Windows – Remove Keyboard Layouts that Can’t Be Removed

The title of this topic makes you ask yourself: “How can’t you remove keyboard layouts? It’s easy, go to Settings – Time & Language – Language and under Preferred languages click the one you want to remove and then click the Remove button that appears.

Sure, when the language you want to remove appears when you click on your taskbar on the currently selected language (eg. ENG, next to the clock) and it also appears in Settings.

I had English (United States) – International that only appeared in the list on the taskbar, but not in Settings. I wanted to remove that one, but couldn’t from Settings since it wasn’t there. This happened to me on Windows 10 Pro.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Check the list of Windows 10 Keyboard Identifiers on Microsoft website
  2. Look for the language you want to remove – in my case United States - International and remember its hexadecimal keyboard identifier – in my case 0x00020409
  3. Open the Registry Editor (Start – run – regedit) and navigate to key HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Keyboard Layout\Preload
  4. Right click the Preload key and export it to a .reg file (for backup)
  5. Inside the Preload key, on the right side of the window you will see some string values named 1, 2, 3 etc. with hexadecimal values
  6. Remove the string value corresponding to the hex identifier from point 2. You don’t need to re-number the remaining string values (eg. if you had 1, 2, 3, 4 and removed 3)
  7. Optionally you can search the hexadecimal values from regedit on the page you opened at point 1 and see which is what, maybe you will remove more
  8. Close regedit and restart your PC
  9. Language you wanted gone from taskbar should be gone
  10. Open the Registry Editor again and check the Preload key and you will see Windows renumbered the string values automatically