Russian Keyboard – Why You Should Install the Russian Keyboard

By Ari Helderman
April 5, 2022

Ever wondered how to install the Russian keyboard in your phone of laptop? Need to use the Cyrillic alphabet for your work or studies? Or you are a learner of the Russian language and you want to skyrocket your progress in Russian? Whatever your reasons are for installing the Russian keyboard, continue reading to find out how to install the Russian keyboard on your phone or laptop…

Bonus for language learners: scroll down to the end of the article to find out how installing the Russian keyboard can help you become more fluent in the Russian language!

Installing The Russian Keyboard On Your Laptop Or Computer

Installing the Russian keyboard on you laptop or computer is easier than it looks like. First you need to install the Russian language on your PC.

Watch this video where I tell you in Russian (with English subtitles) 9 reasons why Russian is actually easy to learn.

Step-by-step guide to install the Russian keyboard on your laptop or PC

  1. To do this go to: Start -> Control Panel -> Systems And Security ->Windows Update
  2. Click on Check for update and wait till the update process is finished
  3. Now click on optional updates are available and select Russian Language Pack –Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (KB2483139)  in the new window that opened.
  4. Tick the empty box next to it and press OK
  5. Click Install update
  6. Wait for the install to complete and restart your computer
  7. The next step for the Russian keyboard is to go to regional settings in order to activate it. Go to Start -> Clock, Language and Region, -> Change keyboards or other input methods.
  8. A new window will open. Click on Change keyboards. A new window will open, press Add.
  9. Activate the Russian keyboard: Russian -> Keyboard -> Russian
  10. You can switch between input language by either pressing Alt + Shift. Alternatively, on some laptops it works by pressing the Windows button + Space. Try both combinations and see which one works for your system.

That’s it, you can now type in Russian on your laptop or PC. Chances are you’re still new to the keyboard and its layout. As overhauling your keyboard with new letters is not something that can be done very cheaply, I recommend you get yourself a set of Cyrillic stickers (Amazon). It’s better to get the transparent stickers, so you’ll still be able to see the original Latin keys as well. Simply put these stickers on the right keys and start typing in Russian!

Alternatively, if you prefer to use a virtual keyboard, you can do so as well. Go to Start -> accessories -> Ease of Access -> On-Screen Keyboard and you’ll have your own virtual keyboard!

If you’re learning Russian, I recommend you also check out the following pages:

Installing The Russian Keyboard On Your Phone

Now that you’ve found out how you can install the Russian keyboard on your laptop or PC, let’s find out how to do it in your phone. As I have never had an iPhone, I can unfortunately only tell you how to change the languages on a phone that uses android.

Here’s the step-by-step guide how to install the Russian keyboard on your phone

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Click Language and keyboard
  3. Press Select language
  4. Scroll all the way down and choose Русский
Russian keyboard
Press Русский to install the Russian language on your phone

This is how you install the Russian language on your phone. By doing this you automatically install the Russian keyboard on your phone. But there’s one ‘problem’ now. Everything on your phone is in Russian… Chances are that this is not what you want. So here’s how to switch back to English.

Note: If you switch the language back to English you will still have the Russian keyboard installed on your phone.

So, if you don’t know how to switch back the language to English while all the settings on your phone are in Russian, here’s how you do it:

  1. Go to settings (настройки)
  2. Choose Язык и клавиатура
  3. Now press Выберите язык and pick the language that you want!

So,now that you know how to install the Russian keyboard on your phone and computer, let’s find out why you would want to install it if you want to learnt he Russian language…

Attention Language Learners! Why You Have To Install The Russian Keyboard If You’re Serious About Learning Russian

There are many reasons why installing the Russian keyboard is one of the must-do things if you want to learn the Russian language. It is something that every Russian learner will do at some point in his or her life. If you haven’t done it yet, I recommend you do so quickly!

Why? Because there are a lot of benefits that you’ll get when you install the Russian keyboard. Here’s a list of the benefits:

1. Texting with Russians

The first and most immediate benefit of having the Russian keyboard on your phone or computer is obvious. You can use it to text with Russian speaking people. Not only is this great for staying in contact with friends or relatives, you can also use it to practice Russian with them. And if you don’t know a word you can always switch to English and ask them.

Another reason to install the keyboard is because you have probably tried texting or typing phonetic Russian before. While it is an option when you’re just starting out learning the Russian language, as you get better, this simply doesn’t work anymore. Russian phonetic writing can be very confusing. Therefore it is in almost any case better to install the official Cyrillic keyboard.

2. Look up Russian media

This one ties in with the point I made at the end of the last paragraph. Ever tried looking up a specific Russian song or movie on YouTube or Google by using phonetic Russian letters? If you’ve never done that, go do it now!

You’ll soon see that in most cases it is really difficult to find what you’re looking for without using the Russian keyboard. And Russian movies, songs and other media are a great way to practice your Russian skills!

3. Get a better feeling for the language & test yourself

Another reason is that by using the official Cyrillic keyboard you will be able to get a better feeling for the language. You can also use it to test yourself whether you know the right spelling for the word. Also, it’s a great way top practice cases. Because when speaking you can easily swallow the endings of words (many Russians also do this), this makes it easier to speak if you don’t know all the grammar case endings. You will be understood anyway.

But when writing it is very difficult to ‘fake’ this kind of stuff. If you’re texting with a native Russian speaker, you will soon get corrected on your cases. And this is a great benefit of having the Russian keyboard on your phone!

4. Practice writing

Of course having the Cyrillic keyboard installed will help you tremendously in becoming a better writer. Chances are you’re probably not going to do a lot of writing in Russian in your life. But if you’re planning on going to Russia (or maybe even moving there) than writing will be a very valuable skill to have. It’s also important to keep a balance in all aspects of learning a language. Some people spend all their time on speaking and listening, while in the meantime forgetting to learn how to read and write correctly. Don’t be this person – learn all the aspects of Russian!

P.S. Want to find out what Russian learning program I recommend if you want to learn all the aspects of the Russian language? Read my Russianpod 101 review to learn more about this life-changing podcast!

What should you do next?

Learning Russian does NOT need to be difficult. All you need is a solid plan that helps you improve the following things daily:

  • vocabulary
  • grammar
  • listening skills
  • speaking skills

That's ALL you need. If you can do this for a couple of weeks, you’ll already be making great progress in your Russian skills.

And the best part? If you improve a little bit every day, soon these practices will become daily habits.

And then you will start making progress on autopilot.

This means that learning Russian is now a part of your daily routine. So you won’t even need discipline anymore to get yourself to practice.

If you like the idea of this, but don’t know where to start, go here for more information.

About the Author

My name is Ari Helderman and I help people learn Russian through videos and blog posts where I share my experience.   I have been learning Russian since 2016. I often get mistaken for a native speaker these days, so I've learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn't if you want to speak Russian well.

Ari Helderman