You will find hundreds of articles on the internet explaining how to change the display language in Windows 10 laptops. However, most of them do not tell you that is not possible to change the display language when you have single language or core country specific Windows version. Recently, we have purchased a Huawei MateBook laptop in China and had a trouble changing the language. Here, we will explain the options available for you to change the display language of Single language version in Windows 10.
Single Language or Core Country Specific Version
Windows 10 comes with multiple versions and many of us aware Home and Pro versions. However, there are also few other less known varieties like core country specific language or single language version. You can easily find the installed version on your computer by following the below instructions:
- Press “Win + R” keys to open Run prompt.
- Type winver and press enter key.
- You will see “About Windows” dialog box like below.
- Check the Windows version installed on your computer.
Since we have already changed the language and version, you see Windows 10 Pro in the above screenshot. Otherwise, you should see a single language like Windows 10 Home China. We have shown all screenshots in this article in English, you may need to guess and find the correct options when you have Chinese or other specific language on your computer.
Changing Display Language in Windows 10
You can find detailed information on how to change the display language in this article. However, it will not work when you have a single language Windows version installed on your laptop or desktop PC. Generally, single language version does not support changing the language as the product is licensed to use a single language. However, you can confirm whether it is possible to install language pack on your computer to change Windows display language.
- Press “Win + I” keys to open Windows Settings app.
- Click on “Time & Language” option.
- Go to “Languages” section where you can easily change the Windows display language from the dropdown. If the language is not available, you can add a new language.
- However for a single language Windows version, you will see only Chinese or any other single language from the dropdown.
- Under the “Preferred languages” section you can click on the + icon and install a new language in Windows. As you can see, the installed languages on your computer will show multiple icons next to it.
You can hover over each icon to see the name of it. You need the followings in Windows to display everything in a particular language.
- Language pack
- Speech recognition
- Basic typing with spell checker and dictionary
Mostly, you will see the language pack icon will be missing which is the indication that you can’t install any new languages with your Windows version.
Change Windows Language to English
Unfortunately, there is no easy solution available to quickly fix this issue. You have to reinstall Windows or purchase Pro version depending upon the need. Here are the options for you:
- Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro to install multiple language packs.
- Change product key with single or multiple language.
- Clean install Windows with the same product key and use English or any other single language.
1. For Using Multiple Language – Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro
This is the option we have chosen as it is easy and quickly fix the issue with $99 for Windows 10 Pro.
- Go to Windows Settings app and click on “Update & Security” option.
- Click on the “Activation” section and check under “Upgrade your edition for Windows”.
- If you have purchased Windows 10 Pro separately, you can click on “Change product key” and enter the key.
- Otherwise, click on the “Go to the Store” link. This will take you to the Microsoft Store from where you can purchase Windows 10 Pro.
- Windows 10 Pro will cost you around $99 and you can purchase by logging into your Microsoft account.
- After successful payment, right from your Microsoft account, you can choose the device and upgrade the existing Windows 10 Home Single language version to Windows 10 Pro.
In this way, you will not loose any files on your laptop and all apps will be available as it is after upgrading to Windows 10 Pro. However, you also have a choose to delete all the apps while reinstalling Windows. We recommend to delete all apps especially if you have purchased a Chinese laptop from online stores. Resellers selling Chinese laptops install unnecessary adware to show pop-up advertisements without your consent. Therefore, a complete reinstall will help to get rid of these stuffs. In our case, Huawei MateBook has a PC Manager app which will scan and reinstall all necessary drivers after installing Windows. Otherwise, you need to keep all driver installation files handy before choosing to delete all apps and content on your laptop.
Since Windows 10 Pro support multiple language installation, you can go to language settings page and install additional language packs on your laptop.
2. Change Product Key with Another Windows License
Sometimes you may have an old computer running with Windows and having a different product key. If you do not need to use the old computer, then it is a good idea to use that product key in your new laptop. When you are in the “Activation” setting screen, simply change the product key and follow the instructions to reinstall Windows based on the new key.
3. Use Different Single Language – Clean Install Windows with Same Product Key
This is a hassle method. However, you do not need to spend additional money or need another product key for this. We did not follow this as we misunderstood Windows 10 Home China version can’t be changed to a different language. After purchasing the Pro version, we went to the reseller and confirmed that the language can be changed while reinstalling Windows with the same product key. Therefore, confirm with your reseller whether your device and product key supports different language.
- First, find the product key used on your laptop.
- Go to Windows 10 media creation tool page and download the media creation tool.
- Run the tool and select “Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC” option.
- The media creation tool will automatically detect your current language and show the details.
- Make sure to uncheck the option “Use the recommended option for this PC” and change the language, edition and architecture (32 or 64 bit) details as per your need.
- You can either create a USB flash drive by using a blank USB with more than 8GB free size. Remember, all content in the USB will be deleted while creating the flash drive. Alternatively, you can create ISO image file and later create bootable installation from ISO file. You can use this bootable USB to reinstall Windows on your laptop,
- This will update the Windows 10 Home single language version with different language as you have selected when creating the ISO file.
- When installing, you can choose to keep your apps and files or delete them all as per your need.
Note: In all the above options, you can only change the Windows display language and not individual application’s settings. For example, Office applications like Word needs separate language pack independent of the installed Windows language pack. Learn more on how to change the display language in Microsoft Office applications.
Many of us purchase laptops from online store and from another country while travelling. However, things will be different when you are purchasing laptop especially from non-English speaking countries. Make sure to check the details with the reseller or online vendor before paying for the laptop. Some resellers may help you to change Windows language or reinstall Windows to another version. But in most cases they can’t help as the product key will be linked to your Microsoft account.