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Change the User Interface Language in Vista or Windows 7

Would you like to change the user interface language in any edition of Windows 7 or Vista on your computer?  Here’s a free app that can help you do this quickly and easily.

If your native language is not the one most spoken in your area, you’ve likely purchased a PC with Windows preinstalled with a language that is difficult or impossible for you to use.  Windows 7 and Vista Ultimate include the ability to install multiple user interface languages and switch between them. However, all other editions are stuck with the language they shipped with.  With the free Vistalizator app, you can add several different interface languages to any edition of Vista or Windows 7 and easily switch between them.

Note:  In this test, we used an US English copy of both Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows Vista Home Premium, and it works the same on any edition. The built-in language switching in the Ultimate Editions lets you set a user interface language for each user account, but this will only switch it for all users. 

Add a User Interface Language to Windows

To add an interface language to any edition of Windows 7 and Vista, first download Vistalizator (link below).  Then, from the same page, download the language pack of your choice.  The language packs are specific for each service pack of Windows, so make sure to choose the correct version and service pack you have installed.

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Once the downloads are finished, launch the Vistalizator program. You do not need to install it; simply run it and you’re ready to go.  Click the Add languages button to add a language to Windows.

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Select the user interface language pack you downloaded, and click Open.

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Depending on the language you selected, it may not automatically update with Windows Update when a service pack is released.  If so, you will have to remove the language pack and reinstall the new one for that service pack at that time.  Click Ok to continue.

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Make sure you’ve selected the correct language, and click Install language.

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Vistalizator will extract and install the language pack.  This took around 5 to 10 minutes in our test.

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Once the language pack is installed, click Yes to make it the default display language.

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Now, you have two languages installed in Windows.  You may be prompted to check for updates to the language pack; if so, click Update languages and Vistalizator will automatically check for and install any updates.

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When finished, exit Vistalizator to finish switching the language.  Click Yes to automatically reboot and apply the changes.

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When you computer reboots, it will show your new language, which in our test is Thai.  Here’s our Windows 7 Home Premium machine with the Thai language pack installed and running.

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You can even add a right to left language, such as Arabic, to Windows.  Simply repeat the steps to add another language pack. 

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Vistalizator was originally designed for Windows Vista, and works great with Windows 7 too.  The language packs for Vista are larger downloads than their Windows 7 counterparts.  Here’s our Vista Home Premium in English…

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And here’s how it looks after installing the Simplified Chinese language pack with Vistalizator.

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Revert to Your Original Language

If you wish to return to the language that your computer shipped with, or want to switch to another language you’ve installed, run Vistalizator again.  Select the language you wish to use, and click Change language.   sshot-64

When you close Vistalizator, you will again be asked to reboot.  Once you’ve rebooted, you’ll see your new (or original) language ready to use.  Here’s our Windows 7 Home Premium desktop, back in it’s original English interface.

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Conclusion

This is a great way to change your computer’s language into your own native language, and is especially useful for expatriates around the world.  Also, if you’d like to simply change or add an input language instead of changing the language throughout your computer, check out our tutorial on How to Add Keyboard Languages to XP, Vista, and Windows 7.

Download Vistalizator

Matthew digs up tasty bytes about Windows, Virtualization, and the cloud, and serves them up for all to enjoy!

  • Published 04/30/10

Comments (12)

  1. GoodBytes

    Wait what?!
    For non Windows Ultimate users (Professional and Enterprise), it’s an extra disk to purchase to allow you do this…

    Is this a custom translation of the OS by this software company? If not.. I don’t think it’s legal (distributing the languages on the disk for free, and have a special software to crack open and manually install the language). This is something you guys should verify.

  2. mayagrafix

    I tried English MUI on Vista Home Basic 32 bit in Spanish and it works (so far). Glad to be able to understand the (GUI) interface again!

  3. Shkumbin

    Just in time what I needed, does exactly what it says WYSIWYG.
    Worked on Vista Home Basic 32-bit OS, the original language was Norwegian and Vistalizator converted to English!!!

    Thanks a lot.

  4. Matthew Guay

    @Shkumbin – Good, glad to hear that! That’s what it’s good for :)

  5. hamed

    Hi
    I’m wondering if there is any way to convert a preinstalled dutch win xp pro sp3 to english one without reinstalling whole system with a new disk?
    any idea would be appreciated

  6. GUI_Victim

    Thank you very much. Such a life saver. I bought a “Dot U i5″ Packard Bell laptop with original Arabic language GUI. It’s very deceiving since there is no mention of this at all on the package. I think it’s such a stupid idea (but who’s listening!). I downloaded the above program and English Language Package and it worked like a charm. From what understand, it’s kinda against Microsoft’s EULA. But considering the alternative solution, which is upgrading to ultimate, it’s a risk I’m sadly willing to take.

  7. nospam

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2105247/

    Nice M$ piece of trash company and software. Prevent users to use their language unless to pay more… & install more crap…

    The end of Vistalizator. Too bad…

  8. nospam

    btw, you should update the content of the article.

    SP1′s new patch, your copy of Windows appears to be illegal is you use vistalizator and a MUI language pack.

    see: http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en/genuinewindows7/thread/6f6b1cb8-e84e-4c1f-a2ac-181a77d2f772

    There are real desktop OS at your reach (BSD, Debian, Fedora). light fast open and free. Enjoy.

  9. frank

    tried on windows 7home premiumn ed english, and trying to get the chinese lang pack, doesnt work, any idea?

    Thanks

    Frank

  10. boon

    Thank You Very Much !
    i get it

  11. Joseph P.

    Where was this when I needed it… I had a computer in German, and I changed it to English by reinstalling Windows 7 in English! Not only was in expensive and annoying, I can’t use my laptop’s Ethernet port now…..

  12. anil

    i have changed my language!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!in computer…..do you think after the language is changed there’s some kind of problem or effect on computer,,,

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