Every now and then, written languages need symbols and special characters that go beyond your keyboard’s standard settings. If these characters are often used in a target language, they can be found in the keyboard layout of the language in question, which can be selected at any time for this purpose in Windows 8. Once you’ve done this, you won’t have to search for and enter these characters individually anymore, making writing much easier. Especially if you’re working on longer texts, you can save a lot of time by changing the keyboard language in Windows 8.


  • Change your keyboard settings in Windows 8: here’s how
  • Install keyboards and language packs via “Settings”
  • Install keyboards and language packs via system settings
  • Changing Windows 8 keyboard settings: instructions
  • Change your keyboard settings in Windows 8: here’s how

    If you want to change your keyboard settings, then Windows 8 will require the relevant language pack, which in this case needs to be both installed and activated. In this popular Windows version, there are two ways to do this:

    • Via “Settings” in the Charms bar
    • Via your system settings

    Both options lead to the same result, so that you can have one or several languages available besides the standard keyboard language.


    If you are using another Windows versions, our articles on changing the keyboard language in Windows 7 and changing the keyboard language in Windows 10 might give you a hand.

    Install keyboards and language packs via “Settings”

    One of the innovations introduced in Windows 8 was intelligent corner navigation. By hovering over activated corners of the screen, you can open windows and other functions and initiate a shortcut. One of these functions is the “Charms” bar, which takes you to the PC settings.

  • Open the “Charms” bar by moving your mouse quickly from the bottom corner of the screen upwards or from the right corner towards the middle. You can also use the key combinations [Windows] key + [C].
  • Click on the cog sign and open “Settings”.
  • Settings in Windows 8: select the Charms bar

  • In the following window, click on “Change PC settings” and select the option “Time and language”.
  • Change your PC settings in Windows 8.

  • In the category “Region and language” you can add missing languages beneath the headline “Languages” by clicking on “Add a language”.
  • Change the settings for “Region and language” in Windows 8.

  • If you want to add a language pack, just click on the language and select “Options”.
  • If a language pack is available, it will be shown directly beneath the language you’ve selected.Install keyboards and language packs via system settings

    You can also reach your system settings via the “Charms” bar, with links found in both the “Settings” menu as well as in the “PC settings” menu. Alternatively, try the key combination [Windows] key + [I] to directly reach “Settings”. Next, you should proceed as follows:

  • In Settings, select “Control Panel,” and click on “Clock, Language, and Region”.
  • Select “Clock, Language, and Region” in the Windows 8 Control Panel.

  • Beneath the “Language” headline, you can add a language by clicking on “Add a language”. Note that the language pack won’t be automatically installed.
  • Under “Language”, you’ll find various options.

  • Only after clicking on “Add a language” does a list open where you can select available languages and keyboard layouts.
  • Click on “Add a language” to open the list of available languages.

  • Your selected language will now appear in the languages list. Now, select “Options” to download the language pack.
  • Windows 8: add new languages and language packs.

  • Click on “Download and install language pack” and confirm by clicking on “Save”.
  • Finish installing a new language pack and close the process. Tip

    You can also change your keyboard layout and add languages through Word. In the “Review” menu, click on “Language” to find your language settings. To obtain the most recent version of the word processing tool, you can download Microsoft 365 with Office directly through IONOS.

    Changing Windows 8 keyboard settings: instructions

    Once you’ve installed one or several languages and their corresponding language packs, you’ll have various options to easily change the Windows 8 keyboard language at any time. Beyond the settings in Word, you can also change your keyboard layout via the taskbar or with the right key combinations.

    To change your settings through the taskbar, follow these steps:

  • Click on the abbreviation of your current keyboard layout (just left of the clock).
  • In the pop-up window, Windows 8 automatically lists the available languages. One click on a language is enough to activate it.
  • If several keyboards have already been installed, you’ll see an abbreviation in the taskbar next to the clock, which stands for the language that’s currently being used. Note

    When selecting a keyboard language with a different layout, it can happen that errors occur when typing passwords, because the letters won’t be in their usual place!

    If you’d rather change the Windows 8 language via key combinations, then you have two options:

    • [Windows] key +space bar: Hold down the [Windows] key and switch between the available languages by repeatedly pressing down the space bar, until you’ve selected your keyboard language of choice.
    • [alt] + [Shift]: Pressing down the [Alt] und [Shift] keys at the same time will prompt Windows 8 to automatically switch to the next keyboard layout in the list. Look at the abbreviation in the bottom corner to see which one has been selected. Repeat this step until you’ve found your target language. Alternatively, you can hold down the [Alt] key and navigate the language list with [Shift], just like with the previous key combinations used to change the Windows 8 language.

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    • 25.08.20
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