I use Windows XP in Dutch, but I'd like to have my cmd.exe in English.

Is there a way I can change the language? Can I download a separate version of cmd.exe in English? Are there any other ways?

  • 2
    Don't you think it would be better to ask how to set it to English?
    – slhck
    Oct 14 '11 at 10:17
  • I am pretty sure the EXE has localization information, with the actual language strings stored elsewhere. If you find an English CMD.EXE it may operate identically. Coincidentally I live in Amsterdam, so next time I see a Dutch XP machine I'll MD5 the exe and see what happens :-) Oct 14 '11 at 11:26
  • 1
    @slhck: I'm pretty sure the localization is within the executable, seeing from my hex editor.
    – orlp
    Oct 14 '11 at 13:33
  • Yes, that might very well be, just see my edit – are you fine with this? That's just asking a broader question, who knows what's possible.
    – slhck
    Oct 14 '11 at 13:45
  • 1
    @nightcracker: Where the localization data is stored depends on your Windows version. XP has everything built-in the exe file. Starting with Vista they are kept externally in a subdirectory named as your language (e.g. "de-de" for german) and a file named cmd.dll.mui
    – Robert
    Oct 14 '11 at 14:17


chcp 437

in the cmd prompt.

For example:

C:\Users\javaserv> chcp 437
Active code page: 437
  • 1
    This answer works for me. My system is Russian Windows 7 ome premium
    – SergV
    Apr 29 '14 at 14:06
  • 9
    This doesn't change anything on my Windows 7 Enterprise in German. Everything's still in German, be it dir or route. Was 850, changed to 437. AFAIK, 850 stands for "DOS (Western)" so it doesn't represent a language but a character encoding.
    – ygoe
    Jul 24 '14 at 7:11
  • This changed my Traditional Chinese prompts and messages cmd to english. Works greats.
    – Nelson
    Sep 28 '15 at 15:37
  • Works greats, but the simple Chinese part of file name become ????
    – bronze man
    Jun 13 '17 at 6:28
  • @bronzeman then you need a font for Chinese characters. Like Microsoft YaHei Mono.
    – WesternGun
    Nov 30 '17 at 8:27

It depends on how your Windows is localized (I'm not familiar with Dutch Windows specifically). Look at the following folder:


If you have the file named cmd.exe.mui there, rename it to something else. Your command prompt will be in English mostly (all text coming from the cmd.exe will be English, but some error messages are coming from other sources and will be in Dutch.

If you don't have such folder, or if cmd.exe.mui is not there, it means your cmd.exe (command prompt execuable) has its Dutch strings built in, so you cannot change it to English easily.

  • This gives me error messages, because it cannot find the string entries any more.
    – pgampe
    Nov 27 '13 at 14:24
  • 1
    I wish there was a way to disable the use of the MUIs for a particular launch of the binary without any file hacking. Jan 14 '19 at 9:47

There will be no "obscure long link from microsoft.com". cmd.exe is a Windows component and is not distributed separately.

  • 3
    fails to answer the question. (maybe the question changed) Apr 9 '15 at 20:15
  • This answer contains some amount of useful information, but does not answer the question. That information could be provided in a comment instead.
    – zeel
    Aug 13 '18 at 15:47

If you are running Windows XP you can translate a lot strings yourself. Using a resource editor like XN Resource Editor or ResEdit you can modify the included messages and save everything as a modified EXE file.

Note: As we are talking about a component of Windows I assume that modifying a executable from Windows is not covered by the license you have accepted when installing Windows.

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