We need to test i8n for custom pages we have in SharePoint Central administration. It is easy and straightforward to change the language for a site, but central administration seems to be a bit more involved. Potential answers involve:

  1. Detach the server from the farm, uninstall SharePoint from a machine in the farm, re-install SharePoint using the appropriate language pack for testing and attach it to the farm as part of the install. Do this every time you want to test a new language. Unfortunately, this approach does not work for standalone environments.

  2. Run some psconfig commands to make it work. Maybe something like:

    psconfig.exe –cmd adminvs –unprovision
    psconfig.exe –cmd setup –lcid [lcid]
    psconfig.exe –cmd adminvs –provision –port [port]

  3. Blow away the existing SharePoint environment and just install SharePoint again using the appropriate language.

I know that #3 will work, but it's not ideal. #1 probably won't work for us since we use standalone installs for our i8n QA test boxes. I'm hoping that something similar to #2 works, but I really don't know. Maybe that won't work in a standalone environment either.

Note that I'm fine with a solution that works in either SharePoint 2007 or SharePoint 2010. I'd prefer something that works for both.


Make sure the appropriate language packs are installed. Navigate to the central admin DB, open the Webs table and change the id of the language.

For an overview of supported locale IDs see this table.

We use this all the time for testing, works great. See this blog post.

  • Simply awesome! That is the best answer we could have hoped for. After we successfully get this working I'll try remember to leave another comment stating this. – Kirk Liemohn Feb 21 '11 at 19:49
  • Finally got around to testing this. It worked like a charm. The only thing that wasn't entirely clear is that there is both a "Language" field and a "Locale" field that could be changed in the database table. We only changed the "Language" field because that is what the blogs say, but we weren't sure until seeing it work :-). Thanks again! – Kirk Liemohn Mar 29 '11 at 19:07
  • FWIW, we were using SharePoint 2007. I suspect this works with SP2010 as well. – Kirk Liemohn Mar 29 '11 at 19:09

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