How to Change your keyboard from American to British English

When it comes to keyboards, there’s different standards that every country abides by; not everyone uses an American English keyboard. If you aren’t used to an American English keyboard layout and much prefer, and feel more comfortable, using a British English keyboard layout, you can change it for several different devices.

Below are various ways of changing your keyboard layout from American English to British English for Windows 10, Windows 7, Apple Mac, Android devices and iOS devices.

Windows 7

1. Locate and open the Windows Start Menu. By default, it’s placed in the bottom left corner of your screen, on the taskbar and next to File Explorer (if it hasn’t been moved). Its icon is the current Windows logo.

Most keyboards come with a dedicated Windows key. Alternatively, you can press it to open the Windows Start Menu.

2. Click the Start Search box and type in “intl.cpl,” without quotations and press the Enter key. This will open a window.

change keyboards

3. Click the Keyboards and Languages tab at the very top of the window.. Afterwards, choose Change keyboards… under “Keyboards and other input languages.”

4. There’s an option to Add near the bottom right corner of the window. Click it and it will launch a window labeled “Add Input Language.”

5. In the new language, you need to locate English (United Kingdom). For you, there will be a small box to checkmark under English (United Kingdom). Under that expand the options for Keyboard. Click United Kingdom. After checkmarking the box, click OK.

select United Kingdom

6. Click United Kingdom under Keyboard and then click OK. Your Windows will now change accordingly.

Windows 10

1. Locate and open the Windows Start Menu. By default, it’s placed in the bottom left corner of your screen, on the taskbar and next to File Explorer (if it hasn’t been moved). Its icon is the current Windows logo.

Most keyboards come with a dedicated Windows key. Alternatively, you can press it to open the Windows Start Menu.

select settings

2. In the Windows Start Menu, on the very left hand side of the menu, you’ll see a few small icons. One of the icons is a gear. That is your Settings. Go ahead and click it. It will prompt a window labeled “Windows Settings.”

Time and language

3. In Windows Settings, locate and click Time & Language. It tends to hang out around the middle of the pack of settings. Its subtitle says “Speech, region, date.”

region & language

4. On the left hand side of the Time & Language menu, there’s a panel with a list of different settings. Click Region & language. It’s between Speech and Data & Time.

select the language options

5. In the menu of Region & language, you’ll see a few categories. Look to Languages. Under Languages, there’s a drop down menu. Clicking it won’t give you any options. First, you have to add English (United Kingdom) to your list. Under Preferred Languages, click Add a language. A small window will appear full of different languages to choose from.

select English (United Kingdom)

6. Narrow down the list of languages by clicking the search bar at the top and typing “United Kingdom.” The first (and only) result you’ll get is “English (United Kingdom).” Go ahead and click English (United Kingdom). Afterwards, click Next.

7. You’ll need a network connection to continue with this step. You have the option of setting the new language as Windows’ display language and, additionally, if you want to download the language for speech functionality. It doesn’t hurt to choose all of them. You are free to switch back and forth. Click Install.

  • The time it takes to download the language pack can vary. Entire language packs tend to run up and over 100 MB.
  • When it’s finished downloading, English (United Kingdom) will show up under Preferred Languages.

select English (United Kingdom)

8. Click English (United Kingdom). The box will expand. Click Options.

9. Under Keyboards, click Add a keyboard. It will expand into a menu. You have several choices for UK-based keyboard styles. For example, there’s UK AZERTY and UK QWERTZ and UK QWERTY. You’ll have to locate the keyboard styles yourself because you can’t narrow down the search with keywords.

make sure English (United Kingdom) is at the top

10. In case the language isn’t changing over, make sure English (United Kingdom) has been placed above other languages listed. Look to the image above for clarity. If English (United States) is placed above English (United Kingdom), then the US-based language will be the dominant language on your computer. Click the language and then click the arrow to move it up.

Android Devices

1. Locate and launch the Settings app. Its icon is a gear. Look for it on one of your home screens or, if not, it should be inside your App Drawer where all currently installed apps are housed.

Or, alternatively, you can reveal your notification shade and open the Settings app from there. Tap your dashboard or tap and swipe down to open it.

2. Keep scrolling down until you locate Language & input. Go ahead and select it.

If you have a Samsung device, you’ll need to locate and select General management first before you can find Languages and input.

select English (United Kingdom)

3. At the top, select Language. Scroll down until you find English (United Kingdom) and select it.

select the keyboard option

4. Select the keyboard you’re using.

This step can vary depending on your keyboard. In the example above, TouchPal was used.

Languages

5. In the keyboard settings, choose Languages.

If you’re using a different keyboard, what you need to look for is an option pertaining to languages. Default keyboards on Androids have this option out of the box.

select English UK

6. Near the bottom, under Available languages, choose English (UK). If it wasn’t downloaded, your keyboard will download the language pack.

You’ll need a network connection to download the language pack or use your cellular data. As always, make sure you’re using a safe and secure network connection.

7. Scroll back up and checkmark the box next to English (UK). Selecting the small gear to the right of it will open keyboard option. You can choose a different layout by selecting 26 key layout.

Mac OS

1. Open the Apple Menu at the top left corner of the screen.

2. Launch System Preferences.

Alternatively, you can locate System Preferences in your Launchpad.

3. In System Preferences, locate and select Keyboard.

4. In Keyboard, click the Input Sources tab at the top of the window.

5. Click the Add icon at the bottom left corner of the window. It will prompt a window. In it, locate English and click it.

6. On the right hand side, locate and click British and then select Add.

7. After British has been added, you can choose British from the list of languages in Input Source and don’t forget to checkmark the box next to Show Input menu in menu bar.

iOS Devices

Changing the Language

1. Locate and launch the Settings app. Its icon is a gear. You’ll find it on one of your home screens.

2. On the left hand panel, locate and select General.

3. In General, select Language & Region.

4. Locate and select iPhone Language. When prompted, choose English (UK). Your device will have to reboot to finalize the changes. In the event that the changes aren’t made, you will have to reset your keyboard dictionary.

5. Launch the Settings app once again.

6. Head back to General and select it.

7. Locate and select Reset. It’s at the bottom.

8. When prompted, select Reset Keyboard Dictionary.

Adding a New Keyboard

1. Locate and launch the Settings app.

2. On the left hand panel, locate and select General.

3. Select Keyboard and then Keyboards.

 

4. Select Add New Keyboard… and choose English (UK) or British.

5. In Keyboards, select Edit.

6. Move English (UK) to the very top. Select Done.