Keyboard Shortcut to Switch Language in Mac and Windows 10

Many of us work with multiple languages on our computer. Generally, people use English for professional and native language for personal communication. This makes it necessary to quickly switch the language when you type on your computer. Here is how you can do in Windows 10 and Mac.

Prerequisite

The prerequisite for language switch is that you have installed the language pack on your Mac or PC. After having the necessary language packs, it is easy to switch the language using keyboard shortcut.

Switching Language in Mac

On Mac, the language or input method icon appears on the top bar. You can click on the input method icon and switch the available language.

Switch Language in Mac
Switch Language in Mac

Enable Input Method Icon on Top Menu Bar

If you are not seeing the input icon on the top bar, follow the below instructions to enable it.

  • Go to “Apple Menu > System Preferences…”.
  • Click on the “Keyboard” and go to “Input Sources” tab.
Enable Input Source Icon in Menu Bar
Enable Input Source Icon in Menu Bar
  • Select the check box for the option “Show Input menu in menu bar”.

This will enable the input menu icon on the top bar. In the same dialog, click on + icon and add new language if you want. Learn how to add Unicode Hex Input method in Mac.

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Add Keyboard Shortcut for Switching Language

When you have multiple language, you can toggle the languages using keyboard shortcut.

  • When you are in “Keyboard” preferences section, go to “Shortcuts” tab.
  • Select “Input Sources” and enable the default shortcuts.
View or Set Keyboard Shortcuts
View or Set Keyboard Shortcuts
  • “Control + Space” is the default keyboard shortcuts for switching language in Mac. This will select the previous input source.
  • You can use “Control + Option + Space” to go through the next input sources.

Click on the default shortcuts to change and assign your custom shortcuts. Any time you can reset the shortcuts by clicking on the “Restore Defaults” button.

Related: 100 Windows keyboard shortcuts list.

Using the Shortcut

You can use the shortcuts in two ways. Simply pressing the shortcut keys will automatically toggle the previous or next language input source. However, pressing and holding the shortcut keys will show the list of available languages to select as below:

Switch Language Visually
Switch Language Visually

You can use mouse or press space by continuing to hold control key to navigate through the options.

Handwriting Input Source

Some languages support handwriting inputs. Press, “Control + Shift + Space” to open handwriting panel. You can start using freehand writing on the panel.

Again, press “Control + Shift + Space” to hide the handwriting panel.

Switching Language in Windows 10?

Similar to Mac, you can switch the language input source in Windows 10. By default, Windows 10 will show the language bar on lower right corner on the taskbar tray. You can click on the language bar icon to change the language.

Language Bar in Windows 10
Language Bar in Windows 10

If you are not seeing the language bar, follow the below instructions to enable it.

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Enable Language Bar in Windows Taskbar

  • Press “Win Logo + I” keys to open Windows Settings app.
  • Go to “Devices” and then to “Typing” section.
  • Scroll down and click “Advanced keyboard settings” link under “More keyboard settings” section.
Advanced Keyboard Settings
Advanced Keyboard Settings
  • Enable “Use the desktop language bar when it’s available” option under “Switching input methods” section.
Enable Language Bar in Windows 10
Enable Language Bar in Windows 10

This will enable the language on the taskbar tray. If you are still not seeing the icon in the taskbar tray, click on the “Language bar options” link.

  • This will open “Text Services and Input Languages” dialog box.
  • Make sure “Docked in the taskbar” option is selected and not the “Hidden” option.
  • Click on the “Apply” button to view the changes.
Show Text Input Source in Windows 10
Show Text Input Source in Windows 10

Keyboard Shortcut for Switching Language in Windows 10

“Win Logo + Shift” keys is the default keyboard shortcut in Windows for language switch. You can press the shortcuts keys alternatively to toggle between the language inputs.

Switch Language with Keyboard Shortcut
Switch Language with Keyboard Shortcut

Learn complete list of Windows Logo key shortcuts.

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