How to Fix It When Outlook Spell Check Is Not Working

Correct your spelling automatically

Outlook spell check not working?

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Provided you have automatic spelling and grammar checker enabled, Outlook should automatically alert you to any errors in the email messages you create. With Outlook spell check not working, you might overlook a mistake that could be unprofessional or embarrassing. Learn the most common causes of this issue and resolve it quickly.

These fixes apply to Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, and Outlook for Office 365.

Causes of Outlook Spell Check Not Working

A couple of factors could result in spell check not to work in Outlook, including the Automatic Spelling and Grammar feature is turned off, or the wrong language is selected.

How to Fix Outlook Spell Check Not Working

When working properly, Outlook's Spelling and Grammar tool will notify you by underlining possible mistakes. Troubleshoot likely issues to discover the reason it's not working and fix it.

Restart Outlook after each troubleshooting step to ensure that any changes are applied.

  1. Manually Run Spell Check. Enter multiple different misspelled words into a new email message, then select Review > Spelling & Grammar to run the Spelling and Grammar check manually. This allows you to see if the spell check is working at all.

    If it doesn't work at all, try to repair Outlook. If it works manually, but not automatically, continue the troubleshooting process.

  2. Set Outlook Auto Check. Make sure Outlook is set to check your spelling every time you send an email message. See if changing this setting resolves your issue. If not, continue troubleshooting.

  3. Disable Message Ignoring. Check to see if spell check is ignoring certain parts of your email messages. If Outlook is set to ignore areas in replies and forwarded messages, it may cause the tool fail to work. Go to File > Options > Mail and clear the Ignore original message text in reply or forward option under Compose messages, then select OK.

    Check to see if changing this setting resolves your issue. If not, continue troubleshooting.

  4. Change default language in Outlook. A language variation could make it seem as though the spell check tool is not working correctly. For instance, UK English and US English spell multiple words slightly different.

  5. Restart Outlook and make sure the spell check tool is working as it should. It's frustrating, but restarting can fix a myriad of problems.

Spell Check Not Working in Outlook.com

There's no built-in spell checker available in the online version of Microsoft Outlook. Instead, you'll need to use a browser extension like Grammarly, the native spell check capabilities of your system, or install a spelling and grammar checking app.

In Windows 8 and later, you can enable system autocorrect options. Go to your PC Settings and search for "Autocorrect misspelled words" and "Highlight misspelled words," then enable both of these.