other web browsers. However, you may want the operating system to use one display language, and your apps and websites another. This is possible if you have Windows 10 April 2018 Update installed or newer. In the list of installed languages, click or tap on the name of the language that you want to use for apps and websites. Then, use the directional arrows to move it at the top of the list, above the first language. You can then close the Settings app.
From now on, Windows 10 uses a different display language than your Microsoft Store apps do, and the websites that you visit.
How to translate every part of Windows 10 to your local language
At this point, most of Windows 10 is displayed in your local language. However, the sign in screen, as well as new user accounts, still use the English language. If you want to have them switch to your local language too, follow the instructions in this guide: Translate the Windows sign-in screen into your local language.
Also, some non-Unicode programs still might not be able to use all the characters in your local language. To fix this issue, follow the instructions from this guide: How to change the display language of non-Unicode programs in Windows.
Where can I find a list of all the language packs that are available for Windows 10?
Microsoft has published a list of all the available language packs that are available for Windows 10, on this page: Language packs: Windows 10. You can consult it and see whether Windows 10 is available in your local language. If it is not, then you are out of luck and this guide will not work for you. We are sorry but this is only up to Microsoft.
Also, there is another unfortunate situation where you might have purchased Windows 10 Home Single Language Edition. If you did, then you are stuck with the language that you purchased and you cannot install another display language using the instructions in our guide.
As you can see, it is not that difficult to change the display language used by Windows 10. However, it does involve some patience and attention, to make sure that the desired changes are applied. After you try our tutorial, let us know how well it works and if there is anything you need help with.