How to Reset a Microsoft Keyboard to U.S. English

by Shawn McClain

The keyboard language setting in your Windows Control Panel determines which characters display when you press down on a given key on your keyboard. For example, on the standard U.S. English keyboard layout, the cluster of three keys to the right of the "P" and "L" display the colon, quote and brackets, while those same keys on a German keyboard layout display the three umlat characters. If you are expecting to use the U.S. English input language but Windows is set up for something else, it can be almost impossible to use the keyboard. Switching back to your desired language is just a matter of changing the language setting.

Windows 7 and Vista

Click on the Windows Start button in the lower-left corner of your desktop. Click on "Control Panel" from the list of options that appear.

Click on "Change keyboard or other input methods" under the Clock, Language and Region heading, if your Control Panel is set to use categories. Click on "Region and Language" if your Control Panel is set to use icons.

Select the "Keyboards and Languages" tab, and then click the "Change keyboards" button.

Click on the "US" entry under the "English (United States)" heading on the list of languages that appear. If you do not see that entry, click the "Add" button, then click the plus next to "English (United States)" and click the box next to "US." Click "OK" to set the language.

Click the "Apply" button to change your keyboard to U.S. English.

Windows XP

Click on the "Start" button, then place your cursor in the Run box and type in "intl.cpl." Press "Enter" to open the Regional and Language Options window.

Click the "Languages" tab at the top of the window, then click the "Details" button.

Select the "US" entry under the "English (United States)" heading. If you do not see this entry, click the "Add" button, then choose "English (United States)" from the top drop-down menu and "US" from the bottom drop-down menu, then click "OK."

Click the "Apply" button to reset your keyboard to the U.S. English setting.

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