When you change the language of your browser, it will impact every setting and menu within the browser. Whether your friend decided it would be hilarious to make your browser somewhat unreadable, or you’re working with a computer that naturally “speaks a different language,” it’s the best way to get rid of your new linguistic headache.
Before you start, however, it’s important to know that you can only change the default language of Google Chrome if you have a Windows or Chromebook computer, according to Google Support. For Mac and Linux users, the language will automatically show the default system language of the computer.
But there is a work-around, of sorts, for those who rely primarily on their Google account and still need to make their searches legible, which you can see in the last section of this article.
How to change language in Google Chrome
- Open Google Chrome.
- Go to the settings by clicking the three vertical dots at the top right corner of the screen; this will open a new page.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Advanced.”
- Click the down carrot to open the “Languages” section (it will be the second heading you see).
- If your preferred language isn’t already listed, click “Add languages,” which appears highlighted in blue.
- The above pop-up will then appear. This is where you can search for and select your preferred language, which will show up in both the language that you have set as your primary language as well as the native language and spelling. (Some languages also have separate dialects, like Canadian French and Swiss French. If this is the case, select the proper dialect, rather than the plain version of the language — otherwise you may not be able to set it as the default language.) Once you find the right one, click, “Add” in the lower right corner of the pop up.
- Click on the three vertical dots to the right of your preferred language’s name, and select “move to the top” (it’s the first selection that does not have a checkbox) to give that language the highest priority.
- Once you move the language to the top, click the three dots again and click “Display Google Chrome in this language.” (This will be the first checkbox in the series.)
- Restart Chrome (otherwise the changes will not take effect.)
An alternative for Mac and Linux users with a Google account
If you’re unable to change the language in Google Chrome, you can still change the language in your Google account and thereby update your searches to your preferred language. (Just be aware that, unlike the directions above, this alternative will not impact the language of the settings or menus within the browser or your Google account.)
- Open Google Chrome.
- Navigate to the Google search bar.
- Search for something — it doesn’t matter what, you just need to get to a search page.
- Click “Settings,” just below the search bar at the top of the page, then click, “Languages” (it will be the second option in the drop down).
- You will then see a screen that first asks you what language Google products should use — if it isn’t set to your preferred language, go ahead and select the right one. The second part will dictate the language for your search results, and it’s automatically updated to whichever language you chose for the first section, if you changed that. If you would like these to be different, you’d proceed by clicking “Edit” (which appears next to your current search-language selection).
- Click “Save” (this will be the blue button at the bottom right of the screen). The changes you’ve made will then be applied wherever you sign into your Google account, and you will get a notification to that effect.
Once you’ve gone through the process, you will be able to search and read results in the language of your choice, which should make navigating your browser easier. However, it’s important to note that going through this process will not change the language of your Gmail or any of the settings sections in your Google account.