How to change Regional Settings for all users on a computer

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Hello AskPerf!  Harshad Joshi here from the Performance team.  Today we are going to talk about changing the “Region and Language” settings for all users at once.  Typically, you change these settings on a per user basis.  Well, we had a customer call in asking how they could change these settings for all users/computers on their domain.  After a little digging, we walked him through the following actions of using Group Policy Preferences to push out the required settings to these machines:

For this example, we will use the “English (Canada)” format, and link this policy to all computers in the domain.



To use Group Policy Preferences (GPP), a Domain controller running Windows Server 2008 or windows Server 2008 R2 OS is required.  For Windows 2003 Servers, you can use the GPP Client Side Extensions per KB943729.

Steps Overview

1. Launch Group Policy Management Console (gmpc.msc)

2. Right click Default Domain Policy and select Edit to open Group Policy Management Editor

3. In Group Policy Management Editor, navigate to Computer Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Registry:


4. Right Click on Registry > New > Collection Item

5. Give your collection a name

6. Right Click on this Registry Item > New > Registry Wizard

7. Select Local Computer and click Next

8. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Control Panel > International

9. Select the below registry items under this registry key:

  • Locale
  • LocaleName
  • sCountry
  • sLanguage
  • sLongDate
  • iCountry
  • iDate
  • iMeasure
  • iNeggCurr

You’ll see something similar to the following:


Link this to the Default Domain Policy.  Your computers will receive these changes the next time they update their policies.

Additional Resources

-Harshad Joshi

How to change Regional Settings for all users on a computer

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  • Is there a reason why you did not used the built-in function in GPP to set Regional Options under Preferences \ Control Panel Settings?

  • Did you really mean to use Computer Preferences to set a User registry key? That doesn't seem right.

  • How about changing regional settings and language to chiness for just one user on a computer that is used by other non speaking chinese folks?

  • is this also applicable to change russian language into english in Windows 7 home edition?

  • I cannot make it working and not sure how is it possible to get HKCU settings applied via a computer policy?

    Doesnt sound right anyone tried?

  • @Dave - You won't get a default option to define these settings under Control Panel Settings.

    @NeilB - Right. This should be implemented under User Configuration. That was a typo.

    @Josh - You can always do that! You will need to create a different template and apply on a separate OU for that.

  • How do I set system locale to slovakia & user locale to english in windows xp. This was possible in windows 2000, but I am not able to find any settings for Windows XP in Regional Settings.

  • hi, Harshad Joshi

    Sorry, but nothing happens when I made as you said. I restart domain; pc; use gpupdate; and nothing happens. I changed registry action option from update to replace but still nothing. My DC running on W2008 R2. All domain users data in regional still the same.. What I did wrong? Any offers?

  • This doens't work. Better to use Preferences in user section and filter per OS.

  • This did not work for English settings where I wanted to override American dates. (I had assumed that sDate was inherited from iDate in the article). Instead, I created the GPO to select everything under the International key.

  • Setting the preferences for both user and computer updates the values correctly

  • Here is another option using the GPP User Preferences: