How to Delete Languages on an iPhone

By Diana V. Faustmann

If you speak two languages, you're bilingual. If you speak three, you're trilingual. But, if you speak more than 30 languages and write in more than 50, you would be your iPhone. Because iPhone's rich palette of languages is built into the system by the manufacturer, you cannot delete any language within it. But you can reconfigure your international and keyboard settings to just one language, or a choice few, and effectively make all other superfluous languages "seem" deleted.

Default Language

Step 1

Go to "Settings," "General." Scroll down and tap "International."

Step 2

Tap "Language" to view the list of 34 different languages that your iPhone carries. Your device's current default language will appear checked.

Step 3

Select the language you'd like to use instead of your device's current choice --- for example, "English" or "Español."

Step 4

Tap "Done." Give your iPhone a couple of minutes to make the switch. When done, your device will take you to the home screen where you will see your icons named in your selected language. Your old default language will be deactivated.

Keyboard Language

Step 1

Tap "Settings." Next, tap "General."

Step 2

Select "Keyboard" and then "International Keyboards." This will summon up a list of the keyboards currently activated on your device.

Step 3

Tap "Edit" on the upper right. Next, tap the round red icon that appears to the left of a keyboard language that you'd like to remove, followed by the "Delete" button that appears on the right. Tap "Done" on the upper right.

Step 4

Select "Add New Keyboard" if the keyboard language you want is not on your active keyboards list. Tap your desired language from among the more than 50 options presented. Then tap "International" on the upper left.

Step 5

Tap "Keyboard" on the upper left and then press the "Home" button below your display to return to your home screen. Your iPhone will now only offer you the keyboard language or languages you selected and deactivate all others.

Tips & Warnings

  • By default, your iPhone is programmed to speak and write in the language of the country in which you bought your device.
  • Your iPhone can only use one default language but multiple keyboards. If you are multilingual, you can activate a keyboard for each language that you use to communicate. Switch between them by pressing and holding the "Globe" icon next to the space bar on your virtual keyboard. The dictionary that iPhone uses to auto-correct, spell-check and make suggestions will change according to the keyboard language you activate.
  • If your device is an iPhone 3GS or newer, you can also change the language it uses to recognize your voice commands. Tap "General," "Settings" and then "Voice Control." Tap your language of choice and then tap "International."
  • In most cases, the language you select in "Voice Control" will be the same language your iPhone will use to tell you what it's doing when you activate VoiceOver, your device's screen reader.