Email, Messaging, & Video Calls Email How to Change the Spell Check Language in MacOS Mail Specify your primary language for use on your Mac Share Pin Email Print Dougall_Photography / Getty Images Email Yahoo! Mail Gmail By Heinz Tschabitscher Writer A former freelance contributor who has reviewed hundreds of email programs and services since 1997. our editorial process Heinz Tschabitscher Updated November 09, 2019 116 116 people found this article helpful Do you find macOS Mail balking at perfectly good Australian English and suggesting American spelling everywhere? Do you use Norwegian often in your emails, leaving the spelling and grammar checker baffled? Would you prefer your Mac not try to guess the language you are typing? MacOS Mail employs your Mac's systemwide spelling checker. In addition to specifying one or more languages for it to check, you can pick variations for certain tongues—Brazilian versus European Portuguese, for example. Although the basics are the same, designating the macOS spell check language differs somewhat from the method used by its predecessor OS X. Instructions in this article apply to macOS 10.12 and later. Change the MacOS Mail Spell Checker Language To pick the languages and dictionaries used to check the spelling in the emails you write using your Mac: Open System Preferences on your Mac under the Apple menu. Select the Language & Region category. Click the plus sign under the Preferred Languages section. Highlight a language and click Add. Pay attention to language variants; Australian English is not the same as U.S. English, for example. A pop-up asks you to clarify which of the languages in the Preferred Languages section is the one you want to use as your primary language. If you change the primary language, you'll need to restart your computer before it is recognized. System Preferences may ask if you want to add any keyboards based on the language you just added. Select any additional languages you want to add to the Preferred Languages section. To remove a language, highlight it and click the minus sign. Drag and drop the languages in the Preferred languages screen to change their order. The first one in the list is designated as your primary language. However, Mac OS X can often pick the correct language for your mail from the text you type. Click the Keyboard Preferences button at the bottom of the Language & Region preferences screen. Select the Text tab. Place a checkmark in front of Correct spelling automatically. Select Automatic by Language from the Spelling drop-down menu to allow the Mac to choose the language to use. To specify the language the Mac should use, select it from the drop-down menu. Close the Language & Region system preferences window to save the changes.