Had enough of iOS auto-correct? Find out here how to turn off autocorrect on iPhone for good—and how to easily correct individual auto-corrections gone awry.

First, a Microsoft Employee Hacks into His Boss’s Computer,

makes an innocuous change and leaves.

When the boss returns, he finds every time he types the employee’s name, what appears on screen is a colleague’s name—and vice versa.

This was possible in the early 1990s because Dean Hachamovitch (the hacker) had just invented autocorrect.

Autocorrect is just as useful now, of course. Hack into your iPhone‘s settings, though, and you will find every time you type a name—it actually appears on screen as you type it.

How to Turn Off Autocorrect on iPhone and iPad

Time needed: 3 minutes.

To disable all autocorrect features on an iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Select General.


  3. Now open the Keyboard category.

    Open the 

  4. Turn off Auto-Correction.

    Note: In iOS 10 and versions prior to that, the setting is called Auto-Correct.Make sure

  5. Optionally, also disable Auto-Capitalization to prevent your iPhone from automatically capitalizing the beginnings of sentences, for example.

All changes take effect immediately.

What the Keyboard Settings Mean in iOS

While we’re at it, here are the other keyboard settings on that screen:

  • Check Spelling — underline potentially misspelled words with a red dash; tapping such words brings up possible corrections.
  • Delete Slide-to-Type by Word — deletes the entire word when you backspace over text entered using slide to type (if you backspace immediately after typing and for the most recently entered word).
  • Enable Caps Lock — double-tap the caps key () to enable capslock and make all future characters uppercase without having to tap caps every time; tap caps lock () to disable capslock.
  • Predictive — shows the predictive text bar above the keyboard with suggested words, completions and auto-corrections; you can disable this from the keyboard’s language selector.
  • Slide to Type — lets you type words by sliding from letter to letter and (very) briefly resting on each (instead of tapping letters).
  • Smart Punctuation — replaces
    • straight quotation marks with opening and closing (curly) quotation marks, e.g. ‘”curly”‘ will be replaced with ‘“curly”’,
    • single straight quotation marks in contractions with single closing quotation marks, e.g. “can’t wait” becomes “can’t wait”, and
    • two consecutive dashes (–) with an em dash character (—).
  • Character Preview — show the tapped character bigger right on the keyboard.
  • “.” Shortcut — tapping the space bar twice inserts a period plus one whitespace character.

How to Change Autocorrect on iPhone and iPad

To undo a correction auto-correct has done to your text:

  1. Double-tap the auto-corrected word.
    • You can do this even after you have typed more after the word.
    • You do not need to backspace over all later text.
    • Note: if auto-correction split one word into two, you are out of luck; the best you can do is re-type the word as you wish to enter it.
  2. Select Replace… from the context menu that has popped up.
  3. Now choose what you originally typed (or another replacement, of course).
    • Your original text should be the first choice from the left.

How to Change Autocorrect in iOS 10 and Earlier

To replace an autocorrection with what you originally had typed:

  1. Backspace to the end of the word that was corrected.
    • Press repeatedly.
    • Note: You will have to undo all you typed after the correction by backspacing over it; the following, alas, all will not work:
      • putting the input cursor at the end of the word whose auto-correction you want to undo,
      • putting the cursor one backspace away from the word’s end and backspacing just that whitespace character and
      • double-tapping or otherwise highlighting the word and using the Replace menu.
  2. Select what you originally typed from the menu that has popped up.
    • Your original entry might appear along with other possible corrections (for better or worse).
    • What you typed should be first in the list.

(How to turn off autocorrect on iPhone tested with iOS 13, iOS 12, iOS 11 and iOS 10; updated September 2019; title image: StockUnlimited)