Change System Locale in Windows 10

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As you may already know from previous articles, Windows 10 supports changing the display language using language packs. If you are working in a localized user account in Windows 10 which is your native language, you might be interested in learning what language is used for older apps that doesn't support Unicode and how to change it.

Windows 10 supports language packs. By installing one or several language packs, you can switch your Windows display language on-the-fly. It is also possible to have a different display language for each user account.

There are plenty of apps that don't support Unicode. Most of them are apps that have been created for previous Windows versions.

The option that specifies the default language to use for non-Unicode programs is called System Locale. The system locale defines the bitmap fonts and code pages (ANSI or DOS) that are used on the system by default. The system locale setting affects only ANSI (non-Unicode) applications. The language for non-Unicode programs is a per-system setting.

To change the System Locale in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Time & Language.
  3. On the left, click on Language.
  4. In the right pane, click on the Administrative language settings link.
  5. In the Region dialog, click on the Administrative tab.
  6. Under the Language for non-Unicode programs section, click on the Change system locale button.
  7. Select the language you want from the drop down list  in the next dialog. Do not enable the BETA: Use Unicode UTF-8 for worldwide language support checkbox unless you know what you are doing.
  8. Restart Windows 10 when prompted.

Note: The language you've set for the system locale will be automatically added to the list of installed languages in Windows 10.

Alternatively, you can access the same option with the classic Control Panel app. Open the classic Control Panel and navigate to Control Panel\Clock and Region. Click on Region and switch to the Administrative tab.

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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