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How to Fix Japanese Keyboard IME Not Working (Full Guide)

Windows 10 is available in multiple languages. Users can change the display language of the OS i.e., which language appears on the buttons, in the menus, and in the apps, and users can change the input language i.e., which language a user can type in. 

Japanese keyboard IME

The language can be selected when a user downloads or installs Windows 10 but it can be changed at any point. If you’ve installed Windows 10 in English (or any other language) you can change the language of the OS or install a different input language alongside it.

Japanese keyboard IME not working (FIX)

Japanese is one of many input languages that Windows 10 supports. You will have to install the language pack for it but if it doesn’t work, here are a few things to try.

Make sure you’ve switched to the Japanese language and 

1. Run the keyboard troubleshooter

The first thing to try is the keyboard troubleshooter.

  1. Open the Settings app with the Win+I keyboard shortcut.
  2. Go to Update & security.
  3. Select the Troubleshoot tab.
  4. Click Additional troubleshooters.
  5. Select the Keyboard troubleshooter.
  6. Run it and apply all fixes that it recommends. 

2. Change language and input method

There are two steps to using typing in Japanese. If you only switch to the language, you may continue to type in English.

  1. Switch to the Japanese language (use the Alt+Shift keyboard shortcut to switch languages).
  2. Look at the taskbar and you will see an A icon.
  3. Right-click the A icon and turn on Kana input or enable Katakana or Hiragana, whichever you want to use.

3. Change keyboard layout

In addition to installing the Japanese language, you also need to install the correct keyboard layout.

  1. Switch to the Japanese language.
  2. Open the Settings app with the Win+I keyboard shortcut.
  3. Go to Time and language.
  4. Select the Language tab.
  5. Select Japanese and click Options.
  6. Click Change layout.
  7. Open the dropdown and select Japanese.
  8. Click OK and restart the system.

4. Uninstall and reinstall Japanese language

  1. Open the Settings app with the Win+I keyboard shortcut.
  2. Go to Time and language.
  3. Select the Language tab.
  4. Select the Japanese language and click Remove.
  5. Once removed, click the Add a language button.
  6. Search for Japanese and add it again.


Windows 10 has great support for the Japanese language but since it has more than one input method, enabling it is a bit different. Windows 1o doesn’t provide a lot of instructions in this regard and users assume that the language can be used in much the same way other languages can. If you’re having trouble typing in Japanese, it’s likely you haven’t switched to the language correctly. 

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