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How to Change System Locale in Windows 11

Windows 11 uses the system language as the default system locale. For example, if you set your system language to English (US), Windows 11 will use English as the system locale. However, there might be situations where you need to change the system locale. This could be due to using old software designed for a specific region or wanting to access language-specific features. Whatever the reason, if you need to change the system locale in Windows 11, follow the steps below to set it to the language of your choice. Let’s get started.

System Language vs System Locale

On Windows, system language and system locale are two different things.

System language refers to the primary language used by Windows for its user interface. It affects all the text displayed by the operating system itself.

On the other hand, the system locale determines the default language used by non-Unicode programs and affects how such programs display text.

So, what’s a non-Unicode program? Simply put, a non-Unicode program is any program that uses a specific non-Unicode character encoding (like ANSI) to display text. Typically, legacy software and software built for specific regions tend to be non-Unicode programs.

Before You Begin

  • You need administrative rights to modify the system locale in Windows 11.

Steps to Change System Locale in Windows 11

  1. Press Windows key + I to open Settings.
  2. Go to the Time & Language tab.
  3. Click the Language & Region option.
  4. Scroll down and click the Administrative Language Settings option.
  5. Click the Change System Locale button.
  6. Select the system locale from the dropdown menu.
  7. Click OK to save locale settings.
  8. With that, you’ve changed the system locale in Windows 11.

Detailed Steps (With Screenshots)

First, open the Settings app in Windows 11. You can press the Windows key + I shortcut or right-click the Start button and select Settings.

Open Settings in Windows 11 from the power user menu Win + X

In the Settings window, go to the Time & Language tab and click on the Language & Region option.

open language and region settings in Windows 11

Here, scroll down to the “Related Settings” section and click the Administrative Language Settings option.

click administrative language settings

Now, ensure you are in the “Administrative” tab and click the Change System Locale button under the “Language for non-Unicode programs” section.

click change system locale button

Choose the system locale language of your choice from the dropdown menu and click the OK button.

change system locale and click ok

That’s it. From now on, Windows 11 will use the newly selected system locale language to display text in non-Unicode programs. Keep in mind that this doesn’t affect the overall system language.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, changing the system locale in Windows 11 is pretty easy. Remember that system locale and system language are two different things and changing the system locale only affects how non-Unicode programs display their text. If you wish to change the display language, you need to change the system language in Windows 11.

If you have any questions or need help, comment below. I’ll be happy to assist.

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