How to configure language settings in Windows 10

If you upgraded to Windows 10 directly from Windows 7, its new language options can look strange to you. Like Windows 8, Windows 10 comes with a "re-imagined" Language settings UI in the Control Panel. The most notable changes have been made to the way users switch input languages and to the Language Bar. Even some power users have been having issues with configuring language settings and have been asking me for help when they moved to Windows 10. So, today I will share several tips to make your life with configuring languages on Windows 10 easier.


As of this writing, all language settings in Windows 10 are  accessible through a dedicated applet in the classic Control panel. It is called "Language"

language-applet-in-windows-10-control-panelYou can access the Language Control Panel applet from both category view via Control Panel\Clock, Language, and Region or via Large/Small icons view.

The big change is that now there is a a global language list that shows all the installed languages, and allows you to set the default system language and the display language. Move your preferred language to the top of the list to make it the default display and input language.

How to change hotkeys for input languages

By default, Windows 10 comes with two predefined keyboards shortcuts to switch layouts: one of them is the old, familiar Alt+Shift key combination and the other is Win+Space key combination. However, some users also used the Ctrl+Shift key combination prior to Windows 10. Because of redesigned settings, it may not be so obvious how to change this hotkey.

To set Ctrl+Shift as the default hotkey, you need to click Advanced settings on the left, and then click on the "Change language bar hot keys" link.


The "Text Services and Input Languages" window appears on the screen. Here you can change the hotkey as you used to in earlier versions of Windows:


How to enable the classic language bar instead of the modern keyboard layout indicator

Refer to the following article: Get the old language indicator and language bar in Windows 10

In short, open Control Panel\Clock, Language, and Region\Language\Advanced settings again and check the option "Use the desktop language bar when it's available:

use-language-barAfter that, click the "Options" link on the right. Open the "Language bar" tab and enable the "Docked in the taskbar" option.language-bar-docked-option

How to re-enable per window keyboard layout

In Windows 10, the keyboard layout has been made global, meaning once you switch to any language, it applies to all windows. In Windows 7, the keyboard layout was per-window, which means, the language was switched only for the window you were focused on. Fortunately, they kept the option to revert to the old behavior.

Simply check the option called "Let me set a different input method for each app window':

layout-per-windowThat's it!

Bonus tip

Don't forget to check out and configure Advanced settings. There, you will find some useful options. For instance, if you wish to use a different keyboard layout than the default one for your preferred input language, you may specify it accordingly:set-default-language

As above, you can configure language options in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

Do you like the changes made to Language settings in Windows 10 or find them confusing? Tell us in comments.


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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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