How to change to a UK keyboard in Windows 8 or 8.1

In their infinite wisdom Microsoft changed the way you modify the default keyboard in Windows 8 and 8.1

First the EASY way (providing that you already have English UK language loaded)

  • Go to your desktop
  • Press the Windows Key and the Space Bar simultaneously

You will now see any keyboard options that you have loaded


The Windows key/spacebar acts like a toggle so every time you press it will select the next on the list. Press them until the English UK is selected and you will now be in UK mode.

If however you don’t see the English (UK) option or pressing Windows key/Spacebar does nothing, then you will need to add English UK as an option.

  • Open your Control Panel
  • Select Language Settings
  • Click Add Language
  • Select English and then English United Kingdom


  • You will now have English (UK) in your loaded list


  • Click on Options
  • Click Add Input Method
  • Select United Kingdom from the scrolling list


You should now be able to use the Windows Key/Spacebar method to set your keyboard.

Note too that in the main Language window mentioned above you can REMOVE unwanted languages and layout so it may make more sense to remove the US (or other) option to prevent accidentally switching to it at a later date.


Taff Lovesey (Fantasy Author)

About taffybach

Author of the young adult fantasy novel series, The Portal Chronicles, including The Spider Gem and The Shimmering Gate. When not writing and promoting Taff runs a small IT support company, LITES PC based in Bourne UK.
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