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My neighbor just bought a Windows 7 laptop. He's from Mexico originally, and he wants to switch it over to use Spanish. Before I even helped him, he was able to switch it over to use a Spanish keyboard, date time format, etc. Internet Explorer defaults to the Spanish version of Google and Bing so it recognizes the system locale as Mexico.

What doesn't happen is the display language change to Spanish. All the menus are English, Start Menu entries are English, and all messages are English.

From what I can tell you have to have Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise to use a true multi-lingual interface. It would appear that those versions allow you to download new language packs through Windows Update. Unfortunately he has Windows 7 Home Premium on the laptop.

I saw some references to downloading a LIP(?) (language interface pack) in the Windows 7 help. I followed the links to Microsoft's language site, and it only listed downloads for Windows XP Tablet Edition.

From what I read Windows 7 works similarly to the way Windows Vista does, but I've never tried changing the display language on Windows Vista either.

Where can I legally get a Spanish language download for Windows 7? I found places where I could download a pirated copy of the full MUI for Windows 7, but I'm not willing to go that route.

Is my neighbor just out of luck? Does he need to buy a laptop in Mexico in order to get one he can use?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Officially you can change the language pack in Windows 7 Home and Professional (you have to pay some $$ to Bill Gates).

But some people found a hack for this. You can have a look in Change MUI language pack in Windows 7 Home and Professional .

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Unfortunately I can't confirm that this works since the laptop has left the country but it is exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Any chance you have a URL for people that are willing to pay to change languages? That would be easier than explaining to a non-English speaking non-technical person where to get their language pack file and how to install it via the command line. –  Steve Hiner Feb 18 '10 at 16:28
    
old question. but just want to confirm that this hack works very well. I installed english lp on a japanese windows 7 machine –  kindahero Mar 12 '12 at 7:17

Windows Vista and 7 language packs are free, however unfortunately only available on Enterprise or Ultimate editions

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1  
I accept that as the answer but it doesn't mean I have to be happy about it. ;-) –  Steve Hiner Dec 2 '09 at 20:33
    
+1 Agreed! - Sorry! –  William Hilsum Dec 2 '09 at 22:30
2  
To expand. To get a native language version of Home he will need to purchase a Spanish copy of Home and re-install. The language packs will only install on Ultimate and Enterprise. –  Diago Dec 3 '09 at 7:11
    
+1... Clearing up what I said - I am good on techie knowledge, not always good at explaining it! –  William Hilsum Dec 3 '09 at 7:36
    
To clarify, Microsoft's Windows Anytime Upgrade lets you pay to upgrade your system running Home to Ultimate, and you could then install the language packs, but if you don't mind re-installing Windows from scratch, you should check whether you can get a localized copy of Home for less money than the upgrade to Ultimate. –  rakslice Aug 23 '11 at 9:20

protected by Jeff Atwood Jun 7 '10 at 6:51

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