Local laptop with English keyboard/OS?

Key stickers tend to get a bit nasty after awhile.

Install Ubuntu or Pop OS and you will never worry about seeing a single Hanji if you don’t wish to see it.

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Windows 10/11 seems to detect your location and automatically set the language to that, regardless of what your actual language setting is.

I bought a laptop recently and changed it to English. No remnants of Chinese anywhere. The only thing that MAY be in Chinese when purchasing a new laptop is any preinstalled software that you can uninstall.

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No. Just no.


Well, I download windows 10 installation file, from microsoft US site, and everything is in English until I input the serial number, then magically, whenever I “log out”, it switches to Chinese. It may be your language preference but as soon as you reboot, update, or do anything outside of your user sphere, it defaults to whatever language your location is, or the location of the serial number.

I don’t really know how to change its “master” language to English.

That’s what I would be afraid of as well. It’s KISS, but likely not the most professional choice. One TW friend did this after buying a German laptop and it was fine even after years - but probably very dependent on the quality of the stickers.

The more professional choice would be what @meishijia mentioned: replace key caps. The 100% professional way was mentioned by @Marco : Replace the complete Keyboard. In most laptops it’s cheap and trivial to do by oneself. Just need to find the related disassembly video to understand where to unlock it.

Maybe the stickers can help over the time until the keyboard has been ordered and shipped ^^

PS: It was mentioned somewhere that notebook bought abroad can be significantly cheaper, including shipping. So maybe still doing that would be 2 birds with one stone…


external keyboard with English letters from home country. plug it in. job done.

Granted i am a simpleton. But Gigabyte: all english keyboard (even caps) but with mandarin alphabet under some keys. No actual characters alt ctrl, num, print screen, esc etc all english and same layout as US. Starting up, select english and all good. We installed the mandarin packs after, you dont need to.

Made in taiwan (not china), good warranty, friendly service, 30,000nt.


Wow, this thread has taken on a life of its own!

Yeah, you just wait. It’s there. Sometime in the future, you’ll be trying to solve some problem, like driver incompatibility or something, and you’ll click some obscure corner of Windows, and it will be there … lurking in the shadows. Some little pop-up window or menu will be mostly or completely in Chinese. End of the world? No, but if that’s not what you want, then …

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I’m a technologist, computer repairman, Localisation marketing manager for a tech company with relationships with some of the most famous tech channels on YouTube. I not only do computer repairs, but even board level repair. My laptop is 6 months old running the stock OS and used it extensively during my WFH trip to Canada to maintain relationships with computer stores. That’s on top of my experience running sales and repair in a computer store for 8 years. It’s literally my job to know this stuff.

I think I know what I am talking about.

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Agree with Marco: If you install Win10 new from non-mandarin installation media there is no chance you’ll ever run into any mandarin stuff. Ever.

It is actually technically impossible. Let me try to explain what I learned (also as part of my job deep in IT at a top Computer manufacturer):

  1. If your computer came with a legal pre-installed Win10, then the “legality” of your installation is saved in a certain UEFI (BIOS) area, together with information saved on Microsoft servers

  2. When you install Win10, it will check over the Internet if it is legal: If the marker in the BIOS, the hardware of the PC, and the saved info on the Microsoft server match then everything is OK

  3. Win10 can be installed from many different official installation media, all of which are available to end customers directly from Microsoft

  4. If you completely wipe the data on your PC storage and then use a non-Mandarin installation media to do a fresh install - There is no way from where some mandarin might creep onto your storage and then be displayed on your screen.

As someone already mentioned, changing an existing Win10 installation from Mandarin to English display language is easy, and mostly works. But then you indeed still have mandarin stuff lurking on your storage, and might occasionally run into it.

Even today’s notebooks. When you turn it on for the first time, it gives you a choice and installs CLEANLY what you want.


Try Costco, some models they sell have a keyboard with only English characters.

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Apple sells US keyboards for both laptops and as accessories to iPads and computers. Like with MS, the OS is the same regardless of the hardware.

That above (edit: is the scenario that I’ve been talking about all along; a good description, not something I’m refuting).

More info is usually good, so don’t let me stop anyone from adding more or feeling their feelings, but as the OP, I’ll just mention that the thread has gotten off topic. My original question, and premise, involved starting with a Windows computer that was already and originally set up to be used in Chinese. Any other scenario, while maybe interesting, doesn’t apply.

Hmmm… I wonder if maybe we have a misunderstanding here? The main point of the “off-topic” part was that a “computer that was already and originally set up to be used in Chinese” is trivial to move to 100% genuine English - by a simple reinstall from legal and common resources. All you need is a USB stick and 1 hour time or so.

I hoped that would cover your original question by ensuring you that “English OS” is not necessary to look for. Any laptop you buy here will do, with no chance whatsoever for surprise sporadic Mandarin.

Thus, only the keyboard question seems to remain. And I hope also for that you have lots of options now.

Good luck with your buying :slight_smile:

ASUS stores will even do this for you. At no cost. They did it for me when I got a new laptop a month ago.

If ASUS will do it I’m sure all the major brands will do it. And especially if you go to a mom and pop computer store they will change the OS for you.

Gives me a headache just glancing at it.

@Brianjones any thoughts? Haha. Just kidding :slight_smile:

Marco, what about what kido said about some random weird shit happening and it pops up in chinese?. Granted i am a tech moron, but this has actually happened to me before as well. Not that it being in english would of helped me fix it, but at least i could know better than to say “ok/accept” on some random stuff i have zero clue about.

@Kido if the answer to your question is a simple one ,one might argue one wouldnt need to ask in the frst place. Evolving and brainstorming is what forums (online or physical) exist for. Otherwise its just masturbation and kitty videos everywhere. God forbid, thats tiktok but everywhere and people thinking it is important. We should be expecting such outside the box thoughts from random people with vastly different backgrounds and experiences :slight_smile:

This is not the case with Windows 10 or 11 and has not been the case for 8 years. When you set up your PC for the first time, Windows writes everything cleanly.

If you change your language AFTER setup. You may have remnants of the old language, especially with established user accounts.