DeepL Translator desktop programs for Windows and Mac

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 13, 2019

The translation service Deepl released desktop programs for Microsoft's Windows and Apple's Mac OS operating system on September 12, 2019.

DeepL Translator was launched in August 2017 to provide better translation services than established translate services such as Google Translate or Bing Translate. The service launched with a limited number of supported languages -- only eight languages that you could translate -- and the promise to improve supported languages and the service in the future.

Options to translate documents using DeepL were integrated in July 2018 and support for new languages was added as well.

DeepL for Windows and Mac extends the service once more. The desktop programs integrate the translation service right on the desktop giving users options to translate text directly.

We took a look at the latest DeepL for Windows. The program is marked as beta.

DeepL for Windows

deepl translator windows beta

DeepL for Windows displays a short help screen when you run it on your system. Note that the application requires Internet connectivity to work.

It maps its translate functionality to the Ctrl-C key. Ctrl-C copies selected text to the clipboard and while that functionality remains untouched, pressing Ctrl-C twice pushes the copied text to the DeepL interface where it is translated automatically.

deepl translate windows

You may change the target language in the DeepL interface to any of the supported languages.

DeepL adds an icon to the Windows System Tray when you run it which you may use to bring up the program interface. You may type or paste text into the interface manually at any time to have it translated right then and there.

DeepL may display alternative translations for individual words, phrases or sentences. A click on a word displays synonyms in a menu.

Click on Menu and select Settings to open the preferences. There is not much to see here apart from options to change the notifications settings, exclude certain programs from the quick translation functionality, or changing the trigger.

The beta offers no option to disable notifications permanently. DeepL displays a notification whenever you use Ctrl-C. While you may pause the notification for one hour or until restart, you won't find an option to disable them permanently. The notification is helpful in the beginning as it reminds you that you may translate by pressing Ctrl-C again or by clicking on the notification popup but once you know that, it becomes somewhat annoying that you cannot disable it.

You can exclude programs that run only. Just select the plus icon in the settings and select one of the programs to block DeepL from interacting with it.

Closing Words

DeepL is my go-to translation service for any of the languages that it supports. The introduction of desktop programs for Windows and Mac adds a new option to the service that desktop workers may find useful as it speeds up the translating significantly.

Instead of having to keep the DeepL website open to translate content, it is now a matter of pressing Ctrl-C again on Windows to translate the text. The copy to translate function worked without hitches during tests; DeepL's desktop program picked up copied text from any of the applications that I ran on the desktop and translated it instantly.

I wish the developers would add an option to disable the notification permanently though; it displays even if you just copy text for use in another program and if you do that often on your desktop, you may find that highly annoying.

Now You: which translation service do you use, and why?

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3 based on 8 votes
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Windows, Mac
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  1. Miguel said on November 24, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    Love DeepL using the web-page. It’s true that the quality of translation is excellent.

    Downloaded the Windows app, but it didn’t suit me. BUT I can’t uninstall it! I’ve tried running as Admin – that doesn’t work either. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume this is because it’s a beta, but this needs to be fixed pronto, or else it will seem like Malware.

  2. The Punisher said on October 16, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    I wish they’d release an app that works online. Not really interested if it’s just a front end.

    1. The Punisher said on October 16, 2019 at 4:33 pm


  3. Naltar said on October 6, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    I was going to try this beta (I find the deepL results much better than google translate), but then I saw the info: 150Mb installer and 450Mb post-install folder. What on earth for?! For something, which has no offline mode (well, obviously, we’re in software as service times, people), and no extra functionality over the web-browser version. Essentially, as somebody pointed out, it’s just another web browser, crippled to just one feature, i.e. “translate”. But I already use 3 browses, why would I need another one?
    p.s. sooner or later, once matured enough, deepL will be purchased by google for a fat sum, no doubt. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was owners’ plan, which is fair enough, they deserve it for the results are pretty impressive, but it’s a shame to see this tiresome pattern of google/amazon monster swallowing everything in its path :(

  4. Phylis Sophical said on September 14, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Been using DeepL online version, mainly for NYT crossword puzzles since I first saw it here. Much less complex than Google Translate.

  5. JoeyG said on September 14, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    Just an addendum … I’ve used both DeepL and Google Translate to do “professional” translations from German to English. In general, I find DeepL better suited to my needs, style, etc. Your mileage may vary.

    I have no experience using it with any other language pair.

  6. JoeyG said on September 14, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    I’d like to add a bit of info about the installation, etc.

    The Windows download file is called DeepLSetup.exe.

    Upon running it (I’m using Win7 Pro. x64 in English), no options are offered as to where to install it, etc.

    The program automatically installs two folders to C:\Users\*.*\AppData\Local.

    One is called DeepL_GmbH and the other simply Deepl. The former contains the folders Cache and Logs, as well as a Settings file. It’s about 12mb.

    The latter contains the program; it’s a bit more than 450mb.

    The latter folder can be moved anywhere on your computer. If you move it, though, the automatically installed shortcut icon doesn’t work. Making one manually and putting it on the desktop works fine.

    The former always reappears in the Users folder, even if you delete it.

    The program can be closed like any other Windows program. When closed, of course, clicking Ctrl+C doesn’t do anything.

  7. Shou Guang Cao said on September 14, 2019 at 11:15 am

    I tested out.The pressing Ctrl+c twice shorcut is pretty cool. You can select some text anywhere and press ctrl+c twice to get your selection translated. But never got the ‘Insert’ button work, supposedly it should insert the translation back to the editor where your selection is.

    As a translator I will stick to my old friend GT4T. It uses the same mechanism: select in any app and press a shortcut, but with multiple MT results, neater and cursor-following pop-up and smooth selection and insertion.

  8. Anonymous said on September 13, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    This looks like a program that uses electron, node.js or chromium web engine. Hard-pass for me. Since I can access deepl from a browser already.

    1. Cigologic said on September 16, 2019 at 1:18 am

      > From post: “Note that the application requires Internet connectivity to work.”

      > Anonymous: “This looks like a program that uses electron, node.js or chromium web engine.”

      The installer alone is a hefty 134.54 MB — without any translation data that can work offline. So basically, one is installing (yet another) Chromium browser with only the DeepL interface & zero functionality if disconnected from the internet. And in the free version, the company retains the source text supplied by users.

      So why not skip the extra step & use a web browser instead ?

  9. Juani said on September 13, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    Looks really promising. Definitely something to try when more languages are added

  10. ilev said on September 13, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    9 languages out of 6500 and the most spoken language, Mandarin, is missing. Google translate has 100 languages.

    1. patapat said on September 14, 2019 at 11:14 pm

      6500 and so what? DeepL wins because the quality of translation is more important than the number of supported languages. Google translator translates the text in such a way that it is not difficult to notice that it was not translated by a human being, but by an automatic translator. Meanwhile, Deepl does it almost indistinguishably. Google is poor at dealing with idioms or phrases characteristic of a given language.

  11. Sunny said on September 13, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    Only 9 Languages? i need to support another languages like Persian/Farsi, Indonesia, Vietnamese and more…
    Targoman is more better than Google Translate or Bing Translate…

    1. T J said on September 14, 2019 at 10:52 am

      @ Sunny

      Read the article. Martin states clearly that this is a beta Deepl. Wait until the full version is released and complain then if it doesn’t support more than nine languages.

  12. Anonymous said on September 13, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    Except it works only for one word – breaks on spaces.

    1. Gary D said on September 14, 2019 at 10:55 am

      @ Anonymous

      That is incorrect. It works fine for english to German and French.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on September 13, 2019 at 1:27 pm

      It worked fine on my end, translated entire sentences and paragraphs.

      1. Chris said on August 1, 2021 at 1:01 pm

        I’ve downloaded the desktop app on my Mac and found it’s permanently “on” meaning I cannot delete it. Do you know how to delete the app, or where I can find out? Thanks!

  13. Heimen Stoffels said on September 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    I wish they would add an Android client. DeepL ftw, though! :-)

    1. Ian said on September 13, 2019 at 6:18 pm

      There is an “unofficial” one that you can find if you search for deepl android. Last time that I used it, it worked.

  14. Tom Hawack said on September 13, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    DeepL Translator as a desktop program is interesting of course; perhaps this beta version needs polishing indeed.

    There are several browser extensions handling DeepL, at least for Firefox. Unfortunately the Website doesn’t offer a search syntax to include it in the browser’s search engines, but I remember having opened one of the dedicated Firefox extensions to see how the developer managed to integrate DeepL in Firefox’s search engines and the magic is this :{searchTerms}

    Enjoy :=)

    1. Diego Garcia said on September 13, 2019 at 9:27 pm

      Thanks @Tom Hawack!!! I add your line as a search engine in Opera and it works perfectly!

  15. Anonymous said on September 13, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Proper browser extension?

  16. Shiro said on September 13, 2019 at 8:26 am

    So how do they make money? Do they scrape data from the translation texts, do they show ads?

    1. MR2 said on September 13, 2019 at 1:28 pm

      They say they keep translation data for some time and for DeepL free users, but never for the DeepL Pro ones. I think that’s the catch.
      Sections 4 & 5 here

      1. 404 said on September 15, 2019 at 5:09 pm

        That’s what makes it weird that even the Pro version’s privacy policy says, “Please note that you may not use our translation service for any texts containing personal data of any kind.”

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