If you want to convert (for free) the Windows-language from English to French or any other language, then it is especially easy to do from Windows 8 onwards. With Windows 7, the effort to make this change is noticeably higher.
For most PCs and notebooks, the language of the preinstalled operating system is the correct one. After all, you are paying money to get what you want. The on-board button names correspond to their own country language. But whoever is sitting in front of a foreign Windows is confronted with an operating problem, because some names are unusual and require a lot of research to find what it means; an effort that not everyone wants to drive.
Microsoft is good at changing the system language. This does not mean the keyboard layout, which you can switch to via Shift-Alt. The post is rather about a real language change; if your operating system is not Vista or Windows 7, then you can do this free of charge.
Install the appropriate language pack
Language packs do the trick of giving Windows a different nationality. For example, you will find a description below to convert an English system to French or vice versa. This might be the case if you want to enable an acquaintance from abroad to make your own device easier to use. Other language configurations are also possible. Because multiple language packs can reside on PCs, you can easily switch between them.
Windows 7 is self-explanatory in the display language
There are more versions of Windows Vista and 7 then XP; they are Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Business/Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate. Only if your system is one of the last two, the official way of system language change is open to you; by the Windows Update function, you can get the language packs, which are marked as optional. Windows Enterprise is almost exclusively found in companies that purchase it as volume licenses in larger quantities. Private users work with an enterprise that has been given for test purposes. The Windows ISO Downloader downloads Windows 7 in this edition. More popular in the consumer environment is Ultimate. It brings the full functionality, but is the most expensive and therefore less common than Home Premium.
If you do not have Enterprise or Ultimate, Microsoft does not offer update language packs. But that does not matter because with Vistalizator, you can save yourself a paid operating system upgrade. The freeware reads language files from the Internet and applies them to the system. For example, Windows 7 Ultimate rightly points out that it is not necessary due to native language revision functionality – it still works here.
Situation in the newer systems
Windows 8 and 10 do not support Vistalizator; it shows a warning message at the start. But the tool is not needed anyway. Both the standard version of Windows 8 (Core) and 10 (Home) supports language changes. The extended Pro versions are just as good. The procedure does not require a system update, instead, it is done via the system controls. This article will show you all these steps.
We are not going to talk about Windows XP as it is obsolete.
Windows 7 Ultimate: Use Update Dialog
Enterprise and Ultimate versions allows a language change via Windows Update function. From the Start menu, locate wuapp and press Enter. Click on “Check for Updates.” The command can be found in the upper-left corner of the page and is different from the English-language system. See the optional updates by clicking on XX optional updates are available.
Scroll down and put a checkmark in the preferred language, for example, for English. The megabyte storage values vary depending on the package. Click OK and install updates. Before clicking on the latter button, it is important to have a checkmark at the top of the X; this prevents any further update installations, so that the language changes faster. Confirm this with OK. Some data will now migrate to your PC. Wait until the animation bar turns full green.
Switch by Control Panel in WIN7
Open the control panel. Click on time, language, and region. Now click on the Change Display Language button. In the newly opened window, there is a drop-down menu at the bottom; fold it out, then tell the operating system, by mouse click, the language in which the system will be used in the future. Note that the corresponding menu is only available after installing a language via Windows Update function; if you have not installed it, then you can easily do it via the install/uninstall languages option.
Instead of a system restart, Windows 7 simply prompts you to log off for the change to take effect. To initiate the process immediately, a mouse click on Log off now appears in the dialog box.
The screen message, when you log out, appears in the source language. However, when the next login process occurs, the system presents itself with alternative command names and pre-installed Microsoft software. It check if this has worked, look into the start menu; you will see several changes. If you do that this would mean that the intervention has worked.
Windows 7 Home: Using Vistalizator
Most PCs do not come with Windows 7 Ultimate. Instead, when Win7 is used, it is more often the less favorable variant. Usually it is Home Premium. To change its language, it usually takes a paid upgrade to the Ultimate version of the operating system; the same is true with Vista. Both Windows Vista/7 Home Premium and their slightly upgraded Business/Professional variants do not allow for a change of the language.
Vistalizator frees you from compulsion to spend money for an upgrade. Download the tool for free, install and start it. The Freeware runs, by the way, even under Windows 7 Ultimate; however, it points out that it is not necessary. Once Vistalizator is installed, click on update, if required. A checkmark for languages> French ensures that the program interface in French will be used.
Open a browser of your choice and download Vistalizator from the manufacturer’s website. It links to the language packs from the Microsoft servers.
Save the right language pack. The system has to be Frenchized. A package (just over 100 megabytes) has to be downloaded. The download requires only a few clicks: on MUI for Windows 7 32 SP1> French.
If you do not know whether you have a 32- or 64-bit Windows, then it is not clear whether you need a 32- or 64-bit package; determine your system architecture type using the Windows key and pause. In the window that opens, you will find the information you are looking for. Alternatively, look up the Vistalizator window, far up.
In order for Vistalizator to work, it must know which language file to interweave with the system. Add language, click the downloaded file, and click Open. Please wait until Vistalizator checks the file, then initiate integration using the Install Language option. The procedure takes up to 20 minutes, as indicated by the newly opened window. Ideally, a success message appears. The last question is whether the new language should be the new display language. Confirm it and restart Windows. The system language has now been changed. You can select another language in Vistalizator, click Change language, and restart your PC to change the language again at any time.
Windows 8.1/10 – Control Panel
It is easier for Windows 8.1 and 10, Core/Home variants, to change the language. The auxiliary tool Vistalizator, would not work and we do not need it.
Go to the system control, for example, using the Windows key and X, and then click on Control Panel.
Click on “Time, language and Region” option. Then press Add language. Select French, for example, and then click Open. Switch to the option of the language that appears as a new entry in the list.
In the new dialog, for example, you can now select French as the primary language at the click of a mouse. Depending on the chosen language, this entry may be missing, before you can download and install a language pack.
In the pop-up window that opens, log out of the system. Confirm the logout. Once you are back in the system after a login, the language is changed.