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How I can change Windows XP's language? The original is not English, and the language that I want to "install" is not English, too. Both languages use the "latin alphabet". I mean changing the language without a new installation.

It is a laptop.

Edit: It does not need to be a Microsoft's application, third party applications are welcome.

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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You cannot change the operating system language for Windows XP as long as it's not English. See the answer of Microsoft:

MUI (Multilingual User Interface) is an add-on to the English version of Windows XP Professional and Windows 2000 family of operating systems, and will not install on localized versions of Windows XP/2000 or on Windows XP Home Edition. The Windows XP/2000 MUI is sold only through Volume Licensing programs such as the Microsoft Open License Program (MOLP/Open), Select, and Enterprise agreement (or with a new computer as an OEM version at customer request). It is not available through retail channels.

See the full article from this page.

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well, maybe Microsoft is wrong ... :) –  Molly7244 Dec 23 '09 at 14:03
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You can't install the MUI Pack on a non-english version of XP.
However, you can trick XP into thinking that it's in english so that it might agree to install MUI.

Please create a system restore point before trying the procedure below.
I haven't tried it and take no responsibility for its working (or not).

  • Launch regedit and navigate to the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\MUI\UILanguages.
  • Change the value of “Default” and “InstallLanguage” registry value to “0409“, which represents US English.
  • Open Control Panel / Regional and Language Options / Advanced tab, and set the language to English (US) as default format and language for non-Unicode programs.
  • Click “OK” when done.
  • Reboot the system.
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With the introduction of MUI, Windows XP can contain a minimum of 33 International languages in addition to the complex Asian scripts. This article explains how to change computer language to English when the default language is something else.

Changing Computer Language to English in Windows XP

If you bought your computer with Windows XP in some other language set as default, you need not worry. You can always change it using the Control Panel. English, along with several widely used languages, is present in almost all Windows XP installations. You only need to set it up so that your copy of Windows XP works with English.

The following steps explain how to change computer language to English in Windows XP.

  1. Open Control Panel and double click on the Regional and Language Options icon.

  2. In the first tab, Regional Options, select English (US), English (UK), or any other English (there are many versions of English pre-loaded) as per your wish. The option is available in the first drop down list under Standards and Formats. You may also click the Customize button next to the drop down to customize the format of date, time, currency etc.

  3. Click on the next tab, Languages and then click the button labeled Details. In the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box, you can see all the installed languages. Select English in the list of available languages under Default Language Settings.

  4. To create a keyboard shortcut for switching among installed languages, use the Key Settings under Preferences. Please note that you can also use the Language bar to switch among languages. Click OK to close the dialog box.

  5. To set English as the default language for the particular user account, click on the Advanced tab of Regional and Language Options dialog box. Make sure English is being displayed in the drop down box and check the last option in the dialog box.

  6. Click OK to close the dialog box and logoff for the settings to take effect.

Though this is the most common method used to change the computer language to English in Windows XP, it only changes the GUI and sometimes creates problems with few applications such as Internet Explorer and Outlook Express. If you are facing such problems, you can download MUI patches from MS download center.

NOTE: The above method is often considered as a temporary solution when you have to use different languages. To change the computer language to English in Windows XP so that it has a system wide affect, it is recommended that you perform a fresh install of Windows XP and select English when prompted for language during installation. Later, you may install other languages as required.

Source and screenshots

more here:

How to convert Windows XP in your native language?

Vista users can do this with Vistalizator.

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It is possible to change the user interface language of at least some applications, by editing the value of a registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Nls\Language\InstallLanguage

Afterwards, restart Windows XP. You can find a list of language codes on Microsoft's web site. English is 0409, German is 0407, etc.

If an application is unaffected by the change, I suggest reinstalling it.

Note that I found out about this key by trial and error! I am not sure if changing the key has undesired and possibly severe side effects.

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