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How do I change the display language of the MATLAB UI in Windows 7?

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My MATLAB desktop environment (in Windows 7) is displaying the UI elements in Chinese and I would like them in English. How do I display the UI in English?

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 9 Apr 2015
In Windows 7, MATLAB displays its UI elements according to the system language, defined as the "system locale" (i.e. if the computer's system locale is Chinese, then MATLAB will display a Chinese UI). MATLAB "decides" to translate the GUI from the default language, English, to the system language when it launches. MATLAB can be kept from translating to the system language if the user defines an environment variable that blocks the translation. The environment variable is called MWLOCALE_TRANSLATED and can be defined as follows:
  1. Click into "Control Panel". From there, select "System and Security", then select "System". In the left-hand menu bar, select "Advanced system settings". A small window with the title "System Properties" should pop up.
  2. Click the "Environment Variables…" button under the "Advanced" tab. Another window, entitled "Environment Variables", will display.
  3. Click the "New…" button under "System variables" text box. In "Variable name", enter "MWLOCALE_TRANSLATED" and in "Variable value", enter "OFF". Click "OK" out of the "New System Variable", "Environment Variables", and "System Properties" window.
Setting MWLOCALE_TRANSLATED to "ON" will translate the UI to match the system locale; setting it to "OFF" will display the UI in the default language, English. 


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Scott S
Scott S on 9 Jun 2016
Creating an Environment Variable does not solve this problem...what's next?
JASON LEI on 9 Mar 2017
If your matlab version is 2015 above, I suppose you can switch it easily in the preference window. Go preference->General->Desktop Language (in the right section) then you can switch the language. In the 2014a and 2014b version, it will work if you follow the step by setting the environment variables.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 6 Dec 2017
In R2017b on OS-X, with my system set to en-CA, there is no preferences->General->Desktop Language.

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More Answers (2)

xulan wang
xulan wang on 6 Dec 2017
I am using version 2017b, and my system language is Chinese. In this version, it can be easily solved by clicking preference(预设)--> Help(帮助)--> Language, and select the language that you want.


Hazem on 29 Jun 2018
It only changes the help language. I suppose the question was about changing the interface language

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Andrey Porokhnyuk
Andrey Porokhnyuk on 21 Jan 2020
Edited: Andrey Porokhnyuk on 21 Jan 2020
I got the same problem in Matlab R2019b @ Windows 7 x64.
MWLOCALE_TRANSLATED =OFF does not work. (the old information should be erased from Q&A)
switching 環境->設定->コマンドウィンドウ->ロケール to en_US
does not effect anything.
The option was hidden in 一般...
It was written in JAPANESE! Now think about it: how can a user not familiar with Japanese switch it to English, when it is writen as "デスクトップ言語:英語" and hidden below all the other options. This is the first thing I see when starting the software, it should be on TOP, written in big red LATIN letters! And what is デスクトップ?Luckily, I know some Japanese, and it is called ユーザインターフェース(UI), so it took more than a hour searching for a solution.


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