CultureInfo changes in UWP - Part 2

A while back I wrote an article about the CultureInfo changes in UWP and how they affected the UWP apps.

Well, things haven’t changed much since then, and the information in that article still stands today!

However, Microsoft has since open-sourced the .NET Core Runtime (CoreRT), and that allowed me to take a peek under the hood to understand what is going on.

While looking at the CultureInfo.cs code, I noticed the following comment on the CurrentCulture property:

We use the following order to return CurrentCulture and CurrentUICulture

  • Use WinRT to return the current user profile language
  • Use current thread culture if the user already set one using CurrentCulture/CurrentUICulture
  • Use thread culture if the user already set one using DefaultThreadCurrentCulture or DefaultThreadCurrentUICulture
  • Use NLS default user culture
  • Use NLS default system culture
  • Use Invariant culture

This confirms our findings!

Looking on the CultureInfo.Windows.cs partial class, I noticed the #if ENABLE_WINRT on the top, which forces the first rule on that comment!

Further down in the same file, we find a GetUserDefaultCulture method which uses the GetLocaleInfoEx Win32 API to retrieve the locale name.

This Win32 API is actually allowed for apps published to the Windows Store!

Retrieving the “proper” CurrentCulture, the proper way!

In my previous article on this subject, I found a hack where one could retrieve the “proper” CurrentCulture using the DateTimeFormatter class.

But with all this new information, I have now created a non-hacky way of doing the same:

using System.Globalization;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
using System.Text;

public class CultureInfoHelper
    [DllImport("api-ms-win-core-localization-l1-2-0.dll", CharSet = CharSet.Unicode)]
    private static extern int GetLocaleInfoEx(string lpLocaleName, uint LCType, StringBuilder lpLCData, int cchData);

    private const uint LOCALE_SNAME = 0x0000005c;
    private const string LOCALE_NAME_USER_DEFAULT = null;
    private const string LOCALE_NAME_SYSTEM_DEFAULT = "!x-sys-default-locale";

    private const int BUFFER_SIZE = 530;

    public static CultureInfo GetCurrentCulture()
        var name = InvokeGetLocaleInfoEx(LOCALE_NAME_USER_DEFAULT, LOCALE_SNAME);

        if (name == null)
            name = InvokeGetLocaleInfoEx(LOCALE_NAME_SYSTEM_DEFAULT, LOCALE_SNAME);

            if (name == null)
                // If system default doesn't work, use invariant
                return CultureInfo.InvariantCulture;

        return new CultureInfo(name);

    private static string InvokeGetLocaleInfoEx(string lpLocaleName, uint LCType)
        var buffer = new StringBuilder(BUFFER_SIZE);

        var resultCode = GetLocaleInfoEx(lpLocaleName, LCType, buffer, BUFFER_SIZE);

        if (resultCode > 0)
            return buffer.ToString();

        return null;

All you need is to copy the above to a file in your UWP project, and then call CultureInfoHelper.GetCurrentCulture().

I strongly advise using this new method instead of the “hack” I used in my previous article, as this is the same one that the .NET Framework relies on to retrieve the CurrentCulture information!