Image[:ask] According to default installation of Windows, the default keyboard layout (generally US - QWERTY) is used on login authenticaton screen. So how to change the default keyboard layout to my layout like french AZERTY or Swiss QWERTZ keyboard layout under Windows 2000 or XP.

[:idea] You need to change the keyboard layout of the default account to match the layout you do use.


This is correct to say that once you login to a system you can set what keyboard to use, but at logon time, the default selected keyboard is the same as the default keyboard layout that was chosen during the setup of Windows 2000/XP (in your case English–US).

For Windows 2000 there isn't any system settings you can change to add more keyboards for the logon dialog, but there is a workaround for those who have administrator rights to the computer. Here it is:

  • First add the keyboard layout you wanted to the your current user (open "Settings=>Control Panel=>Regional Options" and add a keyboard layout)
  • Open "regedit" in HKCU\Keyboard Layout\Preload
  • Look for the key you added
  • Create the same key value in HKU\.DEFAULT\Keyboard Layout\Preload
  • You will also need to replicate, the "Substitutes" folder.

Once you have set this up, you can select a different input locale in the logon dialog by:

1.Press the "Options >>" button. This will allow you to see the input locale in a blue rectangle.
2. Use <Right Alt>+<Shift> to toggle between the different installed input locales.

Now the good news is that Windows XP will make all this much simpler. The way you are able to do this is the following:

  • Open the "Regional and Language Options" in the Control Panel and go to the "Language" tag
  • Click the "Details" button and add all the keyboards you want to use in the logon window.
  • Go to the "Advanced Options" tag in the regional and language option.
  • Check the check box under "Default user account settings" (The system then applies all the settings of the current user account to the default user profile.)

Now when you go to the logon dialog do the same as mentioned above with the <Right Alt>+<Shift> key combination to toggle through the available keyboards.