How to Change Keyboard Language

Easily type in different languages

If you're multilingual, a single language keyboard probably won't cut it for you. Fortunately, Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS all support multiple languages and multiple language keyboards. Here's how to set up and use them.

The instructions in this article apply to all modern Android and iOS devices, as well as both Windows and Mac computers.

How to Add a Language to a Keyboard on Android

If you use a phone that doesn't have a standard version of Android running on it, the options here may appear in slightly different places, but the general process is similar. You can also change the system language on Android.

These instructions were developed with a device running Android 9 with the Gboard keyboard installed.

To add a language to an Android keyboard:

  1. Tap Settings on your Android device.

  2. System > Languages & input > Languages.

    Android languages & input settings
  3. Tap + Add a language.

  4. Either scroll to the name of the language you want to add or search for it.

  5. Tap the language you want to add.

    Language preference screens in Android

    In some cases, you are prompted to select the version of the language you want to add. For example, if you choose French, you must choose the language as it is spoken in either Canada or France.

  6. After you enable other languages on your Android keyboard, it's easy to switch between them depending on your needs. Long-press the spacebar in Gboard and then tap the language keyboard you want to use.

    Keyboards showing language selections

How to Add and Switch Language Keyboards in iOS

Follow these instructions on Apple iOS devices—iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices—running iOS 9 through iOS 13 to add keyboard support for additional languages.

  1. Open the iOS device's Settings app and tap General > Keyboard > Keyboards.

    Keyboard settings in iOS
  2. Tap Add New Keyboard.

  3. Scroll through the languages and tap the one you want to add to your keyboard options.

  4. Switch between installed keyboards on iOS by long-pressing the globe icon on the iOS keyboard and then tapping the language you want to use. If you have several languages installed, tap lightly on the globe to toggle through them. As you do, the name of the language appears briefly on the space bar.

    iOS screens for adding a keyboard

How to Add and Use Different Language Keyboards on Windows

Follow these instructions on any computer running Windows 10 to add keyboard support for additional languages. 

  1. Press Windows Key+I to open Windows Settings.

  2. Select Time & language.

    Time & Language settings icon
  3. Select Language in the left pane.

  4. Under the Preferred Languages section, select + Add a preferred language.

    Language settings in Windows showing add a preferred language
  5. Scroll through the list of languages and select a language or enter a language in the search field to jump to the language you want and choose it.

    List of languages available in Windows
  6. After you add the language or languages you want to use, switching between them is easy. Select the language icon in the system tray in the lower right portion of the screen and choose the one you want to use.

    Language selection tray in Windows

How to Add and Use Language Keyboards on macOS

Follow these instructions on Apple computers running macOS to add keyboard support for additional languages. 

  1. Select the Apple menu and choose System Preferences in the drop-down menu.

    The System Preferences command under the Apple menu
  2. Select Keyboard.

    Keyboard icon on System Preferences main screen
  3. Select the Input sources tab.

    Keyboard preferences on a Mac
  4. Check the box next to Show Input menu in the menu bar. This action adds an indicator to the menu bar that displays the current keyboard language selected, along with a drop-down menu to let you switch to other installed languages.

    Option to show input menu in menu bar
  5. Select the + icon in the lower left corner.

    Keyboard preferences showing plus sign to add keyboards
  6. Choose a language from the list in the left pane to add it. Depending on the language, you may see variations to choose from in the window to the right of the language list. Choose the variation you want to use. Click Add.

    Selection of available keyboard languages in Keyboard preferences
  7. To switch between installed language keyboards on macOS, select the Input menu in the menu bar and choose the language you want to use.

    Input menu in menu bar of Mac

How to Add Language Keyboards on Chrome OS

Follow these instructions on devices running Chrome 76 (or newer) to enable keyboard support for additional languages in Chrome OS.

  1. Select the three vertical dots typically found in the upper right corner.

  2. Select Settings.

    Chrome OS menu with Settings selected
  3. Select Advanced from the left menu to expand the menu. Then, select Languages and Input.

    Language & Input settings selection
  4. Select the current language.

    Current language selection in Chrom OS
  5. Select Add languages.

    Chrome OS settings options, with Add languages link visible
  6. Scroll to the name of the language you want to add and place a check mark in front of it. Select Add.

    List of languages in Chrome OS
  7. Select the current input method keyboard.

  8. Select the Show input options on the shelf slider to enable it.

  9. Select Manage input methods.

    Chrome OS language and input options
  10. Select the check box next to every language keyboard you want to use.

    Selection of languages in Chrome OS
  11. Switch the language for the installed keyboard and enable input methods on Chrome OS devices by selecting the Input options from the shelf (typically in the lower right corner) and then choosing the language you want to use.

    Chrome OS input methods options
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