This topic describes how to download a language pack from Windows Update and set the language as the preferred language of a Windows instance. An ECS instance that runs Windows Server 2016 (English) is used in the examples in this topic.


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Background information

Alibaba Cloud ECS provides only Chinese and English editions of Windows Server public images. If you want to use another language on an ECS instance, such as Arabic, German, Russian, or Japanese, you can download the language pack from Windows Update and set the language as the preferred language of the instance. German is used in the examples in the following procedure. This procedure applies to instances that run Windows Server 2012 or later. After the preferred language of the instance is changed to German, you can use the instance to create a custom image. The custom image also uses German and German keyboard settings. You can then create as many instances as required from this custom image.


  1. Connect to the target Windows instance. For more information, see Overview.
  2. Open the PowerShell module.
  3. Run the following commands to temporarily disable Windows Server Update Services (WSUS):
    Set-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU' -Name UseWUServer -Value 0
    Restart-Service -Name wuauserv
  4. Open the Control Panel, and choose Clock, Language, and Region > Language > Add a language.
  5. In the Add languages dialog box, select a language and click Add. In this example, Deutsch (German) > Deutsch (Deutschland) is selected.
  6. Select the language and click Move up to change the language priority. In this example, Deutsch (Deutschland) is selected.
  7. Click Options next to the selected language to check for language updates online.
  8. Wait for three minutes while the instance checks for updates. If an update is available for download, click Download and install language pack.
    Wait until the installation is complete.
  9. Restart the instance by using the ECS console. For more information, see Restart an instance.
  10. Connect to the Windows instance again.
    The display language is now Deutsch (German).
  11. Open the PowerShell ISE module and run the following commands to enable WSUS:
    Set-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU' -Name UseWUServer -Value 1
    Restart-Service -Name wuauserv                    
  12. Open Windows Update, check for security updates, and re-install all the security updates that are already installed before the language change.

What to do next

Create multiple instances with the same language settings.
  1. Log on to the ECS console.
  2. Create a custom image from the Windows instance with the new display language. For more information, see Create a custom image from an instance.
  3. Create a specified number of instances from the custom image. For more information, see Create an ECS instance by using a custom image.