How To Change Between Languages In Mozilla Firefox

Some of you may prefer to be able to switch between the UI languages of your programs, but sometimes it’s just not at all that easy nor logical to accomplish.

However, keep your hopes intact.

Mozilla offers most of their releases, including language packs at this address: http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/

Steps to install a language pack (you may, to a degree, follow the same steps for a different Mozilla product, like Thunderbird):

  1. Within Mozilla Firefox (assuming English locale), click on the link above.
  2. Choose your product, in this case “firefox”.
  3. Choose whether your version of Firefox is a “nightly” or a stable “release”.
  4. Choose your (closest, if nightly) version of Firefox. You can also go for “latest“.
  5. Choose your machine build, most people with Windows would choose “win32“.
  6. You can either download a whole new localized version of Firefox, or you can find the “xpi” (addons) directory if you want to choose between language packs.
  7. Now choose your language and allow Firefox to install the addon. You will be prompted to restart your browser.
  8. OPTIONAL: If the locale of your browser hasn’t changed by now, you probably need to force it by typing about:config in the address bar, agreeing with the occasional warnings, and adjusting the general.useragent.locale setting. Restart your browser to check the changes.

All this takes a lot of work, don’t you agree? Then why shouldn’t there be an app for this? Of course there is, I just wanted you to know what I had to go through before actually keeping my wits and using Google…

Behold, the Quick Locale Switcher addon for Mozilla Firefox! You will most probably find the same addon for all the other Mozilla products if you’re interested, trust me. Just install it, restart the browser, open the Tools menu, choose your desired locale from the Quick Locale Switcher sub-menu, and do another restart when prompted.

If you miss your language from this menu, then by all means do try adding it by entering Options under the same menu, and checking the desired languages from the list under the tab Locales.

I prefer the last option with the addon, don’t you? Yeah well, at least you now know how to change the UI language of Firefox manually. Oh, by the way, did I mention that the addon not only activates easy peasy locale swapping for the UI, but it also manages the dictionary AND preferred website content language?

Please do explore the Options dialog a bit more, if you’d like to customize it. For example, making it not change the “accept languages header” in order to keep the websites themselves from changing.

Have fun!

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