How to change your Gmail language settings to read or compose in another language on a computer or mobile device

Estelle Sidler

© Jarretera/Shutterstock You can change your display and composition language on the Gmail desktop site, or just the display language on the Gmail app. Jarretera/Shutterstock You can change Gmail’s display language, and in some instances, the message composition language on the desktop site and the Gmail app for iPhone and […]



a close up of text on a white background: You can change your display and composition language on the Gmail desktop site, or just the display language on the Gmail app. Jarretera/Shutterstock


© Jarretera/Shutterstock
You can change your display and composition language on the Gmail desktop site, or just the display language on the Gmail app. Jarretera/Shutterstock

  • You can change Gmail’s display language, and in some instances, the message composition language on the desktop site and the Gmail app for iPhone and Android.
  • Gmail’s desktop site allows you to type in different languages using special keyboards and input tools.
  • To change your Gmail app display language on an Android or iPhone device, you’ll need to update your phone’s general language settings.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

As one of the most used email clients in the world, it makes sense that Gmail would be equipped to handle non-English language or multilingual users. 

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In addition to reading your Gmail display in another language, Google offers several text input tools that allow users to type in their desired language (like Hindi, Arabic, Chinese) more easily. These can be accessed and updated with just a few tweaks in your email settings on the desktop site, but aren’t available in the Gmail app.

The process of updating your Gmail inbox to read messages in your preferred language will differ depending on what device you’re using. 

Gmail lets you update directly from your inbox while on the desktop site. However, app users will have to go into their device’s language settings menu and edit there. This will effectively change the language of all the apps on your phone, so make sure it’s what you want. 

Here’s how to change languages using Gmail’s desktop site and mobile apps.

How to change your Gmail display language on a computer

1. On your computer, go to your Gmail inbox.

2. In the top right corner, click the Settings icon

3. Click “See all settings.”



a screenshot of a computer: A window for your Quick Settings will appear on the right of your Gmail inbox. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider


© Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider
A window for your Quick Settings will appear on the right of your Gmail inbox. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider

4. Navigate to the “General” tab.

5. In the “Language” section, choose your preferred display language by clicking the dropdown menu.



a screenshot of a cell phone: You can access the dropdown directly on the Gmail settings page under the General tab and Language section. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider


© Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider
You can access the dropdown directly on the Gmail settings page under the General tab and Language section. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider

6. Once a language has been selected, scroll down, and click “Save Changes.”

How to change your Gmail display language on an iPhone

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap “General.”



a screenshot of a cell phone: You can find the General menu three sections down in your Settings app. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider


© Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider
You can find the General menu three sections down in your Settings app. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider

3. Select “Language & Region.”



a screenshot of a cell phone: You can find this option among the fonts, keyboard, and date & time options. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider


© Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider
You can find this option among the fonts, keyboard, and date & time options. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider

4. Choose “iPhone Language” and select your preferred language from the menu.

5. Tap your preferred language on the list and drag it to the top.



a screenshot of a cell phone: You can search for a language or scroll through the list of available options. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider


© Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider
You can search for a language or scroll through the list of available options. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider

How to change your Gmail display language on an Android

1. Open your phone’s Settings app.

2. Tap “General Management.”

3. Choose “Language & Input.”

4. Select “Language.”

5. Tap your preferred language on the list and drag it to the top.

How to type in another language in Gmail on a computer

1. On your computer, go to your Gmail inbox. 

2. In the top right corner, click the Settings icon. 

3. Select “See all settings.”

4. Navigate to the “General” tab.



a screenshot of a map: The General tab is the default option when you open Gmail's settings. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider


© Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider
The General tab is the default option when you open Gmail’s settings. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider

5. In the “Language” section, choose “Show all language options.”

6. Click the box next to “Enable input tools.”



a screenshot of a cell phone: If you don't click this box, you won't be able to compose in a Gmail in other languages. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider


© Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider
If you don’t click this box, you won’t be able to compose in a Gmail in other languages. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider

7. Select the types of input tools and keyboards you want to use by clicking to select them, then clicking the arrow to move them to the “Selected input tools” box. Double-clicking on an input tool will also move it to the “Selected input tools” box. 



a screenshot of a cell phone: You can select a tool and click the arrow or double-click on an input tool to move it to the "Selected input tools" box. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider


© Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider
You can select a tool and click the arrow or double-click on an input tool to move it to the “Selected input tools” box. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider

8. Choose “OK” when finished.

9. Scroll down and select “Save Changes.”

10. To use the input tools and keyboards you selected, go back to your Gmail inbox.

11. At the top right of the screen near the Settings icon, click the language icon. 

12. Click on the characters you wish to use when composing an email.



a screenshot of a computer: You can use the keyboard to compose Gmail messages in various languages. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider


© Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider
You can use the keyboard to compose Gmail messages in various languages. Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider

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