Windows 7 Change Language

If you live in an English-speaking country and purchased a PC at your local computer retailer or online, chances are you are running an english version of Windows 7. However if you’re native language is something other than english and you prefer to use Windows 7 in your native language you do have the option of changing the display language for the operating system.

In this guide we’re going to focus on changing the display language in Windows 7 to one of the 30+ languages supported by Microsoft’s latest operating system. I used Windows 7 Ultimate for this guide, but the instructions apply to all Windows 7 editions.

Install Language Packs In Windows 7

There are two types of language files:

Windows 7 Language Interface Packs (LIPs) : Windows 7 LIPs provide a translated version of the most widely used areas of the user interface. LIPs are freely available to download.

Windows 7 Language Packs : Windows 7 language packs provide a translated version of most of the user interface. Language packs require a license and are available only in Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 7 Enterprise.

Before you can install a display language, you need access to the language files. These files can be found on your computer, a computer in your network, or your Windows DVD. They can also be downloaded from the web.

To install a Language Interface Pack (LIP), double-click the file to open the setup program. To install a Language Pack, follow these steps:

  1. To get started you will need to click the Start (Windows Logo) button to open the Start Menu.
  2. When the Start Menu opens, enter "change display language" without the quotes, in the Windows search box.
  3. A list of search results will appear in the Start menu, click Change display language from the list.

As alternative method you can use Control Panel and then change display language link.

Control Panel in Windows 7

The Region and Language window will appear.

  1. Make sure that the Keyboards and Languages tab is active.
  2. Click the Install/Uninstall Languages... button.

In order for you to use languages other than the default installed in Windows you will need to download them from Microsoft, after which you will install the language pack for the language you wish to use.

Windows 7 Language Panel

The Install or uninstall display languages wizard will appear prompting you to Install display languages or Uninstall display languages. Click Install to download the language packs.

You will then be prompted to select the location of the Language packs with two options, Launch Windows Update or Browse computer or network.

Unless you have a language pack stored on your PC, click Launch Windows Update to download the latest language packs direct from Microsoft.

When you select the Launch Windows Update option, the Windows Update window will appear.

Note: Windows Update is used to download updates, security patches, language packs, drivers and other features direct from Microsoft.

Windows 7 Update for new Language

There are two types of updates that are usually available from Windows Update, those that are important and should be downloaded right away and those that are optional, which are not critical.

The language packs fall on the latter, non-critical optional updates, so you will need to manually select the language pack you wish to use to download it from Windows Update.

Click the # optional updates are available link. Where the # refers to the number of optional updates that are available for download.

The Select updates to install page will load with a list of available updates that are Important and Optional.

  1. Make sure that the Optional tab is active.
  2. Select the language you wish to use by adding a checkmark next to the lnguage pack on the list from the Windows 7 Language Packs section.
  3. Once the language packs are selected, click OK.

You will return to the Windows Update page where you will click the Install Updates button to begin downloading the language packs you selected from the list. Once the language packs download and install they will be available for use.

Display Language in Windows 7

The Display language section will be visible only if you have already installed a Language Interface Pack or if your edition of Windows supports a language pack. Language packs are available only in Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 7 Enterprise.

When you return to the Region and Language dialog box you will be able to select the languages you just downloaded from the Choose a display language drop-down. Once you select the language, click OK to save the changes. In order for the new display language to become active you will need to log off from your computer. Once you log back in the display language you selected should be active.

If you want to set the display language for multiple users or for the Welcome screen, you have to apply regional and language settings to reserved accounts.

  • Click to open Region and Language.
  • Click the Keyboards and Languages tab.
  • Under Display language, choose a language from the list, and then click OK.

When you have installed multiple languages, then below ‘Install/uninstall languages’ you will see a drop-down menu ‘Choose a display language’ appear. This will allow you to change the language.