How to Use Autocorrect on Android

Avoid embarrassing errors and personalize your Android dictionary

Autocorrect can be a lifesaver, saving you from embarrassing typos in emails and texts, but it can also be a nightmare, changing a friendly note into something not so friendly. There's a reason that sites like Damn You Autocorrect exist. There are ways, however, to make this tool more of a help than a hindrance. Here are a few ways to take control of your messaging.

The information below should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.

Instructions in this article apply to Android Pie (9), Oreo (8), and Nougat (7).

Manage Autocorrect on Android

On newer Android smartphones (except for Samsung models) autocorrect is enabled and disabled on an app-by-app basis. Here's where to find these settings.

  1. On your Android device, open the Settings app.

  2. In the Settings screen, tap System.

    On Android 7.1 and earlier, select Languages & input instead of System.

  3. Tap Languages & input.

  4. Tap Virtual keyboard. This refers to the keyboard that displays on the screen, not a connected external or Bluetooth device.

    Navigate through the Android settings to language
  5. A page that lists all the virtual keyboard apps installed on your device appears. Select the keyboard that you're currently using.

  6. In the settings for your keyboard, tap Text correction.

  7. Turn on the Auto-correction toggle switch to enable the autocorrect feature. Turn off the Auto-correction toggle switch to disable autocorrect.

    Android virtual keyboard and autocorrect settings

Add Words and Abbreviations to Your Personal Dictionary

You can also update your dictionary directly in Android apps. These options are in the settings for your virtual keyboard.

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap System.

    On Android 7.1 and earlier, select Languages & input.

  3. Tap Languages & input.

  4. Tap Virtual keyboard to access the settings for your on-screen keyboards.

  5. In the list of keyboards on your system, select your active keyboard.

  6. Tap Text correction to access the settings for auto-correction, including the dictionary for the phone.

  7. Tap Personal Dictionary.

    Select Delete learned words to reset your dictionary on certain keyboards.

  8. On some keyboards, including the default Android Open Source Project keyboard, there's a list of available languages. Select your language.

  9. Tap the plus sign to add a new word to the dictionary.

    Android keyboard settings.
  10. Words that are entered in your personal dictionary aren't auto-corrected or flagged by spell check.

Enable and Disable the Android Spell Checker

Google has a feature called Spell checker, which helps avoid typos and offers word suggestions as you type. The Spell checker is enabled by default, but you can turn it off.

To turn Spell Checker on or off on Gboard:

  1. Go to Settings.

  2. Tap System > Languages & input > Advanced.

    Android Language & input settings.

    Underneath Languages & input, you'll see the name of the default keyboard (in this case Gboard).

  3. Tap Spell checker.

  4. Turn the Use spell checker toggle switch on or off. Tap Languages to change the default language.

  5. Optionally, tap the Default spell checker gear icon, then turn on the Look up contact names toggle switch.

    Android spell checker settings.
  6. The spell checker cross-checks first and last names with your contact list.

Autocorrect Options on Samsung Phones

Samsung Galaxy phones have different autocorrect settings than smartphones with stock Android. Autocorrect settings are under Smart typing.

  1. Go to Settings.

  2. Tap General management.

  3. Tap Language and input.

  4. Tap On-screen keyboard.

    Samsung Language & input settings.
  5. Select the Samsung keyboard

  6. Tap Smart typing.

    Samsung Smart typing settings.
  7. In the Smart typing screen, choose which options to enable. Turn on the toggle switch next to an option to enable it.

  8. The Text shortcuts option also serves as your personal dictionary.