Guides Mobiles

Add more languages to Android phones sold in China or select markets

Android Family

Android smartphones sold exclusively in select markets generally do not come with all languages. For example, Nokia smartphones sold in China only feature 3 languages – English, Chinese (simplified) and Chinese (traditional). So, if you buy (or plan to buy) such a phone, we’ll understand how do you add additional languages (locale) to it. However, do note that some stock apps will not change language even when you have added a new locale.

Add Languages to Android phone without Root

It’s great if you happen to have root access on your Android device. Even if you do not, you can add more locale to it by gaining permission through ADB. So, you need to connect your device to the PC or Mac and run a command. The same steps work on all recent versions of Android, including Nougat and Oreo.

  1. Install ADB and Fastboot on your PC. Download link
  2. On your Android phone, enable developer options.
    Open Settings > System> About and tap 8 times on the build number.
  3. Enable USB Debugging by going to Settings > System > Developer Options.
  4. Open Play Store on your phone and install app called MoreLocale 2.
  5. Open MoreLocale app and select the language which you want to add. You can also add a language manually if it does not exist in the list.
  6. At this point, it will show you the Permission Denied error (screenshot below). Tap on Show how to use PM command. The next window will show you the ADB command to run. Set up MoreLocale to add more languages to Android Phone
  7. Connect the phone to your PC. Then open a Command Prompt window and run the following command:
    adb shell pm grant android.permission.CHANGE_CONFIGURATION
  8. Once again try to set the locale on the phone and you’ll see it taking effect immediately. If it still does  not work, then the ADB command is not executed successfully.

Note: Some phones will lose the custom locale upon restart. In such a case, you need to open MoreLocale 2 and set the locale again.The good thing is that you need not do the whole ADB command thing again unless you remove and re-install the app.

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