I've got a Windows Server 2008 R2 domain with a number of Windows 7 workstations attached. These workstations could be anywhere in the world and are used as kiosk-like devices, so each workstation is always logged in with the same user account.

I'm therefore looking to find a way to set the language of these workstations to be dependent on a property in the AD, be that an OU or some other property. So, for example, a workstation that is based in Italy will have it's default language/locale/regional set to be Italian.

What's the best way of achieving this, both in terms of defining what language each workstation should default to, and actually enforcing that as policy?

  • 4
    You realize that changing the language settings changes the input language for input devices but doesn't actually change the language of the OS, right? If you installed an English version of Windows then the OS language is English, regardless of the input language setting. The OS (menus, dialog boxes, etc.) will be in English.
    – joeqwerty
    Aug 9 '11 at 13:56
  • Good point. See comment below - any ideas how to deploy language packs using WSUS?
    – growse
    Aug 9 '11 at 15:02
  • It looks like you can't, according to this KB: support.microsoft.com/kb/972813
    – joeqwerty
    Aug 9 '11 at 15:08
  • What about Microsoft Office applications, do you need to deploy using the .ADMX? Oct 22 '20 at 12:32

This is a User config, you needed to have this apply to your environment based on the computer, not the user, so you'll need to set the Group Policy loopback processing. That is found under:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Group Policy > User Group Policy Loopback Processing Mode 

To set the policy for language and regional settings. In the console tree under User Configuration > Preferences > Control Panel Settings. Right-click the Regional Options > New > Regional Options


To answer your second question about enforcing. I would create an OU for your Kiosk workstations. Under that I would create an OU for each Region. I would put each of your workstations in the specific region container. That way you can apply group policy settings to your Kiosk OU and it will apply to the Region OU as well. Then you can manage each of the regional options inside your Region OU

  • This looks like it would work quite well. Do you know how I can deploy the Windows 7 language packs using WSUS?
    – growse
    Aug 9 '11 at 15:01
  • 1
    @growse That would need to be addressed in an additional question :)
    – Nixphoe
    Aug 9 '11 at 15:03

Group policy should be able to set you up with that. You can places the workstations in OUs based on locale, then attach a GP to each one. Look under User Configuration > Preferences > Control Panel Settings > Regional Options. Once there, on the right side, select More Actions > New > Regional Settings and you can set the options there for language, numbers, currency, etc.

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