On Windows 10, you typically select the default language for the entire system during the setup process (out-of-box experience or OOBE). However, if you chose the wrong language settings, or you're using a preconfigured system, you don't have to struggle with the incorrect settings when your requirements are different.

If you have to change the language settings on your device, you can quickly perform this task using the Settings app (and Control Panel), without the need to reinstall Windows 10 from scratch.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to change the system default language, including for existing and new accounts.

How to change default system language on Windows 10

If you moved to another region, or you're using your device with the wrong language settings, you don't need to reinstall Windows 10. You only need to change a few settings to set the correct system language.

Turning off language syncing

If you're using a Microsoft account, the language settings will sync across devices. In the case that you're planning to change the region and language settings for one computer, you should disable the option to sync these settings.

To disable language syncing on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Sync your settings.
  4. Under the "Individual sync settings" section, turn off the "Language preferences" toggle switch.

Once you complete the steps, you can change the language settings without affecting the settings on other devices.

Changing system language

To change the system language on your computer, close any running applications, and then use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Time & Language.
  3. Click on Language.
  4. Under the "Preferred languages" section, click the Add a preferred language button.

  5. Search for the language that you want to use on Windows 10.
  6. Select the language package from the result.

  7. Click the Next button.
  8. Check the Set as my display language option.
  9. Check the Install language pack option.
  10. Check or clear the additional language features as needed.
  11. Click the Install button.

  12. Click the Yes, sign out now button.

  13. Sign back into your Windows 10 account.
  14. Open Settings.
  15. Click on Time & Language.
  16. Click on Region.
  17. Use the "Country or region" drop-down menu to select your geographical location if different from your current settings.
  18. Under the "Regional format" section, use the drop-down menu to select the correct formats for dates and times if different from your region.

  19. Click on Language.
  20. Click the Administrative language settings option from the right pane, under the "Related settings" section.

  21. In the "Administrative" tab, click the Copy settings button.

  22. Under the "Copy your current settings to" section, check the Welcome screen and system accounts and New user accounts options.

  23. Click the OK button.
  24. Click the OK button again.
  25. Click the Restart now button.

After you complete the steps, the language will change across the entire Windows 10 experience, including in the Sign-in screen, Settings app, File Explorer, Desktop, apps, browser and websites you visit will now use the new default language. Also, depending on your new settings, Windows 10 may prompt you to review your privacy settings again.

Wrapping things up

Although you won't need to change or install additional languages in the regular basis, the ability to adjust these settings usually comes in handy on small and large organizations working with users who may have different language preferences.

Also, this feature will also be useful in those situations when you move to another region, and you want to match the local settings. Or when buying a new computer from a different country, because it's not locally available.

Just remember that when changing the language settings, you may lose the ability to use Cortana, as the digital assistant is supported only in a handful of regions.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

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