Can you change the OS language of Windows 8.1?

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Windows Central Question


I am planning on buying a German laptop.
It has a QWERTZ keyboard, which I don't mind since I can easily change it to QWERTY (correct me if I'm wrong).

Now here's the problem. The seller says the OS is in German and CANNOT be changed to another language. However, I've read on several other sites that it can be changed somewhere in my control panel.

Is the seller wrong? Or does that mean that changing the language will only change the language displayed, and NOT the core language of the OS?

Also I read somewhere that I need a special edition of Windows to be able to change languages?
Or does this only apply to Windows 7?


New member
Nov 24, 2015
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Here's what Microsoft says:

The display language is the language that Windows uses in wizards, dialog boxes, menus, Help and Support topics, and other items in the user interface. Some display languages are installed by default, and others require you to install additional language files. When you change the display language, it is changed for your user account and is not changed on the Welcome screen. If you want to set the display language for multiple users or the Welcome screen, see Apply regional and language settings to reserved accounts.

Open Regional and Language Options by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Clock, Language, and Region, and then clicking Regional and Language Options.

Click the Keyboards and Languages tab.

Under Display language, choose a language from the list, and then click OK.


If you don't see the list of display languages, you need to install additional language files first. For more information, see Install a display language.

When you change the display language, the text in menus and dialog boxes for some programs might not be in the language that you want. This happens because the program might not support Unicode. For more information about changing the text in menus and dialog boxes for programs that do not support Unicode, see Change the system locale.


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Nov 12, 2012
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To save $$$ some licenses are single language only. Most likely that is why the seller advised it is not possible.

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