Have you ever found yourself texting your significant other or chatting with others via an instant messaging service, typing your reply, hitting Send and seeing that what got sent to them is a completely different thing from what you actually typed? Usually, that's auto-correct's fault. Auto-correct is a feature that changes what you're typing with what the system "thinks" you wanted to type, by using a predefined list of commonly used words and phrases. While sometimes this proves to be useful, on other occasions, it does more harm than good. While we're on this subject, there's another feature related to it, called "text suggestions", which works in a similar way, but instead of correcting the text automatically, it suggests you words that you may have wanted to type, but missed the keys for. In this tutorial, we will teach you how to turn auto-correct off on an Android smartphone or tablet, along with its "sister", the text-suggestions feature.
NOTE: We used a Google Nexus 5 device running Android 4.4.4 KitKat. The procedure is similar on all Android powered devices, so you should be good to go even if you're running a different version of Android on your device. Also, we'll describe the procedure you should follow if you're using the KitKat default keyboard app, the AOSP Android Keyboard. This procedure is also similar to all other keyboard apps, so pay attention to the main details and you're set, even if the keyboard you're using is not the default one.
How To Turn Off Text Auto-Correct & Text Suggestions In Android
As always, when fiddling with system settings, the first step you need to take is going to the Settings app and opening it. Start from your homescreen and open the Apps drawer by tapping on its shortcut.
From here, scroll your apps list until you find the Settings app and tap to open it.
Once you open the settings, scroll down through the list of options until you find the Language & input section. Since auto-correct and text-suggestions are both input-related features, this is where you'll find them. Tap on this option.
Here, you'll find several options related to the language your device uses and the methods of entering text on it. The first option that catches our interest is the Spell checker. This is the system-wide feature that monitors everything you type and tells you if your grammar is correct or not. If you're the type of person who doesn't want to be questioned on anything you type, we recommend turning this feature off as well. Just clear the check mark beside it.
When you're finished with the Spell checker, scroll the screen down to the section called Keyboard & Input Methods, where you'll find all the virtual keyboards installed on your device, listed in an alphabetical order. Each of them has a small Settings icon aligned to the right of the screen. Find the settings icon of the keyboard you're currently using (in our case, the Android Keyboard (AOSP)) and tap on it to open its options dialog.
Through the various keyboard options and features, you'll find the Auto-correction entry. This is the auto-correct feature that we've described in the beginning of this tutorial. When you tap on it, a small dialog window will open, listing its options.
This default virtual keyboard (AOSP Keyboard) provides 3 levels of "aggressiveness" it can operate on: modest, aggressive and very aggressive. The higher the level, the more intrusive its behaviour and the less it will allow you to type uncommon words. To turn it off completely, you need to choose the Off option (never would've guessed it, right?).
Now that you've set the auto-correct option to Off, let's find the text suggestions feature and turn it off as well. To do this, you need to hit the Back key to return to the Android Keyboard Settings (AOSP) screen. Here, just below the auto-correct option, you'll find the Show correction suggestions option. Tap on it to open its dialog.
You are offered different settings for displaying these suggestions: you may choose to always see them, or have them displayed only in portrait mode, but if you want to turn them off completely, you need to choose Always hide.
Congratulations! From now on, you'll be able to type anything you want, nag-free. Be careful, though, this also means that from now on, you'll have no excuse for whatever you'll be texting to your dear ones! 🙂
That's the beauty of Android: anything you want, anyway you want it - there's always a way of achieving it with this versatile operating system. On the other hand though, this is one of those things that either make you love an operating system or hate it. Some people want simple devices that "just work", without much intervention on the user's part. Other people want the freedom of personalising every minor aspect of their devices. Which one are you?
Thank you for reading our guide! Post any comments and questions you may have below and we'll gladly do our best to help. Also, feel free to browse this section of our website for tutorials on Android-specific common tasks to simplify your daily digital life!