If you forgot to configure the keyboard layout language during the Windows setup process, changing the input method in hindsight is a bit more complicated than just changing language settings for your current user.
Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)

Some IT pros in non-English-speaking countries prefer to run Windows in English because troubleshooting is usually simpler. On the Internet, it is much easier to find solutions to specific problems in English than in any other language.

Whereas end-user PCs usually use the local language, you might consider running your Windows servers in English for the above-mentioned reason.

When you install Windows, you can select the Windows display language and the keyboard layout language (Keyboard or input method).

Choosing the keyboard layout in Windows Setup

Choosing the keyboard layout in Windows Setup

If you accidentally select the wrong keyboard layout here, you’ll be in trouble after the installation. You might be unable to log in because you set a password other than the one you intended. In addition, the login screen will always use the input method that you selected during the setup process even if you change the keyboard layout for your user. And new users who log in will also get the wrong keyboard language layout when they log in the first time.

To change to the correct keyboard language, you have to follow a rather complicated procedure, which should be the same on Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10:

  1. Go to the Control Panel, open the Language preferences, and then click Options.
    Changing language preferences
  2. In the Input method section of the Language options, click Add an input method.
    Add an input method
  3. Select your input method (QWERTY layout) in the list.
    Choose your QWERTY keyboard
  4. You should now see the second input method in the Language options dialog box. Click Save.
    Two input methods
  5. You should also see the second language in the Change your language preferences Click Advanced settings now.
    Two keyboard layouts in language preferences
  6. In Advanced settings, select your preferred display language and the default input method. Then, click Apply language settings to the welcome screen, system accounts, and new user accounts (you will have to go back to Advanced settings after you click Save).
    Windows display language and default input method
  7. In the Region dialog box, click Copy settings.
    Copy settings
  8. In the Welcome screen and new user accounts settings dialog box, verify that the settings in the Current user section are the ones that you want to copy to the Welcome screen and to the default configuration for new user accounts. Then, select the Welcome screen and system accounts and New user accounts check boxes and click OK.
    Welcome screen and new user account settings

That’s it. Only eight steps are required, and you’ve already changed the keyboard layout language. Easy, isn’t it?

  1. Avatar
    Jelle Smeets 7 years ago

    Thank you!

    This one worked for me in Windows 10!

    I few other solutions I looked up didn’t.



  2. Avatar
    Daniel Walter 7 years ago

    Thanks for this instructions.

    But I couldn’t find this options in the GPO-Settings… can you help me there?

  3. Avatar
    angelo 7 years ago

    These steps do not seem to work any more. At least here. Many things in Win10 do not work any more

    I upgraded from Win7U to Win10 pro, on July. Then I did the Anniversary Upgrade. All worked as expected: Windows in Italian and the keyboard layout US (I have an US keyboard),  both the login screen and my account. Now, few days ago I decided to do a Reset of the OS, a clean Reset, so it is as if Windows were installed from scratch. I selected Italian language and US keyboard. All worked fine, both the login screen and my account: ITA over US (ITA/US). I used this for a few day then decided a Clean Disk (but I don’t think this is the reason).

    Now my login screen shows ITA/IT while the account ITA/US. I tried the suggestions of this site and, at step 8., after selected Welcome screen and new user accounts settings and New user accounts, all three field (Current user, Welcome screen, New user accounts) show the right settings: Italian-US ect. but after OK, OK and re-booting, the login screen is always at ITA/IT… 🙁

    Any suggestion?

    TIA, Angelo.

    • Avatar Author

      I just tried it with the Anniversary update and it worked. You could try to remove the Italian language, change to US/US, and then add Italian again. The crucial step for the login screen is step 8.

  4. Avatar
    Behrouz Arman 7 years ago


    How can I change the default keyboard layout from English to another language in login screen on Win10 via GPO?

    Many thanks


  5. Avatar
    Rasha Bayoudh 1 year ago

    Thank you so much! especially for step 8, I have been struggling with this issue for several months now and no website/blog has eveb brought this solution up! I had to learn the qwerty placement on an azerty keyboard to be able to login everyday and it’s really not convenient, again thank you so much!

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