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A solution on How to run non-Unicode games on your computer – using the AppLocale program

Updated on November 29, 2016
Confused with Chinese language?
Confused with Chinese language?

The problem in general

Back a few months ago, I tried to install the Chinese version of one of my favourite MMORPG games of all time, just to try out how does it look like and how it is different from the version I play (the two versions are completely different, as the Chinese version is much more older and more recently/often updated than the other version – weird, yes, but at least there are tries to translate and make the game popular outside China, too).

I am not an inexperienced person in installing games on my computer, but at this time, I was unable to make the program run, no matter how (hard) I tried. As I have never tried to install an Asian program on my computer before, a few days passed until I found out that the language barrier might be a computer – not for me this time, but for the PC. Meanwhile trying to find out a solution for this problem, I came through many people who were facing the same issue. Finally, inside the game itself someone told me to try to install Asian language packs onto my computer to enable the non-Unicode programs to run smoothly.

Problems with setting the system’s language to Chinese

In fact, there is no need to install any Asian language packs, even if most of the sites and advices/comments on different pages say this solution. To be frank in fact, on one of my computers I tried to follow this method first, but I had no luck with this solution. On my other computer, I never tried to install any new language packs, and despite this the game started working like a charm after the installation and starting it through AppLocale.

Moreover: sadly, if you ever happen to install Asian language packs on your English, Unicode-setting computer and you set this language as default, you will encounter plenty of problems like all backslashes in paths name will be changed and/or during setup of new programs, the language of these will be the chosen Asian language by default, your time will also change, as well as the outlook settings, in case you use this program.

A working solution: AppLocale

So as I already mentioned, your (and my) solution to this problem is AppLocale. This is a very clever and small application (powered by Microsoft itself). Though on this page it says it only supports Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP, so far I had no problems running it on my Windows 7. But in case you are unable to run it on your Windows 7, you can use this workaround to install it. Also, you can run it on Windows Vista as well, assuming you use the same, above mentioned workaround to install it (I have read lately that AppLocale runs on Vista as well without any workarounds – I can’t confirm that, but please comment if you were able to do so). Sadly, the program will not run on older Windows versions, such as Windows 2000.

Don’ get worried in case you try to read more about AppLocale and find some comments on some pages that say this program is not stable or it will cause your system performance – it is not true according to my experiences, I never had ANY problems with this application so far.

Of course it is not 100% sure that this solution will solve everyone’s problem or will work on everyone’s computer, but I hope I can help some of you at least :).

Useful stuff on Amazon

Using AppLocale

After you have installed this program, all you have to do is to run it by clicking on its .exe file extension. With my present version I got a message at the start like this:


Read it carefully, though it does not say anything new or incredibly important I think. Then click on the ‘Next’ button. In the following you will see this window:


At this point, all you have to do is to ‘Browse’ the location of your program and select the .exe file extension, that one with which you normally try to start the program. When you are done, you will see the ‘Next’ button turn clickable and by clicking on it you can select the language what you would like to use to start your program in the following window. It looks like this:


Once you have selected the desired language, you can turn on the ‘Next’ button that turned clickable after the selection was made. The final, last window that will show up is where you can tick a small box to allow the program to create a shortcut for you to always run the chosen program with AppLocale in the future. It looks like this:

It was easy, right?
It was easy, right?


No matter if you choose to make a shortcut or not, by clicking on ‘Finish’ the program you have selected will start automatically afterwards.

Have fun!

I hope I could help! :)

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© Copyright 2012-2014, Zsofia Koszegi-Nagy (zsobig)

© 2012 Sophie

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