Personalize your PC

Windows 8, Windows RT

Languages in Windows 8 and Windows RT

Whether you're part of a multilingual family or need to get that foreign language homework done, you can use Windows to read and write in multiple languages.

You can also choose your display language—this is the language you see most often in Windows and in your apps—and switch between different languages as you type.

Add a language

Language section in Control Panel

Here's how to add a language:

  1. Open the Search charm, begin entering language, choose Settings, and then tap or click Add a language.

  2. In the Language Control Panel, tap or click Add a language.

  3. Browse or use the search box to look for the languages you want to add, and then double-tap or double-click a language to add it to your list.

If a language pack isn't already installed, you'll need to add it in order to use the language as a display language. To download a language pack:

  1. Look for Available for download next to the language. Tap or click Options, and then tap or click Download and install language pack.

  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to download the language pack.

Note

  • The download process might take a while, depending on your PC and the size of the language pack.

Once the language pack has been downloaded, you can set the language as the display language:

  1. Open the Search charm, begin entering language, choose Settings, and then tap or click Add a language.

  2. In the Language Control Panel, tap or click Add a language.

  3. Check to see if the language you want to make your display language has Windows display language: Available next to its name.

  4. If it does, tap or click it, and then tap or click Move up until the language is at the top of the list.

  5. Sign out and sign back in to your PC.

  6. You should now see Windows in the language that you moved up to the top of the display language list.

Type in different languages

Now that you've added the languages you need, you can type in any of them by quickly switching between keyboard layouts or input method editors (IMEs). IMEs make it easier to type in some Asian languages (like Chinese, Korean, or Japanese) which have thousands of characters and won't fit on a keyboard. There are three different way to switch between input methods:

  • On a standard keyboard, press the Windows logo key Windows logo key and repeatedly press Spacebar until you reach the language you want to switch to.
  • Tap or click the language abbreviation in the notification area at the far right of the taskbar, and then choose the keyboard you want to switch to.

  • On a touchscreen, tap or click the touch keyboard on the desktop taskbar, tap or click the language abbreviation button, and then tap or click the keyboard you want to switch to.

    Switch input methods using the touch keyboard
    Switch input methods using the touch keyboard
    Switch input methods from the desktop taskbar
    Switch input methods from the desktop taskbar

Tip

  • You can also add a keyboard layout for most languages. You might want to do this if you use specialized keyboards or IMEs for different tasks.

See more

Check the Personalization & Ease of Access section of Support for solutions.

Get more info about using input method editors.

See what's new in Windows.

Work with different languages.