Windows 10 change languageSource: Windows Central

On Windows 10, the initial setup process offers you the option to set the default language. However, if you made a mistake or using a device already configured, you don't have to struggle with the incorrect settings when your requirements are different.

If you have to change your device's language settings, you can complete this task using the Settings app without reinstalling Windows 10.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to change your device's system default language.

How to change default system language on Windows 10

If you're using a computer with the incorrect language configuration, it's unnecessary to reinstall Windows 10. You only need to adjust a few settings to set the appropriate language.

Disable language sync

On Windows 10 configured with a Microsoft account, the language preferences will sync across devices. In the case that you only need the settings on one computer, it's recommended to disable the option to sync the language settings before making any changes to prevent the new configuration from overwriting the settings on your other devices.

To stop syncing the language preferences 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.

    Windows 10 Sync Language option disabledSource: Windows Central

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

Change language settings

To change the system default language, close running applications, and 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 language button.

    Windows 10 add new language optionSource: Windows Central

  5. Search for the new language. (You can do a search using the country name.)
  6. Select the language package from the result.

    Windows 10 choose language to installSource: Windows Central

  7. Click the Next button.
  8. Check the Install language pack option.
  9. Check the Set as my display language option.

    Windows 10 set new language as defaultSource: Windows Central

  10. Check all the additional features as necessary. For example, "Text-to-speech" and "Handwriting."
  11. Click the Install button.
  12. Click the Yes, sign out now button.

    Complete Setup New LanguageSource: Windows Central

  13. Sign back in.

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

Change region settings

In the case that you are adjusting the Windows 10 language because you're now in a different region, you'll also need to change the region settings.

To change the local region settings on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Time & Language.
  3. Click on Region.
  4. Use the "Country or region" drop-down menu to select the current location (if applicable).

    Windows 10 change region settingsSource: Windows Central

  5. Under the "Regional format" section, use the drop-down menu to select the correct formats for your new region's date and time (if applicable).
  6. Click on Language from the left pane.
  7. Under the "Related settings" section, click the Administrative language settings option on the right side.

    Administrative Language Settings OptionSource: Windows Central

  8. Under the "Language for non-Unicode programs" section, click the Change system locale button.

    Change System LocaleSource: Windows Central

  9. Select the new system local by specifying the new language.

    Select New System LocaleSource: Windows Central

  10. Click the OK button.
  11. Click the Cancel button.
  12. In the "Administrative" tab, click the Copy settings button.

    Region Administrative copy settings optionSource: Windows Central

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

    Copy region settings to all accountsSource: Windows Central

  14. Click the OK button.
  15. Click the OK button again.
  16. Click the Restart now button.

Once you complete the steps, the computer will now use the correct region settings.

Typically, users never have to worry about changing or installing additional languages. However, the ability to change language-related settings may come in handy for organizations working with people that need to use different preferences. It's also a useful feature to match the local settings if you relocate to another region or when buying a new device that ships from a different country.

The only caveat about changing the region settings is that you may lose access to Cortana, and the Microsoft Store may show different contents depending on the region you specified.

More Windows 10 resources

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