Turn off the Language Bar

One annoying feature of XP is the Language Bar. This is the little toolbar that opens at the bottom of your screen and has no apparent purpose (Microsoft Windows XP - What is the Language bar?). Since it takes up valuable space on the Taskbar I want to close it. I do this very often because I am constantly installing fresh copies of Windows to test the daily builds of Visual Studio 2005. And When I am not flattening my own boxes I log onto terminal server machines that get  automatically refreshed with the latest build each week. The first thing I do when I log onto a new machine is turn off the language bar by right-clicking on the taskbar and unchecking the Language Bar. I didn't really give it much thought after that, but I started to notice that it would come back. At first I thought I was losing my mind and I couldn't remember which machines I turned it off and which ones I hadn't. I started to pay closer attention and sure enough it would turn itself back on. I am not entirely sure what the trigger is to get this "feature" but it was annoying. Not so annoying though that I did anything other than grumble about it every time I turned it off. Finally today the right alignment of the planets, free time and annoyance level all synced up and I went looking for an answer. I found a KB article that describes how to turn it off permanently. You can read the article for details and background or follow the steps below. http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;306993&sd=tech

To close the Language bar (using Classic view in Control Panel):

1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Regional and Language Options.
2. On the Languages tab, under Text services and input languages, click Details.
3. Under Preferences, click Language Bar.
4. Deselect the Show the Language bar on the desktop check box.
Comments (65)

Cancel reply

  1. Toffer says:

    Thanks…I’ve had the same problem but just haven’t hit the point where I’d go look for a solution yet. hehehe.

  2. mark says:

    No apparent purpose? You could start by reading the article you linked to in your post for its purpose. It has one if you deal with multiple languages.

  3. Paul Stubbs says:

    I linked to the article becasue I did read it and don’t use multiple languages which is why it serves no apparent purpose for me.

  4. TonyD says:

    I’m so glad that I’m not the only one to suffer from language bar insanity. I’m constantly working with newly built machines, and that things drives me nuts. Whose idea was it to make a specialized tool so hard to turn off?

  5. your name says:

    you rule! i hate that stupid thing

  6. Shaun says:

    THANKS =) I remember finding a fix for this in windows 2000 – it was much more difficult to remove – involving the registry and other areas of windows – thankfully, they smartened up in XP and made it somewhat simple to disable. And thankfully you wrote this snippet to guide me through it =)

  7. Big Jim Bob says:

    Thank you! This thing drove me nuts! How aggrevating.

  8. Net7 says:

    Thanks much! This thing was annoying me also.

  9. Have tried for months to figure out how to turn this off, now I’m a happy camper. I too only read & speak one language, don’t think I need this annoyance. Well it runs no longer !

    Thanx R. Beswick

  10. vitta says:

    very helpful…


  11. dj says:

    Death to the language bar!

  12. Johnny Rocker says:

    you want to know what blows…. if you go to the regional settings and change your language from say English(United States) to English(Canada) that flippin check box rechecks itself ARG!

  13. wildflavah says:

    what a relief. thanks dude

  14. Xanatos says:

    Have any one of you find a solution to disable the Language-Bar by Script or GPO or other things not to do it by hand ?

  15. TodWulff says:

    Too funny.  Your solution was much easier than the Technet site’s recommendations.  I suspect that MS’ guidance is quite a bit more invasive, as it totally prevents the service from running.  At any rate, thanks for the guidance.

    See: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;282599#XSLTH3124121122120121120120


  16. r2K says:

    thanks for the tip..i too, dealt with the same issues you did(turning it off, only to have it back on, and thinking i was going insane as if i never turned it off) Keep up the good work

  17. Andy Hirst says:

    Absolutley spot on advice, thanks

  18. Michael Proctor says:

    Just wish on a terminal server this could be turned off using HKLM seems that the setting is in HKCU instead meaning each user has to have access to control panel to turn this feature off or administrator logging into each user

  19. moransa says:

    Thanks, I almost reinstalled.  POS.  

  20. Remo says:

    Any way to make the change to the Default user’s profile?  I’m a little new at all this "guts of the OS" stuff.  I image several PCs a day and would like to update my images with the language bar off.

  21. Nice.  For some reason, if I just go into Control Panel | Regional and Language Settings  and play around with any values (without applying!) this option gets set.  Good thing I found this to turn it off again.

  22. Ditto – why have the toolbar option if it doesn’t work, i.e. overridden by the OS everytime – like DUH!

  23. HyperX says:

    THANKYOU that thing had been annoying me for ages i was just about ready to get a big black permanant marker and colour in my screen over it it was so damn annoying

  24. Mitch says:

    Thanks, the language bar just started appearing out of nowhere, i would shut it off and restart and it would be back!!  it was so dang annoying

  25. Thanks very much.  I never thought about exploring all those sub-menus in Windows. I think I may.  I feel like I’ve found peace.  You are definitely in my thoughts and prayers.  


  26. DRB says:

    That miserable thing was becoming an ever-increasing source of stress.  Thank you for stopping the madness.

  27. BargwannII says:

    I did all this and I still get the language bar showing through on my Terminal Server/Citrix environment.  I think it is a through back because the change where not made before TS was installed.  Can any shed any light becsue i really do not want to rebuild any of the servers that I already have.

  28. Alfred Lopez says:


    Finally. This is great. Thanks pstubbs! That language bar is not life threatening but annoying as all get out.


  29. SteveCampsOut says:

    Thank You! This feature used to stay turned off when you rebooted but no more. Now with this fix I hope to see it gone forever next time I reboot the XP machine!

  30. Joone N says:

    I LOVE YOU!!!! I hate that damn Lang Bar. Thanks for the help!!!

  31. Mohammed Hamed Sajid says:

    Thanks a lot for this…it saved me from mental trauma whenever I reboot my computer.

  32. Rajan Mittal says:

    Thank you, your tip was to the point & helped me turn off the ‘Language Bar’.

  33. THANKS, god damn that thing is annoying

  34. Sean says:

    Thanks a lot, I hate this useless feature with windows… seems as if most of Windows consists of many of these usless features

  35. Keith Daniel says:

    thanks for your post… the language bar really annoying hehehehe… your post really helps people…

  36. Mixednuts&coffee says:

    Sadly enough before finding advice on how to shut it off i just figured it out and then forgot about it.  Going from pissed to somewhat interested to "oh yeah that’s why it’s stupid." Thanks a lot.  

  37. Repden2009 says:

    ok easy enough to turn OFF the LB so why does an "EN" still show up beside my user name on my Welcome screen and how do I delete that???

  38. Dushyant says:

    thanks,,,i was desperately searching a way to turn this language bar off permanently and you made the work easy

  39. Mystery says:


    I just did a fresh install of XP Pro on my dinosaur laptop and after doing an SP3 update it showed up. Even after turning it off from the toolbars, it still showed up after rebooting. How DUMB!!! When you turn something OFF it should STAY off – of course, Microsoft don’t understand that lol. Oh well, it’s gone now.

    THANKS PAUL!!!!!!!!!

  40. Joe Dokes says:

    That solution ROXORS!  Thanks so much for sharing.

  41. Peter says:

    goddamn language bar

    Thanks… only leaving this comment so that other searchers of goddamn language bar will find your solution faster.

  42. June says:

    Thanks so much. I had turned it off my old machine and couldn’t remember how I did it. With a new install of XP it has been driving me nuts.

  43. Ron says:

    I must have turned that damn thing off a thousand times!! Now it's off for good!!

    Thank you, Thank you.

  44. kd says:

    Amen!!!  How annoying is that????  I finally took 2 minutes to find your article and turn it off forever!  

    Thank you very much!

  45. Jason Zukowski says:

    As many times as I've had to reboot, I felt that insanity just as much! Thank you greatly for putting it out there in a way that was easy to find and understand. Because of you it took less than 30 sec to cure that most ANNOYING problem. You rock!!!

  46. Joe says:

    at last! death to the fing language bar thank you

  47. Michael says:

    Paul, your 6-year-old+ article is still saving lives. 🙂  Thanks.

  48. Sipas says:

    Thanks very much for this – never in the field of XP annoyances has an article been around so long and helped so many with so few steps. We shall never surrender!

  49. eldon says:

    the language bar is making me crazy, and i cant understand what anybody is saying here.

    help !

  50. David says:

    If it was just one Language toolbar, I could live with it. But the darn thing would appear multiple times – once for every time that I'd logged into the machine. Hopefully this stops that sucker permanently now!

  51. Nick says:

    Thank you for pointing that out. This bar has been pestering me for some months now.

  52. RIckyvb says:

    Good Call! Same issue. Just never did anything till today. Nice Work, thanks!

  53. ebarr838 says:

    THANK YOU!!!! – the next call was going to be to the suicide prevention.  This language bar was literally driving me crazy for YEARS!!!

  54. vali says:

    thanks…was a real problem that language bar

  55. P Dubb says:

    Much Thanks, that is an annoying lil bar

  56. Jodie B says:

    This solution did not work for me.  After I did steps 1 – 3, there was no way to do step 4.  No Show language bar option or check box.  However, here is what worked for me.  After step 3 I clicked Details.  Under Settings I had two languages namely English (Australia) and English (US).  I deleted the one I did not want and then the language tool bar went away.

  57. Haxster says:

    thank you so much. god that little toolbar was annoying.

Skip to main content