How to Switch a Keyboard Back to English

There are many reasons for switching your keyboard to another language.
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There are many reasons for switching your keyboard to another language. For example, you may have an English keyboard but you need to write a letter in French. It's relatively easy in Windows to change the keyboard language, but it can be tricky switching back if you also change the Windows display language. To help you avoid navigating the user interface to switch languages, Windows provides a Language Bar that lets you quickly switch your keyboard between two or more languages.

How to Change Keyboard Language

Changing your keyboard language will change the way keys are mapped to characters when you type. It will also change the keyboard layout. Most English keyboards are based on the QWERTY keyboard, but other languages use different layouts.

You can change your keyboard language and layout in Windows by selecting Start on the desktop or by pressing the Start key on the keyboard. Select Settings, then select Time & Language and Language. Select a language from the list under Preferred languages and then select Options. Select Add a keyboard and choose the keyboard you want. If the language you want isn't shown under Preferred languages, you can try adding it by returning to Language Settings.

How to Change Display Language

You may also want to change your Windows display language after you change your keyboard keys. Go to Language Settings and pick a language from the Windows display language menu. Now, Windows controls will be displayed in the new language.

Changing your keyboard and display language this way is a temporary solution since usability is greatly decreased when the letters and symbols printed on the keyboard no longer match the characters they input. If you're going to use another language for a large portion of your time, you should consider investing in a keyboard designed for that language.

Change Keyboard Back to Default Language

When you enable more than one keyboard layout in Windows, the Language Bar becomes available. The Language Bar is displayed in the Task Bar near the clock. It includes a small icon that represents the current language. When you click on the icon, you can click on a language to switch to. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Shift to toggle the keyboard between two languages. For example, if you've added a French keyboard and English is your default keyboard, you can quickly change the keyboard from French to English by pressing the Alt+Shift keys.

Insert Symbols from Another Language

If you are switching between English and another language that uses the Latin alphabet, such as French or Spanish, you can type in language-specific symbols and characters without changing keyboards. In Office applications like Word and Excel, go to the Symbol menu on the Insert tab. If you don't see the symbol you want on the menu, select More Symbols to display the Symbol dialog. Scroll or search through the available symbols to find the one you want. Different fonts have different sets of characters and symbols, so you may need to change the font to find the symbol you need.

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