How To Change the Language Used in After Effects?

After Effects, a cornerstone in the world of motion graphics, allows you to breathe life into your creative visions. But what if the interface greets you in a language you don't understand? Fear not, animators! While After Effects itself lacks a built-in language selection menu, there's a way to customize the language used within the software.

This comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge to change the language in After Effects, ensuring a smooth and efficient animation experience.

Understanding Language Support:

After Effects supports a variety of languages during installation. However, by default, it activates the language based on your operating system settings. This might not always be ideal, especially if you work in a multilingual environment or prefer a specific language for better comprehension.

The Not-So-Obvious Method: Editing Configuration Files

While After Effects lacks a user-friendly language selection menu, a clever workaround exists. Here's how to change the language by editing configuration files (be mindful, this method requires some technical know-how):

1. Locate the After Effects Support Files:

  • Windows Users: Navigate to your After Effects installation directory. This is typically

    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects [version number]\Support Files. Within the "Support Files" folder, locate the folder named after your current language (e.g., "en_US" for English).
  • Mac Users: Open Finder and navigate to

    Library > Application Support > Adobe > After Effects [version number]. Within the After Effects folder, locate the folder named after your current language (e.g., "en_US" for English).

2. Identify the Magic File: Within the language folder you located (e.g., "en_US"), you'll find a file named "application.xml". This file contains settings related to the language used by After Effects.

3. Editing with Caution (Optional): It's highly recommended to create a backup copy of the "application.xml" file before proceeding. You can use a text editor like Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac) to open the file. However, exercise caution as incorrect modifications can lead to unexpected behavior in After Effects.

4. Find the Language Code: Within the "application.xml" file, search for a line containing "installedLanguages". This line will specify the current language code used by After Effects (e.g., "en_US" for English).

5. Change the Language Code: Replace the existing language code with the code for your desired language. A quick web search can help you find language code references. For instance, "es_ES" represents Spanish (Spain) and "fr_FR" represents French (France).

6. Save and Relaunch: Save the modified "application.xml" file. Close and relaunch After Effects. The interface should now be displayed in your chosen language.

Important Considerations:

  • Proceed with Caution: Modifying configuration files can be risky if done incorrectly. Ensure you have a backup of the original file before making any changes.
  • Limited Language Options: The available languages for After Effects depend on the languages included during installation. If your desired language wasn't installed, you might need to reinstall After Effects with the appropriate language pack.
  • Alternative Workflows: Consider using online resources or tutorials in your preferred language alongside the English interface.


While changing the language in After Effects requires a bit more effort than a simple menu selection, the method outlined above equips you to conquer the language barrier. Remember, carefully follow the steps and create backups to avoid any complications. Once you've successfully changed the language, you can navigate After Effects with newfound ease, allowing you to focus on crafting stunning animations. Now go forth and unleash your creative potential in a language you understand!

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