How to type Polish letters in Windows 10 on your English keyboard

I’ve spoken to a few people who didn’t realise how simple it is to type Polish letters from your existing keyboard in Windows 10.  In previous versions of Windows it was a bit trickier, but it couldn’t be much simpler in Windows 10.

If you want to do this on your iPhone/iPad, I have a post on how to do it here : How to add Polish to your iPhone/iPad keyboard

Start by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard and typing the word LANGUAGE and you will see this option appear in the menu : “Region & language settings”.  Select it.


Next, under Languages, click on “Add a language”


On the following screen, select the language you want (Polski / Polish)


This may take a few moments to add the language, but then it will return to the previous screen and you should now see Polski in your list of languages.


If you want to change Windows so that it can use Polish for things like Menus, Tooltips, MessageBoxes, etc, then go ahead and click it again to download the Language Pack.  However if all you want to do is type in Polish sometimes, then you are now done.

If you look at your Windows taskbar (at the bottom of the screen usually), you will now see that near the clock there is a new bit that says “ENG”.


This reflects that currently your keyboard will be typing in English.  There are several ways to change the language you’re typing in.

  1. Click on ENG with your mouse and select the new language from the menu which appears
  2. On your keyboard, hold the Windows Key and press the Space bar.  This will pop the same menu.  Continue to hold the Windows Key and each press of space will change the language.
  3. On your keyboard, hold down the Shift Key and press the ALT Key to the left side of your Space bar.  This doesn’t pop up the menu, it just switches the language.  This is the way I do it as it’s faster and becomes an easy habit.

After any of these ways you should see that your taskbar has changed to look like this.


Now you can type Polish letters very easily.  Your letter keys still type the English letters as you would expect, but in order to make the special Polish letters, you need to hold the ALTGR key on the RIGHT side of your Space bar.

Just like holding Shift and pressing a letter changes the letter to the capital version of that letter, the ALTGR key changes it to a Polish form (more or less).

The following combinations now work:

ALTGR + Z = ż

ALTGR + X = ź

ALTGR + S = ś

ALTGR + C = ć

ALTGR + L = ł

ALTGR + O = ó

ALTGR + E = ę

ALTGR + A = ą

ALTGR + N = ń

If you need a capital letter such as a Ą or Ę, you simply hold down the Shift key too as you would normally.



Mostly you could get away with leaving your keyboard in Polish all the time and never notice the difference, but various other keys also change their meaning.  For example, the ” and @ keys are swapped around when using a UK English keyboard.  I imagine if you have a US English or different keyboard you will find some other keys are changed too, so you’ll probably end up hoping back and forth between ENG and PL modes as you need them, but now you can see that’s really easy to do.

I hope this simple article shows that it’s not at all difficult to have your keyboard in a different language.

18 thoughts on “How to type Polish letters in Windows 10 on your English keyboard

  1. Pingback: How to add Polish to your iPhone/iPad keyboard | Polish Lingo

  2. It is helpful for those who have a keyboard with ALTGR key or US int. layout with two Alt keys. Then right Alt key functions like ALTGR. For users with just US layout the described steps do not work.


  3. Hello, You mentioned that @ and ” are swapped. It’s due to there are two polish keyboard layouts. One is 214 (QWERTZ) and second one is polish programmers (QWERTY). Check which one is suitable for your keyboard. Also someone mentioned that there is problem when you don’t have ALTGR key – just use alt+ctrl+letter (ALTGR = alt+crtl)


  4. alt+ctrl+letter does not work. No combination of left and/or right alt+ctrl +letter works. However, the special keys on the right []\{}|;'” do translate to the following with and w/o using the Shift key. żśóńćźłąŁę But the y and z keys are swapped and pretty much all Special keys are changed. This works.


    • It’s due to you are using polish QWERTZ key mapping. Check the keyboard and language settings and switch it to Polish programmers (QWERTY). Then the alt-gr key (or alt+ctrl) will work as supposed. otherwise, when you use Polish 214 (QWERTZ) keybindings, then the special characters has separate keys, and alt-gr will not work

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Martin. I was so pleased to see you have found a way of using Polish special characters, however I am disappointed as the only letter which works is ó, also special character ‘n’ is missing from your list. Any advice how to get it reight?


    • ń comes from pressing both the ALT-GR key and the N key. If the rest of the characters aren’t appearing when you type ALT-GR A, ALT-GR E etc (ą and ę etc) then I think you don’t have the current input language set to POL — check what it’s saying in the task bar — it should say POL if you’ve added the language to windows as described in the page.


  6. Seldom it works, however some of the combos go wrong or simply collide with default hot-key combos. In WORD, ALT+E put the current line in the middle. While in CHROME, it opens the browser menu.


  7. Świetny artykuł! Very educational and straightforward. One thing is missing: in polish, the quotation mark (“) before the word – is at the bottom. The other mark is high, like in english. I have a problem with the first one. Cannot find it.


    • There isn’t a key for it unfortunately.
      It’s a bit awkward to remember, but if you hold down the ALT key and type 0132, then release the ALT, that should do it.

      I’m not at my PC at the moment to check – I type the number with the number pad on the right. I’m not sure if it works using the numbers on the tow at the top of your keyboard too.


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