Skip to content

Japanese input with Azerty in Windows 7

August 19, 2009

Where in Windows XP you have to install the Eastern Asian Languages option to be able to display Japanese characters onscreen and enable Microsoft IME (sometimes a separate install) to be able to type Japanese characters, this has become easier and more user friendly in Windows 7 (like in Windows Vista).

Alas one drawback remains when using Japanese input in Windows 7, the keyboard layout used by Microsoft for Japanese input/IME is by default set to the US International Qwerty keyboard layout.


While this is no doubt not an issue for the majority of people, who use this keyboard layout, it’s rather inconveniencing for those among us with different keyboard layouts.

Luckily, this can easily be remedied. You can change the default keyboard layout used by Japanese input/IME to another one by altering an entry in the Windows 7 registry.

As example, will show how I set the value for the Belgian (Period) Azerty keyboard layout, but the same method is valid for any other keyboard layout.

To open the Windows registry, click the Windows start button and type regedit in the ‘Search programs and files’ bar. Regedit will now appear as a search result, double-click it to open the Windows Registry editor.


In the Windows Registry Editor window, navigate in ‘Computer’ to the \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layouts0000411\ folder. This is the folder containing the registry values for the Japanese input keyboard layout.

In the folder \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layouts0000411\ double-click the ‘Layout File’ registry line.

The Edit String window will now appear, allowing you to change the value. There, change the text in the Value data field to KBDBE.DLL, the value for the Belgian (Period) Azerty keyboard layout and then click Ok.
(Or alternatively you can enter the correct .dll value for your own keyboard’s layout.)


You can then exit the registry. When you switch to Japanese input/IME now (using the Alt+Shift key combination), your keyboard layout should now have changed to the Azerty layout!
A reboot may be necessary, though it wasn’t in my case.

This is applicable for to Windows 7 32bit RC version, though it should work fine for the 64bit version as well (the concerned registry key may vary).

22 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2009 1:34 pm

    I´m using Windows XP but in fact you gave me a great idea. Basically, the languages I use the most when typing are English and Japanese, but also German and French, but I live in Spain. For typing English, a Spanish keyboard is enough, but not for typing, obviously, Japnaese.

    On the other hand, for some reason, Windows XP doens’t allow me, when switching keyboards, to enter directly in IME mode, but I had to switch it ON so it would convert what I typed into kana/kanji. That is, I had to do two operations – switch keyboards and switch IME on.

    Thus, I set the Japanese keyboard as the default one. Since IME is off by default, I can type using a US layout which was enough for me, in principle, since I don’t use Spanish much. When I wanted to type in Japanese, I just had to press one key combination.

    My problem was that the US layout is quite foreign-phobic. While the Spanish keyboard allows the use of diacritics, such as for writing German words (Türm, Äpfel) or French words (à bientôt, musée, ça), the US one doesn’t, and that was a problem since I’m learning both German and French and I need to look up words.

    At least in my case, changing the value in the folder Layouts0000411 didn’t do anything – it was Layouts0010411 that worked, since it was associated with IME, I guess.

    Also, after that, I found I couldn’t turn ON/OFF IME (which would have meant I wouldn’t have been able to switch quickly from Japanese to romaji), because it had altered the layout so the old key combination (alt + the key just to the left of 1), but I changed the keys to control + space (which doesn’t seem to cause any conflict and which I can press using only the left hand) and now it’s working perfectly.

    Thus, I can type now ñ, à, ä, á, â, ç, etc., and also 日本語

    So really thank you, because now I will only need to change the keyobard layout when typing in Chinese, and not when using any other languages

  2. August 20, 2009 7:45 pm

    Glad to hear you were able to alter it so it now works better for you.
    Expected the registry values in XP to be different, saw that Windows 7 32bit compared to Windows Vista 64bit exhibits some differences too.
    While Azerty style layouts often get derogatory comments, and the remarks that the Awerty key layout is more efficient are very true, it doesn’t change the fact that setting the basic letter keys aside, the US International keyboard sorely lacks for people wanting to type a language that uses diacritics like French, Spanish,…

  3. November 19, 2009 7:27 pm

    thank you! This makes my life just that much easier!!!

  4. Josh permalink
    November 21, 2009 5:57 am

    This fixed my problem perfectly. Thank you so much!

  5. November 25, 2009 4:36 pm

    Hola, acabo de meterle W7 a mi ordenador pero no consigo cambiarlo para la escritura en japonés. No tengo el IME cuando intento agregar el idioma japonés, ¿tiene algo malo mi versión?
    Es la versión 7600.13685.
    Nos leemos.

  6. ben permalink
    April 30, 2010 6:12 am

    how to change the ALT+~ key combination to turn on or to turn off the Japanese IME??

  7. May 1, 2010 11:10 pm

    You can read all about changing the key combination to turn Japanese IME on or off, including screenshot, here:

  8. JT Sam permalink
    September 23, 2010 12:15 am

    So I took the steps on this page and now I can’t type in Japanese at all. It’s in Russian or something. I have windows vista and my problem was that my keyboard layout was not typing Japanese right. For example I would type “m” on my keyboard and the Hiragana symbol that would show up was “mo” and I think English “a” was Hiragana “o” or something. So now that it’s not even doing that, what can I do to fix my computer. This is making Japanese 101 one hell of a hard class not being able to use my own computer to do work.

  9. September 24, 2010 7:59 pm

    @JT Sam
    That’s odd. What’s your physical keyboard layout? Us International or…?
    This registry change only changes the default keyboard layout when using Japanese input/IME, so for your normal input the default keyboard layout should still work fine.

  10. Marton permalink
    December 18, 2010 5:05 pm

    Thank you! Been looking for this answer for a long time, now I can use IME for Japanese with my hungarian layout.

  11. February 22, 2013 6:09 pm

    i want ur background :3

  12. February 22, 2013 7:59 pm

    You can find it here:

  13. DamnThatKeyboard permalink
    March 24, 2013 10:46 am

    It worked well and all, but to practice typing on qwerty keyboard, I want to put it back in qwerty. What’s the code for qwerty?

  14. Doubleg_82 permalink
    March 26, 2014 11:56 am

    I’ve been looking for a solution for this problem for ages. This solved my problem.
    Very nice post.

    @DamnThatKeyboard: If I recall correctly the previous value was ‘KBDJPN.DLL’. This should return the keyboard layout to qwerty. (when typing japanese off course)

  15. Blakey permalink
    September 6, 2014 10:32 pm

    Fantastic. I’d spent a whole day trying to solve this.Thank you.
    For UK keyboards, use ‘KBDUK.dll’

  16. di cesare permalink
    May 4, 2015 9:46 pm

    Appallingly, this procedure doesn’t work any more, at least with Windows 7

  17. May 15, 2015 11:40 am

    @di cesare
    I just tested it on a fresh Windows 7 64bit system (it was a clean build that had never had this registry edit done to it before) and the registry edit worked although after applying it I was required to reboot first before it worked.

  18. Hicham permalink
    October 6, 2015 7:39 pm

    Thaaaank you, this is a very useful tip

  19. March 9, 2019 11:32 am

    Don’t do that on windows 10 or you will lose ability to use all these shortkeys :

    Alt+` (toggle between Alphanumeric and Hiragana)
    Shift+Caps (toggle between Alphanumeric and Hiragana)
    Alt+Caps (enable Katakana)
    Ctrl+Caps (enable Hiragana)

    To fix it, restore the reg key to the original value then sign out from you windows session and sign in.


  1. Japanese in Windows 7 « Blue Blue Wave
  2. Japanese input (IME) using US keyboard layout in vista
  3. Microsoft IMEの英数入力時のキーボード配列をUSからUKへ変更する方法(Win10) – One Step Ahead

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: