Windows 10 uses a default language configuration for the entire system, which typically is specified during the setup process. However, it doesn't mean that you have to be stuck with a particular language when your requirements are different.
Using the Settings app and Control Panel, you can change the entire system to a different language at any time without having to re-install Windows 10, or having to worry about the default language when purchasing a new device.
In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to change the default language across your computer, including for additional and new accounts.
How to change the default system language on Windows 10
If you've installed the wrong language, or you're in a new region, the Settings app (in combination with Control Panel) makes it easy to change the installation language without having to reinstall Windows 10.
Disabling language syncing
In the case that you're using a Microsoft account, the language settings always roam across devices. This means that if you're planning to change the region and language settings on one computer, it's recommended to disable this sync option using these steps:
- Open Settings.
- Click on Accounts.
- Click on Sync your settings.
Turn off the Language preferences toggle switch.
Once you've completed the steps, you can proceed to change the language settings using the Settings app.
Changing system language
In order to change the default language across the entire system, use these steps:
- Open Settings.
- Click on Time & Language.
- Click on Region & language.
Under "Languages," click the Add a language button.
- Use the search box to find the language you want to use.
Select the language, and click the Next button.
- Check the Set as my Windows display language option.
- Check the additional features you want to install.
Click the Install button.
- Under "Windows display language," make sure the new language is selected.
Under "Country or region," select your location if it doesn't match with your current region.
On the right pane, click the Administrative language settings option.
In the "Administrative" tab, click the Copy settings button.
Under "Copy your current settings to," check the Welcome screen and system accounts and New user accounts options.
- Click the OK button.
- Click the OK button again.
- Restart your device.
After completing the steps, everything on your device, including sign-in screen, Settings, File Explorer, apps, and websites will use the new default language.
While it may be obvious for many users, depending on the language you choose, it's likely that you will lose Cortana on Windows 10, because it's not a feature supported on every region and language.
At any time, you can revert the settings using the same instructions, but remember to select the language that you had configured previously.
Wrapping things up
While most users typically won't be changing the language settings all the time, it's a very convenient feature to have when working in a mixed-language environment where you may need to configure devices with different preferences to accommodate users.
Additionally, this feature will come in handy in those times when you end up buying a device that ships from another country, or if you move to another part of the world, and you want to change your computer configuration to match the local settings.
More Windows 10 resources
For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:
- Windows 10 on Windows Central – All you need to know
- Windows 10 help, tips, and tricks
- Windows 10 forums on Windows Central
Updated on July 09, 2018: This guide has been refreshed with up-to-date and current information.