If you’re bilingual or just learning a new language, it’s a good idea to have several languages installed on Windows 10. That way, you can swap between them and type in each language. Here we’ll show you how to install a new language pack and how you can easily change input languages in Windows 10 without needing to click anything.
Note: This article is dealing with the language that you are typing on the keyboard, not the system language that is displayed in Windows 10. Follow the instructions here to change the system language.
How to Install a New Language
First of all, you’re going to need to install a new language pack. These are bundles of data that let Windows 10 know how to type and display the language.
By default, your computer doesn’t come with every language pack installed to save space. There’s no point installing every language in the world if the user just wants one!
To install your desired language, click on the Start button, then click the Settings cog on the left.
Click “Time and Language.”
Click “Language” on the left.
Under “Preferred languages” click “Add a preferred language.”
Type in the name of the language you want to type in. You may find that multiple entries appear depending on the language you select; for instance, if you type in “Spanish,” you’ll find all the different regions that speak it.
It’s also worth noting the icons next to each language. In order, they mean: can be used as the operating system’s language, supports text-to-speech, supports voice activation, and can recognize handwriting.
Once you’ve selected a language and clicked “Next,” Windows 10 will ask you which data you want to download. Make sure “Install language pack” is clicked at the very least, then click “Install” to get Windows 10 to download the language pack for you.
You can see the download bar on the main language bar page.
How to Change Input Languages in Windows 10
Once it’s done, you should see a small addition to your taskbar. A button will appear that’s labelled as the language you’re currently using. For example, if you use an English layout, you should see “ENG” appear on the right of your taskbar.
Quickly Swap Using the Mouse
If you want to swap between input languages with your mouse, click on the new button that appeared on your taskbar. You should see all the languages you downloaded appear. Select one, and your keyboard will swap to that input, regardless of which region of keyboard you have plugged in.
Quickly Swap Using Hot Keys
However, there is an even faster way to swap between languages, which comes in great use when typing bilingual pieces.
Hold down the Win key, then tap the Spacebar. When you do, the language bar will appear on-screen without you needing to click it. Keep the Win key held down for now.
If it’s not on the language you want to use, tap the Spacebar more to swap between the options. When you have the correct one selected, let go of the Win key to enable it. You can also press a number key while the menu is up to select that entry on the list immediately.
It’s a little tricky to get the hang of it, but after a while you can quickly swap between languages with just the touch of a few buttons.
Switching It Up with Windows 10’s Language Bar
If you work in more than one language, it’s worth setting up Windows 10’s language bar to accommodate each one. That way, you can easily change between all the input languages you use in Windows, even if you’re using an English keyboard.