iPhone or iPad Capitalizing Random Words? Try This Workaround

Jan 30, 2018 - 56 Comments

iOS randomly capitalizes words on iPad and iPhone sometimes

Many users with iOS 11 are noticing that their iPad and iPhone will randomly capitalize words that were typed in the middle of sentences. For example, a sentence May look Like This with Randomly capitalized Words for No apparent reason, requiring Many manual Corrections Of what you have Typed.

The random capitalization issue has been around since iOS 11 debuted and has yet to be resolved, but there are a few workarounds that may be of assistance if you’re deeply annoyed by having typed words capitalize themselves at random.

iOS Randomly Capitalizing Typed Words? Here’s a Workaround

One way to stop the random capitalization of words is to disable Auto-Capitalization of words in iOS. While this will prevent the random word capitalization is means you will need to capitalize every word yourself. Accordingly, this is really only practical if you routinely use an external Bluetooth keyboard with an iPad (or iPhone), since you’ll be needing to use the shift key regularly to capitalize words yourself just like you would on a Mac or desktop PC.

  1. Open the “Settings” app on the iPhone or iPad and then go to “General” and to “Keyboard”
  2. Locate the setting for “Auto-Capitalization” and turn the switch to OFF

Disable Auto-Capitalization for iOS

This is a blunt force approach and not an ideal solution by any means.

Again, with auto-capitalization disabled, everything will be in lowercase caps just like you were typing on a Mac or PC, thereby requiring constant use of the Shift key to capitalize words that need proper casing. Some people will find that a sufficient trade-off wheres others will find it to be unacceptable, and it’s arguably more useful going this route on iPad than iPhone just due to the nature of the onscreen keyboards.

Why words randomly capitalize themselves in iOS 11 is not clear but it’s perhaps a bug that is yet to be addressed with software updates to iPhone and iPad.

Workaround 2: Check Your Contacts for the Capitalized Words

Another possibility that explains some random capitalization is if the names or words being capitalized appear in your Contacts list. You can check this through the iOS Contacts app.

For example if you have a contact for “Doctor Bob” then you may find that every time you type the word ‘doctor’ it shows up as “Doctor”, or if you have a contact for “Flowers ETC” then you may notice that both ‘flowers’ and ‘etc’ show up capitalized to represent how they appear in contacts.

For business names, you can modify the contacts so that the “First Name” and “Last Name” fields are left blank and instead fill in the “Business Name” section of the contact and then saving the change.

Some other options that have floated around support forums include disabling auto-correct on iPhone or iPad completely, or even resetting the Keyboard dictionary, but in testing neither of those seemed to fix the issue.

Workaround 3: Resetting the Keyboard Dictionary in iOS

If you do want to try resetting the keyboard dictionary on iPhone or iPad, then do the following:

  1. Open the “Settings” app and go to “General” and then to “Reset”
  2. Choose “Reset Keyboard Dictionary” – note you will lose keyboard shortcuts set in iOS by doing so

This has mixed results however, and may or may not help the issue for you. Let us know in the comments below if you have success with this method, or any other.

This appears to be a fairly widespread issue, and there are many threads (1, 2, 3, 4) on this topic on the Apple Discussion boards, suggesting that Apple should be aware of the problem, and perhaps we’ll get a resolution in a future iOS software update.

Do you have any experience with the random capitalization of words when typing on an iPad or iPhone with iOS 11? Were you able to remedy the problem with this fix or another solution? Share your experience with us in the comments below.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


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  1. Shoopy says:

    It’s 2023 and this is STILL an issue!! My specific complaint is when I use slide-to-type. How frustrating.

  2. Ruthann says:

    My iPhone will not select the predictive word after I use The word I. It only does what I typ (It showed I typed As a predictive but when I selected it, the phone didn’t reply select it).
    It also capitalizes the 2nd word after I type The word I. Just like it has done throughout this message.

  3. Paul says:

    Instead of turning off capitalization completely, WHY doesn’t Apple just give an option to only auto-capitalize proper nouns and 1st words of sentences? This is ridiculous to have to deal with.

    Not related to this, Apple also needs an option to turn off the feature of “Apple knows better than me” and stop auto-correcting when I enter an ACTUAL English word. Like, I typed “lied” and it changed it to “lies”. I backspaced and made it “lied” again and it changed it to “Lied”. So it did the capitalization issue on top of it. Again, rather than disabling auto correct completely, it shouldn’t be hard for Apple to add an option never to correct real words.

  4. Robert Fabros says:

    My only concern is the display of my keyboards. They are all in CAPS even if the letters that I type in are lowercase.

  5. Nancy Karen says:

    I have the same issue. It happens when I’m editing or correcting. Any place I click within a sentence automatically turns on the capital indicator. I’ve tried resetting my keyboard but there was no change. It’s really annoying.

  6. Margaret says:

    My iPhone does not capitalize randomly—its mistakes are very predictable. It capitalizes whenever I go back to insert a new word into a sentence. It seems to think that whenever the cursor is moved back, the writer is starting a new sentence. I tried turning off auto-capitalization, but it was too much of a pain on the phone keyboard. It’s not so bad when I use a Bluetooth keyboard with my iPad because I can use the Shift key. But I agree with everyone else: This Should Not Be Happening.

  7. Karen says:

    My phone was doing the same thing whenever I would type or dictate the word Idaho Falls, typing it as IDAHO FALLS. I saw a comment online about possibly checking in your Contacts to see if that name or place was typed in all caps. Sure enough. I had turned all caps on to type USPS Idaho Falls. But as you can see now, after editing the name, it doesn’t do it anymore. To find where it was in my Contacts, I just typed Idaho Falls in the Contacts search bar.

  8. Louise says:

    When I back up to retype a word that I typed wrong ot add a word in a sentence it winds up capped, among many other random capitalizations that just pop up for no reason. Turning off auto cap makes it even more frustrating and time wasting because I have to cap all the words I want capped. I am reluctant to undo the keyboard because I don’t want to lose my shortcuts. Why shortcuts are deleted when undoing the keyboard I can’t imagine. Here we have Apple, a company that is R reputedly at the top in the computing world but it cannot or will not fix glitches in their products. The random cap problem has been reported to Apple for at least a year and probably longer, yet it has never been fixed. Maybe Apple should consult with Bill Gates.

  9. Kathlene says:

    Resetting the keyboard worked for me! My phone was capitalizing a random letter in the middle of my name and changing my last name to all caps!

  10. Margaret Chambers says:

    i’ve tried that and it works when typed but not when I dictate it using the microphone ☹️

  11. Dave Darjany says:

    What worked for me was adding a shortcut to fix what it was unfixing. My phone was also always changing my name from Dave to DAVE. It was so annoying! I tried some of these other steps but they didn’t work, what worked for me was adding my own shortcut to make dave automatically turn into Dave, and now it seems to work better…! Frustrating yes I wish these fancy expensive phones worked perfectly! From Apple we should expect no less!

  12. Hels says:

    Resetting the keyboard dictionary solved my surname continually been autocorrected into capitals. Thanks.

  13. Sharron says:

    When I manually capitalize a mid-sentence word, I get a lower case “a” followed by a space inserted before the word. It happens on words that are not in my Contacts. not the end of the world, but annoying. Every IOS upgrade seems to add more problems than it solves.

  14. Turning Luddite says:

    None of this is helpful. Here is the actual solution:

    Instead of futzing over new stopwatch features, mosquito repellent apps and useless upgrades that interfere with using a phone for… let’s say… a phone… Maybe the iPhone designers should spend a little time on perfecting the basics like… allowing you to type what you want type.

    This is an absolutely absurd issues to be having and to leave customers having to stitch together a solution for.

    • Paul says:

      What is not helpful about troubleshooting an issue that is known to occur, and fixing it when iPhone is randomly capitalizing words? IF you have another solution, share it.

  15. Remy Aden says:

    None of these solutions help me all that much. I’m a writer and I do a lot of my work on my phone. Auto capitalisation is less than ideal as a solution and I only have names in my contacts (although Mack almost always changes to MACK and Maxs changes to Mack)
    I’m hesitant to reset my keyboard as I have a lot of shortcuts for my writing. (A lot. Probably too many to count.) First of all, I’m not willing to reset it and lose all those shortcuts and then have to enter them all back in. Second, my phone is at this point pretty decent with correcting made up words (fantasy writing can fill a doc with red lines under words.) but it’s taken nearly 5 years to get it to the point that it doesn’t change Tyrsení to Tyson and things of that nature.
    If there are ANY other possible solutions I’d love to hear them but I’d almost rather struggle with this than lose all my other stuff. (Almost)

  16. N johnson says:

    My iPhone 11 decides to randomly start capitalizing the first letter Of* (here is random example!)any word and often the first letter of the 3rd word of a sentence!! It also will sometimes Start* capitalizing the first letter of the first word of each line of an email(not text). I have So* many Word* shortcuts That* I don’t want to delete my keyboard text replacements. This has been happening since I first Got** this phone. It is so frustrating and such a waste of my time to keep correcting.
    Just to get the curser to appear when I tap My phone looking for it to surface to use it to delete the upper case letter is a waste of time. Then to get it to line up behind the word to change it to lower case takes even more time. I want To* flush the phone and get an android. (Notice the random words With the first letter in upper case!!)

  17. RICHARD says:

    A huge thank you for this answer about the capitalization of contacts causing random capitalization of words you enter! Thank you thank you

  18. Roanne Heywood says:

    I found Dave would always become DAVE – it was because one of my contacts was in capital letters, changing the contact immediately fixed the problem (it’s been bugging me for years!!!) thank you!

  19. Jammit says:

    Thanks, I’d been looking for a solution for ages. it was the contacts thing that was making my phone type SYDNEY, SHANGHAI, etc, making me feel like a total YAHOO! when I messaged people.

  20. Tom Stoffer says:

    That fixed it for me THANKS!!!! Have no idea how the Singapore keyboard got added or enabled on my phone. Other words the were getting capitalised were long, super, mother, guess

  21. Michae says:

    No responses on the capitalization ONLY when using punctuation like ! and ? ?

    Restated: I have an issue when in Twitter, Messaging, and some other apps (not all) when typing certain punctuation marks it capitalizes the preceding word. Every single time. Weird, I know. Can’t find anything that would be the cause of such a thing. Any ideas would be helpful.


  22. Rob says:

    Thank You. hopefully this stops the all cap corrections like “Toyota” auto capitalized to “TOYOTA” every time. it makes writing so hard. This response was written in September 2019 and this article is of huge merit! Android has nothing so dumb that I remember as a former user as to auto capitalize all letters of every noun being a persons name or company, that is something formal. it makes texts look weird and over emphasized but while writing it slips through and then the reader is left to wonder why place emphasis on that person or business.

  23. Cara Rauschl says:

    Thank you so much! Your suggestions worked. My names were capitalized in my contacts, I changed it and fixed my frustrating issue. So happy!

  24. Michael says:

    Auto capping on my iPad and iPhone seems to have a pattern that wouldn’t be defeated using your suggested workarounds, though I may try them. It doesn’t do it in every app, but in Twitter and when messaging, if I shift to type a ! or a ? it capitalizes the word BEFORE the punctuation mark. Weird or what? Very frustrating as I don’t always watch as it happens and have to go back and correct one by one. Also, in some apps just getting the ability to type a ! or a ? is gone, and I have to press where only the , or the . symbols show, knowing that’s where they should be. Again, weird and frustrating.

  25. Bob McWilliams says:

    A $1000 phone should not have any software issues. Especially one that has lasted this long.
    They know which update is at fault, surely it can’t be that hard to go back to when this was not happening and repair it

  26. Grob says:

    Thank you! Thank you! I could not for the life of me figure out why the name Sandra kept coming up in caps. I guess the contact imported into my contact list using all caps and thanks to this thread the issue is solved. Thank you for the tips above and solving this maddening issue.

  27. Suzanne says:

    I have the same problem too. I think it is because I type in different languages. But, when I’m typing just in English it will capitalize certain words mid sentence for no reason. And, it not as if the word it capitalizes is even a word in the other language I’m typing. So it doesn’t make sense.

  28. Mig says:

    I was having this problem with the words ‘long’ and ‘super’. Neither appears capitalized in my contacts. I tried resetting the keyboard dictionary but that did not help. I noticed that I had 6 different keyboards available, not just English (Canada), English (US) etc., but English (Singapore) too. So I deleted the Singaporean and the problem seems to be fixed!

    • P says:

      Had issues with the same words! I also use the English (Singapore) keyboard. No idea why these words get the CAPS treatment. At first I thought it was like German nouns but this makes zero sense.

      Resetting the keyboard did not work for me.

  29. Corinna says:

    i found that it just has to learn the word. mine usually capitalizes ‘May’, but that is probably because it’s a month. also, the name Finn was getting autocorrected to FINN (not sure why) but after typing it out for a while and fixing it, it never does it anymore.

  30. John Jaffe says:

    Have auto capitalization turned off, and still get lots of random, inappropriate capitalizations of words?!
    Other ideas?

  31. John J. says:

    Tried toggling the “auto capitalization” switch to off several times but still yet inappropriate words capitalized all the time. Very frustrated you have to delete and then re-type words Frequently.

    Incidentally, the word “frequently” in the first paragraph is just one more example of words I don’t want capitalized but regularly get “Auto Capitalized”.

    And he suggestions?

  32. Kathleen Beltz says:

    Thanks for the name capitalization hint; it worked immediately! It was driving me bonkers.

  33. Mark says:

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! for your suggestion to check contact list with regard to why a word may keep auto capitalizing.

    iPhone has been capitalizing “Seats” for a couple years now and was driving me crazing. Turns out I had a contact that had “Seats” in the name. When I deleted I can now type a sentence with “seats” in the middle of it and no longer have iPhone change it it to “Seats”.

  34. LordBlight says:

    Thank you. I had contacts with caps. Problem solved

  35. Steve says:

    Thank you. I simply went through my address book and changed all the problem words to lower case and the problem is solved.

  36. Matt says:

    I checked my address book for the words that were being capitalised inappropriately. I found each of the words as either the first word in first name or last name. When I changed it to lower case, the problem went away. Thanks for the suggestion and help.

  37. Kyle says:

    This worked for me:

    Reset your personal dictionary. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Keyboard Dictionary. All custom words and shortcuts are deleted, and the keyboard dictionary returns to its default state.

  38. Bob says:

    The key is to go back to IOS10.
    All you have to do is find the person that decided that what ever he did to undo it.
    Why would any sane person make a change like that to a perfectly perfect program. It’s as annoying as hell and needs to fixed… right now and then fire ever who did this.
    Each one of us is paying thousand of dollars a year to be a part of the richest telecom company in the world and this is how we get rewarded????? Samsung is looking pretty good right now.

  39. John Hansen says:

    I’m not finding these issues but for about the last 6 months my iPad and iPhone seem to have lost the ability to spell!! For instance, when I type ‘from’ it automatically reverts to ‘form’.
    ‘&’ becomes ‘and’, ‘out’ becomes “our” – unless it has speech marks in which case it reverts to “out” again.. ‘there’ reverts to “three” etc. etc. etc.
    I could go on forever about the words that change, but it seems a random process. The point is, IT SHOULD’T BE HAPPENING!!

    Also, there should be some legal responsibility on the purveyor of the system (i.e. Apple) to respond to the demonstrable fact that the system they took our hard earned money for is clearly not of merchantable quality!!

    In short, what does it take to insist that Apple take responsibility for their actions (and preferably compensate us for this ‘snake oil’)!!

  40. Nina Penny says:

    This is great advice! It happened with the word ‘work’. Changed my work contacts to a small ‘w’ and it rectified it. Thanks.

  41. Nina Penny says:

    This is great advice! It happened with the work ‘work’. Changed my work contacts to a small ‘w’ and it rectified it. Thanks.

  42. RM says:

    I forgot about this setting, thank you.

    My other beef with auto correct is how the context of my sentence drastically changes when “U” is changed to “I”, often just as I hit the send button… lol

  43. jggtn says:

    I had to wipe the keyboard dictionary on my new iPhone X which temporarily solved the problem but it’s back. Sad thing is that Apple appears to not consider grammatical context when it invokes capitalization. For example, when I decide to add a word mid sentence it randomly and inappropriately capitalizes it as if it’s thinking I’m starting a new sentence (in the middle of an existing sentence).

    Apple’s spellcheck also randomly selects words when it doesn’t like the word I’m typing. For example, substituting a word starting in “b” for a word I specifically typed starting in “c”. (I know. Sounds absurd, but it happened.) In other words, I don’t need Apple to decide for me what it thinks I want based on some crowd sourced AI garbage it thinks the popular kids are using, or some similar algorithmic nonsence.

  44. Thanks so much for researching this. I’m a writer, and I’ve been enjoying easing into doing more and more writing on my iPad Pro and Logitech Bluetooth keyboard. I’ve been reluctant to simply turn off auto caps, but seeing the sad lack of alternatives, I’m going to do just that. Thanks again. Hope to see an update sooner than later.

  45. Anne says:

    It drove me crazy on my old iPad and I’m disappointed that it’s still there. Turning off auto-capitalization is the only solution.

    I watched it for a while and I think I found a pattern.

    The wrongly capitalized words had been used before, in the context of the first word of a sentence.

    I write a lot of photo captions and I used some words repeatedly as the first word of captions. It was impossible not to notice the pattern.

    On a more positive note, autocorrect is improved in some ways. For example, “blockquote”, previously treated as a unknown string now auto fills. Also, certain commonly used phrases are recognized much better than before.

    I am getting occasional question marks before letters, but not that often.

  46. Richard Goldsmith says:

    I don’t get words capitalized but on my iPad Air I get numbers substituted for the lowercase letters such as 5he and w@s when the .?123 button has not been touched.

  47. Richard says:

    I *think* that a fix is to correct the error again and again until the device ‘learns’ to not uppercase it. Example, shortly after watching the Wonder Woman movie, I texted several friends what a great movie Wonder Woman is. Thereafter the words Wonder and Woman were auto-capitalised for some time in any and all subsequent texts. I typed up several dummy texts containing these words, correcting to lower case several times. Finally my iPhone stopped auto-capitalising. I’m not saying this is a convenient fix, but it seemed to work for me.

  48. Toby says:

    I have an e-mail contact called Sick Note. That explains the random [S]ick and [N]ote, thanks! Now I need to comb through my address book for others.

    • Anne says:

      Unfortunately, it “learns” to capitalize in many other situations.

      I found it could be thrown off by simply using the word as the first word of a sentence.

  49. Skeptic says:

    This happens to me constantly on iPad, slightly less so on iPhone. It does with words, not just contacts or names.

    Very annoying to say the last. But on the other hand, the iPad is sort of a big toy and content consumption device so it’s not exactly hampering workflow. People use actual computers for real work in the real world, despite what the commercials try to sell and tell you.

    I recall a discussion that it’s possibly due to so-called “machine learning” that Apple is implementing given that’s a new buzzword everyone must jump to. Given how amazing Siri is with the other hot buzzword of “AI”, you can see how well buzzword chasing is working…

    • Dave says:

      Random capitalization is made worse by the need in iOS to delete the entire word to correct the problem, something Android doesn’t require. Why in the world can’t the cursor be located between two letters of a word?

      And why not design a better keyboard, one with numbers and letters visible? These area are examples of terrible design, design without regard at all to functionality.

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