Guides Mobiles

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

Android smartphones sold exclusively in select markets generally do not include all display languages. For example, Nokia smartphones sold in China only feature 3 languages – English, Chinese (simplified), and Chinese (traditional). So, if you have bought (or plan to buy) such a phone, here’s how to add additional languages (locale). However, note that some stock apps (pre-installed system apps) will not change language even when you add a new locale.

Add More Languages to Android Phones Without Root

It’s great if you have root access on your Android device. Even if you do not, you can add more locale to it by granting 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, Pie, Android 10, 11, 12, and Android 13 & 14.

  1. Download Platform Tools (ADB and Fastboot) on your PC. Download link
  2. On your Android phone, enable developer options.
    • Android 10: Open Settings > System> About and tap 8 times on the build number.
    • Android 11+: Open Settings > About phone and tap 8 times on the build number.
  3. Enable USB Debugging by going to Settings > System > Developer Options.
  4. Open the Play Store on your phone and install the app called MoreLocale 2.
    You can also click here to open the Play Store page for the app.
  5. Open the 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 Required prompt (screenshot below). Tap on Use PM Command. The next window will show you the ADB command to run.
    Set up MoreLocale app using ADB command
  7. Connect the phone to your PC. Then open a Powershell or Command Prompt window in your ADB and Fastboot folder (downloaded in step 1) and run the following command:
    adb shell pm grant android.permission.CHANGE_CONFIGURATION
  8. Ensure that the command completes without any errors. The MoreLocale app on the phone will show a toast notification saying, “Permission is granted“.
    Grant permissions to MoreLocale to add a language
  9. Once again, try to set the locale/language on the phone, and you’ll see it taking effect immediately. The ADB command is not executed successfully if it still does not work. You must rerun the command.

Note: Some phones will lose the custom locale upon restart. In such a case, you can make the change permanent by adding one more language to the list of languages and then setting it as the primary language. Now, once again, set the new custom local as default by dragging it to the first place.

Please Share your valuable feedback about whether the guide worked for you in the comments below. Your comments will help in keeping the guide more up-to-date and accurate.

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