I've been searching for a solution to this problem for days.
I recently ordered a Dell Latitude E7240 from Amazon Germany (not the best idea in retrospect). When it arrived, I discovered that the entire operating system (Windows menus, icons, commands) was set to German (duh). I don't speak German. I've already tried changing the language settings in the control panel. No luck.
I've heard various recommendations from a total system restore to reset the language (didn't work) to purchasing Windows ultimate (I currently have pro).
What is the real solution here? How can it be so hard to change the language of this computer? It doesn't help, of course, that all the commands and menus are in German. I've not seen one, step by step solution to this issue.
Any help is much appreciated.
If you are using Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise editions, you can easily change between German and English language settings. However, you will have to install the English language pack to proceed. This is accomplished only through the Windows upgrade menu. If you do not have the Ultimate or Enterprise edition, you will be unable to change from German to English languages unless you purchase and install an upgrade to one of those editions.
I believe (but have never verified) that Windows product keys transfer to other languages, so if you were to download an English language version of Windows 7, which you can do directly from Microsoft here, and perform a clean reinstall using that media, it will activate just fine and then you'd be on a fully English version. The language pack option that Jesse mentioned should work too, but only if you have a Pro version or better, and I'm not sure even the language pack is as comprehensive as having the Windows version for your desired language, but again I've never tried this personally.
And just to simplify things for you if you decide to reinstall Windows 7, below are the updates I would recommend downloading beforehand and then installing offline before you even start in on Windows Update. If you just try to run Windows Update after installing Win7 SP1, it can get stuck for literally hours just trying to figure out what updates it needs to download, and then you'll still have several hundred updates to install over many restarts. Grabbing the updates below cuts through a lot of that. The updates below must be installed in the sequence listed below. I would post direct links, since including multiple links in a single post tends to get the post held for moderator approval, which can take a while to come, so you can just Google the names/KB numbers below to find the download pages from Microsoft:
- KB3020369: April 2015 Servicing Stack Update (required to install subsequent updates)
- KB3125574: Windows 7 Convenience Update (takes you from SP1's February 2011 state all the way to April 2016 in one big package rather than hundreds of individual updates)
- KB3172605: July 2016 Update Rollup (includes the fix for very long Windows Update scan times, so after installing this, you may still have a few dozen updates, but at least you won't be waiting potentially hours for them to even start downloading).
You will need to download the Dell Windows 7 Pro Skylake Reinstallation .iso and manually clean install:
For Windows 7 only Ultimate has the option to change the language using a language pack.
Windows 7 language packs are ONLY available for computers that are running Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 7 Enterprise to change Language. These language packs are not available on the Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) server or through the Microsoft Download Center.
There is no solution only clean install with specific language.