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How to change Windows XP OS language

Updated on December 15, 2012

I would like to share my experience on how to change win os language

I will be covering the issue related to Windows XP home, not Windows 7 or Windows 8. This windows language changing problem occurred, when I tried to change Windows XP home version from German to English. I received an Acer Aspire one D250 model with Windows XP Home sticker and the OS language was German. As I am not a German language speaker and completely do not understand it, naturally, I do not need it. My best Win OS language is my native language, after all.

At first I tried to install the Microsoft Windows XP language change pack from Microsoft site and thought, that this would suffice. Well, I was wrong, because language pack installer could not do that. You can change your Win OS language, if it was, say, in English and you wanted to change it to non English language. I just wanted the opposite. I browsed through different forums on the internet and tried to figure it out someway. That took me about a few hours.

Regional settings and ALT + F10 combination

Some people on the internet talked about setting your Microsoft windows OS language to preferred one by changing the regional and language settings.
However, this would only affect the date, currencies and time related info in your country, but would not change your OS language.

I also entered the XP system recovery disk by pressing the ALT + F10 combination during the windows restart, which lets you to restore the factory settings and, using the google translator, tried all the possible choices given on the screen. Well, after the factory settings have been restored and the computer rebooted, the Windows XP starting page would show, to my disappointment….welkommen (German language :( ).

My last try was the one which actually helped. Here it is step by step:

1. Download your windows OS newest service pack in your preferred language. You can download it from Microsoft site or any other file sharing site. If, for example, you want English language (like me) download Win OS newest service pack (3) in english.

2. Change registry key for your language:

go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMControlSet001ControlNlsLanguage registry key, and then change the value date for “Default” and “InstallLanguage” registry value, my case was from 0407 to 0409 (From German to English (United States).

Here is the list of numbers that represent most languages (not all) in windows registry:

Install your newest Win OS service pack

3. After you have changed the language registry try to install your newest OS service pack, which you downloaded from Microsoft site. If you already have service pack 3 in the language you want to change, don't worry - just try to install service pack 3 in your preferred language. Follow the on screen commands.

Warning! If your current Win OS does not allow you to make installation - restart your computer and try to install the service pack one more time.

Restart the computer

4. After the successful installation restart the computer. You should be able to see now Windows OS in your preferred language.


Yes, enjoy your new win OS language. I hope, my article was useful to you.

If you want to avoid this language changing trouble - you would better buy some laptop with OS already installed in your native language. Here is my suggestion for buying a mini laptop.


Submit a Comment

  • Tomygun profile image

    Tomygun 6 years ago from Vilnius

    Yes, I forgot to mention that some things are still non English, that's right, jon. Thanx for specifying. Anyway, it was OK for me. However, I no longer have this netbook, right now I am using another one.

  • profile image

    jon 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing. This trick works!

    But some things are still non-english, for example notepad application, some elements in the Control Panel, etc.

    I wonder whether this happens to your pc too... and whether there is additional tricks to fully change non-english xp home into an english one?

  • profile image

    frontendbd 6 years ago

    Very Useful. And Here is more:

    Here is more tweaks & Tips:

  • profile image

    Rizo 7 years ago

    thank you very much, sir, this article really works :)

  • profile image 7 years ago from bear, de, 19701

    helpful article. sometimes, I use different language. thanks for sharing, Tomygun.