How to disable Auto-Correction on Mac

Finder App Icon

Like your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, your Mac sports an auto-correction feature that automatically corrects any misspelled words in your chats, documents, emails and other documents that work with the system-level Auto-Correction feature.

In many macOS apps, mistakes are automatically corrected as you type. Native speakers who know their way around the grammar and spelling rules may want to revert this behavior.

In this post, you will learn how to disable your Mac’s built-in Auto-Correction feature.

How Auto-Correction works

On macOS, autocorrection underlines misspelled words in red. As you type, suggested words pop up, allowing you to accept a single suggestion by keeping on typing.

If two or more suggest words are shown, you can click one, or use the keyboard arrows to select it. To ignore suggested words, press the Escape key on the keyboard.

Any automatically corrected word is briefly underlined in blue, letting you revert to the original spelling by putting the insertion point after the word.

You can also Control (⌃)-click the word to show your spelling, then choose it. To add words to macOS’ built-in spelling dictionary, Control-click it and choose Learn Spelling.

This will train the spelling dictionary and macOS will no longer flag the word as misspelled in any document. To have the word flagged as misspelled again, Control-click it in a document, then choose Unlearn Spelling.

RELATED: Get a taste of Siri on your Mac with spoken commands

How to disable Auto-Correction on Mac

For a specific app:

1) Launch an app on your Mac.

2) Within the app, deselect the Edit → Spelling and Grammar → Correct Spelling Automatically option so that a checkmark isn’t shown.

Tip: Some apps, like Microsoft Word and Apple Pages, may lack a spelling or grammar command in the Edit menu. If that’s your case, check the app’s preference pane or menus to see if it came with its own spell checker.

For all apps:

1) Click the System Preferences icon in the Dock.

2) Click the Keyboard preference pane.

3) Click the Text tab.

4) Untick the box next to “Correct spelling automatically” and close the System Preferences window.

disable auto-correction OS X El Capitan System Preferences

This will prevent the Auto-Correction feature from highlighting misspelled words in red underline and stop your Mac from automatically applying suggestions as you type.

RELATED: ‘Other’ storage on your Mac explained

Selecting language for Auto-Correction

After enabling Auto-Correction, click the Spelling drop-down list and select your language for Auto-Correction in the pop-up menu. macOS includes built-in dictionaries for nearly two dozen languages.

If you select the Automatic by Language option, your Mac will automatically switch to the right dictionary on a per-app basis, based on its background analysis of your document.

RELATED: Get your Mac to speak any selected text

To add dictionaries to this list, or remove ones you don’t need, choose Set Up in the pop-up menu and drag the languages into the order your prefer and deselect ones that shouldn’t be used when spelling is being checked automatically by language.

Adding custom spelling dictionaries

macOS allows you to add custom spelling dictionaries.

All you have to do is obtain one or more spelling dictionary files in either the Affix (.AFF) or the commonly used .DIC or .DICT file format and copy them to the Spelling folder inside your Library folder.

Then log out and log back in for the changes to take effect.

RELATED: How to disable Auto-Correction on iPhone and iPad

Need help? Ask iDB!

Not sure how to do certain things on your Apple device?

Let us know at and one of our future tutorials might cover your specific problem and provide a solution.

Browse our how-tos and shoot us your submissions at