Locale Emulator is a free open source program for Microsoft Windows devices to run programs in a locale other than the default locale of the operating system.
Designed specifically for playing computer games that require a specific locale, it can be used to run any program -- be it game or application -- as if the the underlying system would use that locale as the default.
Some programs may not run properly or at all if the system uses a locale that is not supported by it officially. If a game is released only in Japan for instance, it may require a Japanese system to run, and will refuse to do so if that is not the case.
Enter Locale Emulator, a free program for Windows that you may use to emulate locales for specific programs that have language or country specific requirements.
Locale Emulator is an open source program. It comes with an installer in the download package that adds the option to run a program under a different locale to the Explorer context menu.
Note: Move the archive to a permanent location before installation, as you cannot move it afterwards directly anymore. The files that are inside the folder are required, and the program won't work properly if they are missing.
Simply right-click on any executable file and select the Locale Emulator context menu item, and then one of the available locales to run the executable using that emulated locale.
The program ships with Japanese support included already, but you may use the global profile configuration window to add support for different locales in case you require those.
You can load the configuration from the context menu, or during installation of the context menu entry. It supports a number of settings for each locale that you add to the program including setting a location and timezone, faking Registry and UI language, and running the program with elevated privileges.
One shortcoming of Locale Emulator is that it does not support native 64-bit programs. It runs 32-bit programs on 32-bit and 64-bit systems fine, but does not support 64-bit programs on 64-bit systems.
The application itself is compatible with all versions of Windows starting with Windows 7 Service Pack 1. The development focus is Windows 10 however.
Locale Emulator works fine in many cases, but not in all. Some programs may refuse to run, and there is little that you can do about that. This is the case for the aforementioned 64-bit programs for instance which the program won't emulate another locale for.
What you can do in this case is create other user accounts on the operating system, and switch the locales for these accounts to the desired one.
You may then use the "run as other user" option to run programs that refuse to work properly under your main account.
Locale Emulator is a handy program for users who want to run programs designed for specific locales. It is quite specialized in what it does and may appeal only to a small audience, and it may not work in all cases, but it is small, open source, and should work in the majority of cases.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.