How to Change the Language in Google Chrome

Change the Language on Google Chrome

by | Jan 19, 2024 | Useful Tech

Want to switch Chrome from Spanish to English? Wish you could use Chrome (and browse the web) in Arabic by default? Find out here how to change the language in Google Chrome browser (on the desktop and on mobile devices, for the user interface and for content on websites).

First, a Frenchman Looks at Something Red, Something Yellow, Something Green, and Something Brown

The red, yellow, green and brown are all the same thing in various states, extracted from a curious new piece of red lead discovered some thirty years earlier—during the 1760s—in Siberia.

Abbé Haüy, a mineralogist friend, heard of the colors and suggested a name derived, as tradition and style would have it, from Ancient Greek. Some protesting behind him (the element was a dull grey in its natural state after all), Louis-Nicolas Vauquelin gave in, and the new element became known as chrome (chromium)—from the Greek χρῶμα (chroma), color (from skin and complexion).

Now, you can find the colors in Google Chrome’s skin, and the languages from Greek (albeit not Ancient) to French in its settings:

How to Change the Language in Google Chrome Browser (for Websites and the Interface)

On the Desktop

Time needed: 5 minutes

To change the language used for the Google Chrome interface and the languages used for websites you visit in Chrome:

  1. Click the three-dots Google Chrome menu (Customize and control Google Chrome) button in the toolbar.

  2. Select Settings from the menu that has appeared.

    Google Chrome keyboard shortcut: On a Mac, you can press Command , (comma) to open the Settings page.

  3. Now open the Languages category.

    Google Chrome shortcut: Visit chrome://settings/languages to open the language settings page.
    No “Languages”: If you do not see Languages initially, click Advanced to reveal it.

  4. Pick the language for the Google Chrome interface under Preferred Languages:

    – Click the three dots menu icon next to the language you want to use for Google Chrome.
    – Select Display Google Chrome in this language from the context menu that has appeared.
    – Click Relaunch to restart Google Chrome with the new language enabled.
    Current user interface language: Google Chrome shows This language is used to display the Google Chrome UI for the language variant currently used for its interface.
    Language not listed: The language you want to use is not listed? See below for adding new languages or language variants to Google Chrome.
    On a Mac: Under macOS; Google Chrome always uses the system interface language (which, of course, you an change easily).
    Using Linux: Under Linux, too, Google Chrome will use the default system language for its interface; how this is set depends, alas, on the distribution.
    Change the language for the Google Chrome interface on Windows and Chromebook

  5. Order languages for web sites by preference:

    – Click the three dots menu icon next to the language you want to be the default choice for website content.
    – Select Move to the top from the context menu that has appeared (unless, of course, the language was already on top).
    – Use Move up and Move down to arrange further languages in the order of your preference.
    Missing language: If a language is not in the list, you can usually add it easily; see below.

Launch Chrome with a Particular Language on Linux

To start Google Chrome with a different interface language for a particular session:

  • Launch it using LANG=<language code>; google-chrome from the command line or an application launcher.
    Language code: Replace <language code> with the 2- or 4-letter ISO 639-1 language code for the desired language (and country).
    Examples: LANG=es_EC; google-chrome will launch Chrome in Ecuadorian Spanish; LANG=en; google-chrome will launch it using the default English for the system.

Under Android and iOS

To change the languages used to display websites in Google Chrome on Android and iOS:

  1. Tap the three dots menu item in Google Chrome.
  2. Select Settings from the menu that has appeared.
  3. Tap Languages.
  4. Now tap Edit.
  5. Drag and drop the languages into the order you desire (most preferred on top).
    Missing language: See below for adding languages. (You cannot do it while reordering.)
  6. Tap Done.
  7. Tap Done again.

How to Add a Language to Google Chrome

On the Desktop

To add a new language to Google Chrome’s list of possible choices for interface and web content on the desktop:

  1. Open Google Chrome language settings. (See above.)
  2. Click Add languages under Language.
  3. Use Search languages to find the desired tongue.
    Countries, not just languages: You can search for country names (in both English and in their native tongue) in addition to languages and dialects.
  4. Check all languages you want to add.
  5. Click Add.
    To the top: Google Chrome will add the new language to the bottom of the existing list. You can promote it from there and make it the interface language as well, of course.

In Google Chrome for Android or iOS

To add a language to Google Chrome:

  1. Open the language settings in the Google Chrome app for Android or iOS.
  2. Select Add Language….
  3. Use the Search field to find the desired language or dialect.
    Location: You can also search by country in addition to language.
  4. Tap the desired language.

How to Change the Language in Google Chrome Browser: FAQ

Will Chrome browser languages synchronize between computers?


Google Chrome will keep the same list of languages in the same order on all installations that synchronize with your Google account (with settings synchronization enabled).

Can I rearrange the list of languages using dragging and dropping?


To change the order of preference for languages, you need to rely on the context menu.

When does language preference become active? Do I have to restart Chrome?

The new list of preferred languages is effective immediately for all pages you visit. You do not have to restart Google Chrome.

Do all sites respect browser language preferences?

Alas, no.

Many websites are available in one language only, and those that offer more than one language offer a variety of choosing among them:

  • browser preference
  • different top-level domains
  • drop-down language menus
  • different URL prefixes
  • etc.

(How to change the browser language tested with Google Chrome 103–120 and Google Chrome for iOS; updated January 2024)

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