How to Add or Remove Language Packs in Windows 8

Most Windows PCs come with English as their default language. However, you can add or remove language packs as necessary and Windows 8 makes it easier than ever. While in Windows 7, only the Ultimate or Enterprise version comes with the ability to install additional languages via Windows Update, language packs in Windows 8 can be quickly downloaded and installed without much trouble.

1. From the Start screen, search for “Language,” then click “Add a language.”

opening-language

2. Click “Add a language.”

Adding language packs in windows 8

Windows will give you a vast list of languages that it supports. You can go through the list to find the language you want and change the way languages are grouped to find them more quickly.

3. Once you pick a base language, it will give you a variety of sub-languages within that primary language. These can be subtle differences in dialects and geological locations.

choosing-a-sub-language

We’ve chosen to add Spanish (Mexico) by clicking on that language pack, and then “Add” in the bottom right corner of the window.

4. This will redirect you to the Language options screen for the language that’s about to be installed.

language-options

From here, download and install the language pack, change the input method for the language and change Windows’ default spellcheck options based on the language.

Click “Download and install language pack” to continue.

downloading-and-installing-language-pack

5. A Windows Update pop-up will appear and begin the download and installation process. This can take some time, so let it run its course.

6. When finished downloading and installing, restart the PC.

7. Upon reboot, you’ll see ENG as the default input language located on the right side of the taskbar.

changing-input-keyboard

Click on it.

8. The keyboard input can be quickly changed from English to the language of choice here.

The language preferences can also be accessed from this new taskbar addition.

Once installed, there are no new options for a language other than the uninstall option.

If you head back to the main Language window like step one above, you can switch between languages as necessary by clicking on the primary language.

changing-display-language

You will have to restart Windows for the changes to take effect.

Once a language pack is installed, because of the time it takes to download and install, it doesn’t need to be removed; just follow the above steps to switch between languages.

However, if you want to remove a language pack to free up hard disk space, navigate to the main Language window and click on the language you want to uninstall.

Click “Remove.”

Removing language packs in windows 8

Another pop-up will appear and the uninstall process will begin. Again, this will be a lengthy process, so sit back and let Windows complete it.

Once the uninstall is finished, a prompt will instruct to restart the computer once more.

Adding and removing language packs in Windows 8 is much more seamless than it was in Windows 7 with more options available to find the perfect language for your PC experience. Have you worked with language packs in Windows 8? Let us know in the comments below how you would compare the process to the way it was previoulsy done in Windows 7.

17 comments

  1. How do you change the base language in Windows 8? Even after I changed the display language and removed the original language, the original language is still the one I am stuck with in a lot of places, like the restart/shutdown button.

    • There are certain areas in Windows 8 that don’t let you change the language so that if you accidentally change it, you can still get basic functionality until you change it back. It’s a fail safe, something previous versions of Windows didn’t include.

  2. I don’t think Melissa answered the question. I’m stuck with Tagalog (Filipino) as my base install language and can’t remove it.

    • You should be able to go back to the Language screen, change the language back to English, restart your PC and you’ll be fine. I just tested those steps changing my language from English to Spanish to English with no issues.

    • This tutorial only sets these settings per user… If you want the language to be applied everywhere (incl sign in screen and new accounts), go in control panel, region, “Administrative” tab (or whatever it is called in your language), click “Copy Settings”, tick both the checkboxes from the lower part (or just the one for the login screen), OK and confirm that you are an administrator (UAC).

  3. Once I started downloading Japanese, German, and Simplified Chinese together, and Japanese completed installing first. When the Japanese LP completed installing, both zh-CN & de-DE reported that “following updates were not installed.” After that I tried installing zh-CN LP several times, but all failed. The German language pack is successfully installed though. I’ve found the address of the CAB files of all the language packs and I downloaded the zh-CN one, used lpksetup.exe to install it, still failed. Now I’m wondering if I can extract the files from the CAB file to the corresponding location one by one – but there are so much of them!

  4. Hi Melissa, greetings from Hamburg! i have a problem installing and either downloading the Spanish language package.. the main language in my pc is german, of course, but for me is quite useful to change the system language into spanish so i can work and understand whats going on.. Now, after a restore and update i wanted to download and install the spanish package and i just can not..could you tell me, if its possible , the probably causes? or solutions?..thank you!!

  5. Is there a way to remove the English language pack, but not to remove it from being the default “Windows display language” in Windows 8?

  6. Hello I cannot find download and install language in the option it’s direct stuck to Arabic language I had done every thing even it is not showing download and install language pack

  7. saut je ne parviens pas à changer la langue de mon windows8, une fois le pack yelechargé, l’installation echoue je ne sais pas faire. aidez moi svp en m’ecrivant à cette adresse: benjam_maj@yahoo.fr

  8. I am going to buy a dell inspiron here in Germany. Windows 8 is in German here do I need to pay for windows 8 language pack? if yes how much?

  9. hello friends
    I wish I could change the language of my pc without windows 8 download windows 7 as vistalisator
    thank you

  10. hello friends
    I wish I could change the language of my pc without windows 8 download windows 7 as vistalisator
    thank you

  11. “You’ll have to add your languages back in Windows 8.”

    I’m trying to do a clean install of Win8 (and later update to 8.1), but can’t seem to run the installer correctly.

    I would like to simply wipe everything away and start over, in order to give the laptop to someone. When I first obtained the laptop, I deleted all languages other than English.

    Each of the searches I’ve done includes instructions when this issue pops up while upgrading from Win7, which I am not. I have tried adding various languages, and other times, deleting them. I get no success.

  12. I am trying to add Arabic language to Win 8, after adding Arabic language the display language still English and in the language option window is written “Arabic not available in this edition of window”?

    Any advise?
    Thanks

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