Turn Off Auto Correct in Mac OS X Mountain Lion & Mavericks
The Mac has an autocorrect feature that can range from excellent to annoying, and it works by attempting to automatically correct typos and misspellings of words as they appear, which are instantly compared to an extensive dictionary and replaced on the fly. It can be a great feature but it’s not perfect, and how you feel about auto-corrections really depends on what you’re trying to type, how often you make typos, and what your individual experience is with the corrections themselves, much of which can depend on typing habits themselves. If you find yourself on the annoyed end of things with OS X Lion, Mountain Lion, or Mavericks new auto correct feature, you will be pleased to discover it can be disabled quickly.
Disabling Auto-Corrections in Mac OS X Mavericks
In OS X 10.9 Mavericks, the autocorrect setting remains the same but the location has changed slightly from prior versions of OS X (as described below):
- Open System Preferences from the Apple menu as usual, then go to “Keyboard”
- Choose the “Text” tab
- Uncheck the box next to “Correct spelling automatically”
This is what the Keyboard > Text > “Correct Spelling Automatically” option looks line in new versions of OS X, in other words, if your Mac is fairly new this is what you’ll find in the preference panel:
As mentioned before, prior versions of OS X are handled just slightly differently because the setting was relocated in modern versions. If you don’t find the option available in the Keyboard settings, you probably just need to look in Language & Text options instead, as described next…
Disabling Auto-Correct in Mac OS X
This applies to OS X 10.7 (Lion), OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), whereas OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) is slightly different and described a above:
- Launch System Preferences from the Apple menu, then choose on “Language & Text”
- Click on the “Text” tab and uncheck the box next to “correct spelling automatically”
Here is what the OFF setting will look like in the preference panel for these versions of Mac OS X:
The end effect is the same, and OS X will no longer try to correct your typing, typos or not.
Auto correct first arrived to OSX with Lion, and overall it’s seemingly a lot more intelligent than it was when first introduced in iOS. As a cross OS feature, it has gotten much better as the autocorrect dictionary will learn from your typing habits, words, and even mistakes, but it can still be frustrating from time to time, and it’s not uncommon for it to be improperly triggered and make the wrong assumptions when you are typing unique names of people, products, companies, slang, and even various tech terms.
Obviously if you want auto-corrections enabled again, you just need to venture back into Language & Text preferences to recheck that box, which is then toggled back on.