Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have multiple keyboard layouts. In previous versions of Windows, I could specify a different icon for each layout so I could quickly glance in the system tray and determine which layout was being used. This answer documents that process: Display selected keyboard layout in Windows 7 task-bar notification area

How do I do this in Windows 8? The properties screen is completely different and I can't find a way to assign an icon to each layout.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You're not alone in being completely confused by how Microsoft has Improved Windows 8 to the point of being almost impossible to use it. If they improve it any more, I'm going to have to move to Linux or Mac.

You can see a text-based icon in the tray to show the language.

From the Languages icon in the control panel open the Advanced Settings, then find an underlined or differently colored (blue) piece of text saying Change language bar hot keys. Then find the Language Bar tab.

enter image description here

The Language Bar tab is the first tab among two "Text Services" properties pages, in them you must check Show additional Language Bar Icons in the taskbar.

For demonstration purposes here I have English-US and Inuktitut (Canadian aboriginal language) activated:

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
It may interest people to know that in some cases Windows 8 appears to completely ignore the selected IME Language. IN fact I can't find any native apps that support Inuktitut as an IME. – Warren P Mar 27 '13 at 13:31
Warren, thank you very much. I spent hours yesterday trying to coax an answer out of Google without success. This is a big help to me. – Jesse Mar 27 '13 at 17:20
Glad to be of help. Hopefully soon Google will point HERE. :-) – Warren P Mar 28 '13 at 2:08
but, this is not keyboard layout, this is input language. Isn't it? – nahab Jan 14 at 21:03
Keyboard layout and IME are exposed through the same taskbar UI elements. In fact, I am unaware of any way to select Keyboard layouts directly, they exist as an element of a selected IME. So as an end user I would call this "changing keyboard layouts" but it's technically an IME I am selecting. For example, in India, I might select an IME that uses some phonetic latin-to-hindi approach, or an ACTUAL indic keyboard layout like Inscript. Most users can't tell the difference between an IME and a Keyboard Layout. – Warren P Jan 14 at 21:07

I have been looking for a solution for a long time, and have come up with my own. If you are still interested in doing what the question you linked to does, here is my guide:

Step-by-step Instructions:

  1. Press Start

  2. Type regedit and press Enter

  3. Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > CTF

  4. Create new Key called LayoutIcon

  5. Create new Key with the last four digits of the desired language. Language codes can be found here:

  6. Create a new key for the layout. Possible values for this key can be found in: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Keyboard Layout > Preload.

  7. Create a new String called IconFile with value C:\Windows\system32\msctf.dll or any other file that has the icon that you want.

  8. Create a new DWORD called IconIndex with the decimal value counting left to right by columns starting from 0.

  9. Restart the computer

share|improve this answer
thanks very much man, this is what I hardly looking for – nahab Jan 14 at 21:06
but. doesn't work – nahab Jan 14 at 22:22

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.