Running Non-English Software on your English version of Windows 7 (or others)

I wrote a tip on how to install Microsoft AppLocale in Windows 7, and it became the most popular article on my blog. To date, it is also ranked number 3 with search term “install applocale” among google results, and number 1 with the term “install applocale in windows 7”.

And this is something I never expected.

It means that there are lots of folks running English version of the Windows, but have needs to run some Non-english version of software. In some cases, very often. If you are international students like me, or just happened to purchase a computer with English Windows installed on it, but need to use some unique legacy software on your own language, this will be the case.


I am writing this additional post, because I want to let you know that AppLocale is not the only way to run Non-English software on your English Windows.

Change System Locale

As being a Chinese, I’ve been using English Windows since 2002. What I’ve done to force my English Windows to use Chinese software is by changing this “System Locale” into Chinese (Simplified).

It is under (in Windows 7’s case), Control Panel –> Region and Language Settings –> Administrative Tab.

System Locale

Just change the option value of “System Locale” into whatever language you want. Reboot the machine, Windows will become that particular language version. [Not to confuse this with Multilanguage (or Multilingual) Interface Pack. (Multilingual Interface Pack is a special package usually sold separately to change your Windows Interface into specific language.)] After change the system locale, all menus and buttons will remain the same. But you can consider your system as that particular language from that moment.

Here is an  ex ample.

You see that menu is in English, but the Chinese Program runs like a charm?


Why AppLocale?

AppLocale is originally designed for software developers who work on one or two software that are different with their Windows OS language. Therefore it was not intended for “civilian use”. If you only use one or two software, and works pretty fine with AppLocale, you can keep using it. But if it doesn’t, there is really no clear answer for every situation. Especially it appears that update on AppLocale from Microsoft has stopped since 2003.

I ended up using AppLocale, because of special occasion of mine. I use AppLocale for iTunes 9 only. I am a Chinese, but with first language in Korean. I have huge amount of MP3s in Korean, all tags of MP3 will be ill-displayed if I switch “System Locale” into Chinese. But I can’t switch it into Korean, because most majority of my works will be in Chinese. I had to find a way for that. AppLocale was the solution.


If I have to make a conclusion at this point,

1) Change your “system locale” if you want your windows to support only one additional language.

2) Consider AppLocale if you need more than two additional languages.

Product Mentioned: Windows 7

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24 Responses to Running Non-English Software on your English version of Windows 7 (or others)

  1. Pingback: Installing AppLocale in Windows 7 « [Blog] Wen Today…

  2. dr.js says:

    Mr.Wen, Thank you so much for sharing this and keeping the steps so clear and easy to follow. This has saved me so much stress!

  3. joe says:

    i almost bought windows 7 ultimate cause i thought that was the only way my wife could type in japanese, and install her japanese games and software with all the fonts showing correctly like in winXP. what about typing? will she beable to type using programs like ATOK?

  4. Mr.Wen says:

    You can type Japanese Characters by using Romaji method in any version of the Windows. I’ve done that since Windows 2000.

    Romaji Input Method is the Windows built-in Japanese typing method developed by Microsoft. In Windows 7, you can pull that out from the Control Panel -> Region and Language -> Keyboards and Launguages -> Change Keyboards -> Japanense -> Microsoft IME.

    If you need further assistance, just let me know.

  5. Jasshrie says:

    Thanks! I DID buy Win7 Ultimate and was wondering why some (not all) software still installed into the base German language….Wondering how to install a program with a specific language.
    But this SOLVED that issue. Sometimes it is the simple things…

    Why doesn’t the installer for Win7 let one choose this setting? 🙂

    Thanks again!

  6. Jason says:

    OMG! haha thanks so much for this step by step instruction without this i wouldnt be able to run the japanese programs that i want to run. This solves so many things.
    thanks again

  7. gorilla says:

    Thank you! The installation went fine, but how come I can’t change the system locale?? I press the button “change system locale” under the administrative tab but nothing happens. Not even a window message. I press it and nothing. What is wrong?

  8. xl says:

    Thanks a lot on tis article,I finally solve the problem of using softwares on my computer. I spent a lot of time founding solutions,and finally I found it. Really thanks a lot!:)

  9. Josephine says:

    Thanks so much. With your help so I can run a program of traditional Chinese characters. Appreciate it.

  10. Danialong says:

    Thank you very much for your generosity to share. It’s a very helpful tip. Cheers

  11. marin says:

    Thank you so much.It does help:)
    I guess youre a chinese too?(by your surname)
    Sorry if im wrong^^”

  12. Jon Bemis says:

    Dear Mr Wen,

    You’re my hero!!

    Thank you for the help – both your Blog and the email response.


  13. popcorn says:

    Thank you so much! Me and my friends were very distressed we could not view the titles of the videos we were trying to watch. Installing Applocale and changing the regional language did the trick! (I didn’t know which one affected the change, I will have to experiment some more.) Thanks once again! This is especially helpful to those of us who want to run the same programs as our Asian counterparts.

  14. Richard says:

    Thank you very much, it was simple to understand and very clear. But I still can’t install applocale. I thought knowing more language and you become more useful. seems it have different point of view.

  15. bobo says:

    Fantastic tip! It works perfectly, only if I had knew about this earlier. I wasted several hours trying to install the Chinese version of Windows and yield no results. Who would have knew the solution is so simple. Thank you!

  16. Qian says:

    In my case, Chinese & Japanese apps… have to install applocale…sigh

  17. tajinder says:

    sir, iam liveing italy nd cnt understand italyian language i need to chang my software window 7 to english but is the better way to change the software

  18. Mr.Wen says:

    I think you will need to purchase English version of the Windows 7. Or, if your Italian Windows 7 is a ultimate edition, language pack is available for change your system language.

  19. Az says:

    i cannot install the applocale. when i try what you taught it came out ‘applocale.msi’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file. any help?

  20. kamalsha says:

    i want english software

  21. Pingback: Install Applocale on Windows 8 | Learning Matters ... [Wentoday]

  22. Victor says:

    Now I gotta find this in Windows 8. Thanks a lot!

  23. Jack Liu says:

    Well AppLocale is still a must even for Windows 7 or later if you want to run an application in a language other than your system language because the problem of file name encoding. My computer is in Simplified Chinese and I need to run some Japanese softwares & games, and I found when I run these Japanese applications only with the system locale changed and they read the file-names in Japanese, it’s still displayed in the Chinese encoding(GBK), and resulted in ill-displaying. But AppLocale can let these app read the file-names in Japanese encoding(Shift-JIS). This problem is still not solved in Windows 8. Not sure whether or when Microsoft will add the ability to read file-names in different encodings.

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