How to Stop Autocorrect From Sabotaging Your Texts

Michele Debczak
"Thank you for your copulation."
"Thank you for your copulation." / Tom Werner/Royalty-free/iStock via Getty Images
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When your messaging app starts suggesting high flatulent instead of highfalutin, or copulation instead of cooperation, autocorrect has gone too far. Though the feature is meant to make communication easier, some users say it creates more misunderstandings than it prevents. Fortunately, you don’t have to be at the mercy of an algorithm every time you send a text. Changing a few preferences in your iPhone settings is all you need to do to make autocorrect a help instead of a hindrance.

According to PCMag, iOS gives you the option to turn off autocorrect altogether. In the Settings app, go to General, and then Keyboards to toggle off the Auto-Correction feature. You can also block spell-check and auto-capitalization if you really feel like playing fast and loose with your correspondence. If you opt to keep spell-check on, you can use it as a less aggressive alternative to autocorrect. When a red squiggly line shows up beneath a word in your draft, tap it to see a list of spelling suggestions. You can choose a word to replace the potential typo with a second tap. Though it requires a few extra steps, the peace of mind may be worth it.

If you’re hesitant to get rid of autocorrect completely, but can’t stand it in its current form, there’s a second option. Under Keyboards, select Text Replacement to customize the list of words your phone will automatically change to something else. You may see some shortcuts in here already; the casual abbreviation omw might autocorrect to the jarringly enthusiastic On my way!, for example. You can change these by deleting the suggested shortcut and leaving the field blank. If your phone doesn’t recognize words you use regularly, like an uncommon name or a certain expletive that rhymes with ducking, you can add them to the Text Replacement list and keep the Shortcut field empty to prevent auto-correction.

iOS’s Text Replacement feature can also be used to tweak autocorrect to fit your needs. Instead of limiting the function to spelling mistakes, you can input a new list of shortcuts and abbreviations that will automatically change to the words of your choice. Here’s another iPhone keyboard hack you should be using.

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