How to change the keyboard language on your Android phone or tablet using the Gboard app or Settings

JKstock/ShutterstockIt’s easy to change languages on your Android’s keyboard.
  • You can change the keyboard language on your Android from your phone’s Settings app, or directly through the Gboard app.
  • To add a language to your Android’s Gboard keyboard, you can access your phone’s Settings, and adjust your “Virtual Keyboard” defaults through the “Languages & input” menu.
  • You can also add keyboard languages by bringing up your keyboard in an app and pressing the gear icon to access your Language settings.
  • When using your Android, you can change or switch out which language your Gboard keyboard uses through two quick shortcuts.
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If you’re multilingual, and the standard English keyboard isn’t the only one you want to use when typing on your Android phone, good news – Gboard, Google’s keyboard app, allows you to easily add languages and switch between language keyboards as you type.

When you add a new keyboard language, Gboard allows you to choose how it looks, and whether you want it to be your primary or secondary language. Once it’s added, you can swap back and forth with just a couple of taps.

You can change your keyboard language settings from your Android device’s settings menu, your Gboard app settings, or directly on your Gboard using the space bar or emoji keyboard. However, before you can add or change any keyboard language on Android, you will have to first add or activate a new language on Gboard.

Because you’re technically changing the default language through a third-party app, switching or adding languages to your keyboard does nothing to affect your phone’s general language settings. That makes this method perfect for new language learners.

Here’s how to change the keyboard language on Android.

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How to add a language to your Gboard on Android

1. Open Settings on your Android.

2. From the settings menu, select “System.”

Melanie Weir/Business InsiderTap System on the settings menu.

3. Under System tap “Languages & input.”

Melanie Weir/Business InsiderTap ‘Languages & input.’

4. In the “Languages & input” menu choose “Virtual keyboard.”

Melanie Weir/Business InsiderTap ‘Virtual keyboard.’

5. In the Virtual keyboard menu tap “Gboard.”

Melanie Weir/Business InsiderTap ‘Gboard.’

6. Tap “Languages.”

Melanie Weir/Business InsiderTap ‘Languages.’

7. At the bottom of the Languages menu tap the “Add Keyboard” option to activate a new language keyboard.

Melanie Weir/Business InsiderTap ‘Add Keyboard.’

8. Choose the language you wish to add.

Melanie Weir/Business InsiderChoose the language you want.

9. Select the keyboard display you would like before adjusting other language settings and tapping “Done.”

Melanie Weir/Business InsiderAdjust keyboard settings, then tap ‘Done.’

How to change your keyboard language through the Gboard app spacebar

1. Open an app that requires your keyboard.

2. Press and hold on the spacebar and wait for the “Change Langage” window to appear.

3. Select the language keyboard you want to use from the pop-up menu that appears.

Melanie Weir/Business InsiderTo switch languages from any app, press and hold on the spacebar to bring up a language menu.

How to swap your emoji keyboard for your language keyboard in the Gboard app

1. On your keyboard, press and hold down on the comma in the lower-left corner.

2. Tap the Settings “gear” icon that appears directly above.

Melanie Weir/Business InsiderPress and hold on the comma key, then tap the settings icon that appears.

3. From the “Gboard Settings” menu, select “Preferences.”

Melanie Weir/Business InsiderTap ‘Preferences.’

4. In the “Preferences” menu, toggle “Show language switch key” to the on position.

Melanie Weir/Business InsiderToggle ‘Show language switch key’ to On.

5. If the “Show language switch” key is greyed out, it’s because you have the emoji switch key activated. Toggle that one off in order to turn the language switch feature.

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