Changing the default language of the SCSM 2012 Portal

As you might be aware of, the SCSM 2012 Self-Service Portal is multi-language capable. However, although you can add languages to the portal, I haven’t found any documented steps as to how to change the default language (which is always set to English).

This blog post will walk you through the necessary steps to change the default language of the SCSM 2012 Self-Service Portal.

These instructions assume that you have already added additional languages to your portal by following Travis’ blog post:

At the end of the blog post you will read: ”The default portal language will always be English, but users can still change the language to whatever language they want so long as the administrator has enabled it on the site”

By following the below instructions, you can change the default language to any other language, provided the corresponding SharePoint Language Pack has been installed.

DISCLAIMER: This articles contains instructions to modify the database. Please be aware that modifying the database is not supported by Microsoft.

First of all, go to Site SettingsLanguage Settings and ensure that no alternate languages are selected.


Now we will have to do some SQL magic to change the language. If you are running SharePoint on SQL Express, you might want to install SQL Server Management Studio Express from here.

Now, connect to your SharePoint content database. If you are using SQL Express and you didn’t make any changes during the installation of SharePoint, you should be able to connect to the SQL instance by using .\SHAREPOINT as the server name. The name of the content database will be Sharepoint_SMPortalContent, unless you defined it differently during setup.

Now, run the following query:

SELECT Id, FullUrl, [Language] FROM Webs


Note that the row which has a value in the FullUrl column (the value  will be SMPortal unless you changed it during the installation) has the language set to 1033 which is the LCID for English (US).

Now do the following:

– Take the Id value of the row which has a value for the FullUrl column.
– Identify the LCID of the language you would like to set the portal’s default language to. You can find the LCID of the language you are looking for here.

Then run the following query against the database:

UPDATE Webs SET [Language] = [LCID] WHERE Id = ‘[ID]

Replace the highlighted placeholders with the corresponding values prior to executing the query.

In my scenario I wanted to change the language to German, so I ran the following query:

UPDATE Webs SET [Language] = 1031 WHERE Id = ’50FB47F8-CDC5-4AF6-B233-D28B9989FBE0′

The default language will now have changed. You can now go back to Site SettingsLanguage Settings and enable alternate languages if you want your users to be able to manually switch between languages.

Note: I have noticed that the System Account will always have the new default language, regardless of the selection in the menu. But for regular end users it works.


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