How to Turn On/Off Auto-Correct on the iPhone/iPad

It's easy to turn off Auto-Correction once you know where the setting is located. Daniel Nations

Auto-Correct can be a great feature, but it can also be a very frustrating feature. We've all experienced typing an email or text message only to read it through and spot garbled words after Auto-Correct got its hand on it, or worse yet, we catch it after we send the message.  

But there are definitely some cool things you can do with Auto-Correct. For example, one neat keyboard shortcut is to skip typing the apostrophe in contractions like "can't" or "won't" and let Auto-Correct insert it for you. Of course, unless you type a lot of contractions, the time saved may not be worth the frustration involved.  

How to Turn Auto-Correction On or Off

  1. The first step is to go into your iPad's settings via the icon that looks like gears turning. (Learn how to open the iPad's settings.)
  2. Next, choose "General" from the left-side menu. 
  3. Open the keyboard settings by scrolling down until you see the "Keyboard" option and tapping on it.
  4. The Auto-Correction setting is just below Auto-Capitalization. Simply tap the slider to turn it On to Off.

How to Auto-Correct With Auto-Correction Turned Off

Do you want to have your cake and eat it too? If you find Auto-Correct annoying but sometimes helpful, you can still use it without having it automatically correct your typos as you type. By default, spell checking is turned on for your iPhone or iPad. So long as it remains on, you can tap any misspelled words to see a pop-up menu with three choices for corrected the misspelling.

This means you can tap out a message and then go back through your misspelled words and quickly change them to the correct spelling. And you don't have to worry about the frustration of your phone or tablet thinking it is smarter than you. 

You can also pay attention to Predictive typing, which is also turned on by default and configured in the same keyboard settings. Predictive typing suggests words as you type. If you are typing a long word, keeping an eye on the predictions across the top of the keyboard will allow you to use one tap to complete the word.

A Few More Keyboard Tips for Your iPhone and iPad

The iPhone and iPad have more tricks up their sleeve besides just auto-correct. For example, did you know you can quickly tap in numbers on the iPad without switching to the numbers keyboard? There's also a virtual trackpad that will allow you to precisely place the cursor when editing text. Who needs a mouse when you have a virtual trackpad?

  • You can access the virtual trackpad on the iPad by holding two fingers down on the keyboard. This will turn the keys blank and allow you to move your fingers to move the cursor. If your iPhone supports 3D Touch, which was introduced with the iPhone 6S, you can press a single finger down on the screen as if the keyboard was a button to activate the virtual trackpad.
  • If you have an iPad, you may have noticed the numbers and special characters showing above the letters on the keyboard. You can activate these numbers and characters by tapping the key and sliding your fingers slightly down.
  • Voice Dictation may be the ultimate shortcut. Just tap the microphone key and Siri will let your voice do the typing. Tip: To insert a comma or period, say the words "comma" or "period."
  • You can also change out the keyboard completely. Google has a keyboard app that has Google-like features and Swype lets you slide your finger across the keys instead of tapping them out, which some people prefer on smartphones and tablets. Learn how to install a custom keyboard on your device.