You can change the keyboard language on Windows 10 very easily. When first installing Windows 10, you need to select your region and keyboard language or layout.
This is all fine and dandy until you need to type in another language or need to add special letters. This applies for most European languages that have umlauts or Spanish for example.
Thankfully it is very easy to change the keyboard language and layout on Windows 10. You can even add special shortcuts to toggle between multiple languages. These layouts can also be used on the on-screen keyboard for touch screen users.
Choosing the default keyboard language on Windows 10
When installing Windows 10, the first thing you need to do is choose a layout and language for your keyboard. Many users often tend to use this layout forever as they don’t know how to use other ones.
It is actually possible to select multiple languages in the initial set-up as well. Due to this you need to know how to select a default one that you will use the most.
The first step is to find the Settings menu by pressing the Windows button or by opening the start menu on the bottom left of your task-bar. You should see a cog-wheel labelled Settings.
In the Windows Settings window select the ‘Devices’ -tab.
You should now see a list of your connected devices. On the left sidebar select the ‘Typing’ -tab.
Once opened, scroll down and look for the Advanced keyboard settings.
You will see a drop-down menu at the top highlighting your default input method which uses your language list by default. You can now pick a preferred one from the list and this will be selected as your default keyboard language.
This selected language should now stays as your keyboard language even once you restart your computer.
In most cases it is better to use the language list option and change the order of your languages from the language settings. You can see how to do this from the next section.
Adding multiple keyboard languages on Windows 10
Most multi-lingual users use their computers in many languages. It is crucial to be able to use all the different keyboard layout Windows has to offer.
If you only added one keyboard language when installing your operating system, it is about time to add some more.
The first step is to find your Windows Language options. To do this, first open up the Start menu and click on the Settings cog-wheel. This will open up the Windows Settings window with a bunch of options.
Find the option labelled ‘Time & Language’ and open it up.
Now you should see a window that says Date & time with showing the current date and other localization settings.
On the left sidebar you should see some related tabs. Locate and select the Language tab.
You should now see a list of your installed languages under the preferred languages.
In order to add a new keyboard language on Windows 10, you need to click on the ‘Add a preferred language’ -button.
Once you’ve chosen one, you will be prompted to download the required language packs for it to work.
You can select additional features such as handwriting for specific Windows apps that allow writing with a stylus. Some languages also provide speech recognition and grammar support.
Usually language packs are only a few megabytes in size so you don’t need to worry about installing as many as you wish.
If you want to add one of these as the default language very easily, you can click on one and use the arrows.
Move any language to the top of the list using the arrow buttons to make it the default language.
Switching between different keyboard languages (shortcut)
There are plenty of ways to switch between your installed keyboard languages. A slow and inconvenient way is shown above.
You can use the arrow buttons under a selected language to move it to the top of the list. Alongside changing the keyboard language, this will also make it the default language setting.
The more common way most people use is by changing it from the task-bar. You can find the currently selected language at the bottom right of your screen.
You can simply click on the language abbreviation to select a different one from the pop-up menu.
However, there is a lot faster and more convenient way to do this. You also don’t even need to exit your current Window or application to do this. It can be done by a simple key combination, which is very fast.
The first combination is by pressing the Windows key + Spacebar.
This will toggle through the list moving to the next available language. However on some keyboards and laptops the Windows key might not be convenient placed or active due to the Function key on laptop keyboards.
In this case you can also use the Alt + Shift key combination to change your keyboard language on Windows 10. This is my personal preferred combination as it doesn’t mess with any applications in comparison to using the spacebar.
Removing a keyboard language on Windows 10
We recommend keeping only the most crucial and necessary languages installed on your Windows 10. This is because it’s a lot easier to toggle between them and it reduces the risk of any apps using the wrong language.
In order to delete an installed keyboard language on Windows 10, you need to follow similar steps to adding a language.
This means you must first locate the Language tab in the Time & Language settings.
From there you can see your installed keyboard languages. Click on the one you wish to remove from your computer. You should the see a Remove button next to the arrows and Options buttons. Click on it and the language will be completely removed from your operating system.
We recommend using caution as this might have unintended side-effects on any apps you’ve set the language as default.
This shouldn’t break anything crucial though, as Windows 10 will just select the default language in the list as the next alternative.