Changing Display Language on Windows 7 Home and Professional Editions

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I bought a laptop for other family members yesterday, it comes with Windows 7 Home Premium. I needed to change the display language from English to Chinese because the main user of this laptop does not speak English.

I thought it was a no brainer as I’ve done it before, all I had to do was to load another language pack in “Regional and Language” in Control Panel. However, I was wrong. apparently this function is available in Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise editions.

I didn’t really want to use Windows Anytime Upgrade to upgrade it to Ultimate just so I can change the language. Lucky I found this post:

So below is what I’ve done:

  1. Download Windows 7 Service Pack 1 language pack (Because the laptop comes with Windows 7 SP1, I had RTM version of the language pack but it didn’t work.) – I downloaded the entire ISO from my TechNet subscription, but there are many blog posts around with the direct link to Windows Update for each individual language (such as this one:
  2. Extracted the downloaded ISO (from TechNet subscription) to C:\Apps\langpacks
  3. in Command prompt:
    1. dism /online /add-package /packagepath:C:\Apps\langpacks\zh-cn\
    2. bcdedit /set {current} locale zh-cn
    3. bcdboot %WinDir% /l zh-cn
  4. Backed up and deleted HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\MUI\UILanguages\en-US
  5. Reboot

Note: if there were any windows updates that were pending to be installed, the install may fail after the language was changed. I had to run wuauclt /detectnow so Windows Update agent detects the updates for different language.

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