More & more apps try setting their language automatically, based upon the language of your iPad, then the list of chosen languages.

Unfortunately, as do a lot of people, my preferred iOS/OSX system language is English, but certain apps (notably the new TomTom Go Mobile) need Dutch to be much of use (at least in Flanders, Belgium).

At the same time, the new WW (Weight Watchers mobile app) has poorly implemented localisation as well. Result: when my iPhone is in English, it loads the French version (go figure) even if french is only the third preferred language (behind english & dutch)

These apps should receive a warning in the app store, get banned altogether until their localisation performs as advertised, or its settings should get set from the settings menu, imho.

Is there a way to set the language independent from the main iOS language?

This problem pops up regularly (notably in bi-lingual countries or international, cosmopolitan people whose preferences and language capacities vary greatly).

If anyone at Apple is reading this; please help!

  • 3
    This needs to be implemented by the app's developer (and usually isn't).
    – owlswipe
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 13:54

5 Answers 5


Starting with iOS 13, there is now a way to set an individual language for each app. In the Apple Settings app, open the settings of the specific app, and select the language under "Preferred Language". You can select from the languages that the app supports.

  • 4
    To add to this: make sure you set at least 2 languages in "Preferred Language Order" under General -> Region. Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 12:47
  • Unfortunately, the Health äpp doesn’t show an option to change the language only for it :(((
    – mirabilos
    Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 1:57
  • I wish this were possible with built in apps like Music.
    – Jonny
    Commented Jan 9 at 2:21

The way iOS works is that when an app is launched, the operating system tries to match up your preferred device language(s), in order, with the language(s) supported by the app.

As an example, suppose you have your device language preferences set to French, then English, and that the app supports French and Dutch, with Dutch as its "default" language.

When your device is set to French then the app will display text in French because it has a French localization.

Next you switch the device language to English. The app doesn't have an English localization so iOS uses Dutch as the app's display language. (It would also do the same thing for any other non-French and non-Dutch language.)

There is nothing that Apple can do to "fix" this since both iOS and the app are working as expected. Perhaps the app "should" be available in a particular language. If you think so then you should be having a conversation with the developer, not Apple.

  • Act.ly, as stated above, the app should set the app to the right language, (=Dutch) as the order in iOS was Engl>Du>Fr. But the app loads Fr instead of Du, when iOS is in Engl. Conclusion: App has poorly implemented localisation & when not sure about the language (Dutch or French) prefers Fr instead of checking the iOS cascade. My only hope: that iOS finally lets you set languages manually. Seems overkill to reg. US users, but perhaps a mexican-american would like to have eg a writing app in Sp, but their GPS app set to Engl to not have their phone read city streets in Spanglish Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 20:22

I moved from France to UK, I changed all my phone settings to UK region following Apple guidelines (https://support.apple.com/en-gb/ht201389) but my WW app was still showing in French! I figured out my problem though, maybe it will help you (iOS)

  1. Settings
  2. General
  3. Langauge & Region
  4. Region Formats - Region.

I then changed the region from France to the UK. Good luck!


I'm not sure if this will work, but it might be worth a try...:

  1. Remove the App from your phone
  2. Change iOS Language to "Dutch" in settings
  3. Reboot iPhone
  4. Open App Store, and download the App
  5. Open app and confirm it's Dutch
  6. Change iOS language back to English
  • 1
    Doesn't work: app is the same, and limits the use of the app language and available voices (as it is a gps app) to the primary language of the iphone. Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 21:24

If you change your region as well as your language and then download the app then all be well.

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