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How to Fix iPhone Auto-Correction

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published by Chad Evans
September 5, 2022 at 7:55 p.m.
  • Auto-Correction assists iPhone users by instantly fixing common typing mistakes.
  • The technology analyzes your writing style, vocabulary, and other personal communication attributes to enhance corrective capabilities.
  • Over time, the iPhone’s ability to make accurate corrections seems to diminish for some users.
  • Auto-correction can often be adjusted to remedy decreased accuracy.
  • In severe cases, users can reset Auto-Correction to improve typing accuracy.

Why is My iPhone’s Auto-Correction Wrong?

Do words that you usually type on your iPhone get replaced with incorrect text? If so, your iPhone’s Auto-Correct feature may need minor adjustments to restore accuracy. Don’t worry. It’s a relatively straightforward process, and your iPhone experience will improve as you learn to fine-tune your device’s ability to intelligently correct typing mistakes.

In the worst-case scenario, you may want to reset your iPhone’s keyboard dictionary. It may seem drastic, but it’s a quick way to restore accuracy. I reset my keyboard dictionary recently, and I liked the results so much that I decided to share them with the world.

Keep in mind that there are some consequences to resetting your keyboard dictionary. Your iPhone will have to re-learn your typing and language habits. In my case, resetting the dictionary worked out well. My typing was more accurate; however, months later, it seems to be slipping again.

Adjust Auto-Correct Settings for More Accurate Corrections

Auto-correction may need some fine-tuning to serve your needs better. If, for example, you are constantly putting periods where they don’t belong, it may be that the “.” Shortcut is activated. This inserts a period into your writing whenever you double-tap the space bar. You can either turn this off or use it to your advantage. I think it’s a convenient feature.

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You may be surprised that your iPhone behaves this way, but these are all default settings. For the experienced iPhone user, Apple’s initial auto-correction setup works well. If you’re new to the iPhone or forgot some of these features, it’s worth examining what they all do.

iPhone Auto-Correct Settings (iOS 15.6.1)

  • Auto-Capitalization – capitalizes words based on grammatical rules and usage patterns
  • Auto-Correction – uses items in your dictionary to find and replace misspelled words as you type
  • Enable Caps Lock – when activated, tapping the shift key twice forces the keyboard to type in capital (uppercase) letters
  • Smart Punctuation – automatically adds punctuation, such as commas, periods, exclamation points, and question marks
  • Character Preview – toggles expanded display of each character as you type on the keyboard
  • “.” Shortcut – adds a period when you tap the spacebar twice in rapid succession
  • Check Spelling – checks spelling and underlines misspelled words
  • Predictive – displays predicted words above the keyboard, which users can tap on to compose sentences
  • Slide-to-Type – enables users to enter text by sliding a finger across the keyboard, similar to other “swipe” keyboards
  • Delete Slide-to-Type-by-Word  – erases the last-typed slide-to-type word by pressing the Delete key
  • Enable Dictation – adds a microphone key to the keyboard, enabling speech-to-text dictation when tapped
  • Memoji Stickers – adds a button to the keyboard for inserting Memoji and Emoji

Adjusting these settings can improve your iPhone experience without resetting the keyboard dictionary. If you’re having problems entering text, try changing these settings first. If the issues run deeper, such as your iPhone replacing correct words with incorrect ones, you may need to reset the dictionary, which we will cover in the next section.

One of the simplest ways to improve text input on your iPhone is to shut off features you don’t use. I don’t use the slide-to-type feature at all. It can complicate entering text by confusing haphazard taps for swipes. Switching off “Slide-to-Type” will immediately benefit text entry if you’re not using this feature. It will also turn off “Delete Slide-to-Type-by-Word,” which the swipe keyboard uses.

If you don’t use the Predictive word feature, shut it off too. You’ll get more viewable screen area when you type, and you won’t accidentally tap on one of the selections. It’s helpful, and I use it all the time, but if you don’t use it, turn it off.

Those with larger screens can shut off Character Preview. This long-standing feature shows larger characters as you press each key, so you can verify that you pressed the right key. This antiquated feature was much more helpful when iPhones were tiny. It may be of use on the smaller SE models.

Don’t turn off Auto-Correction. I was so frustrated with Auto-Correct fails, I did this, not realizing how much I rely on the feature. Once you turn off Auto-Correction, you’ll make so many typing mistakes that it’s not even funny. I turned it back on after ten minutes. Unfortunately, this feature replaces correctly spelled words with nonsense when it’s not working properly.

My problem was that the iPhone replaced correct words with incorrect words shortly after I typed them. It drove me nuts, and I was swearing at my iPhone. “Why are you replacing valid words that work in context with the most ludicrous substitutions?!?,” I screamed in my head. It turns out this is partly my fault and partly Apple’s.

It’s my fault because I sometimes chose the wrong words from the Predictive text options. This fills the keyboard dictionary with erroneous associations. But Apple should know better. The company boasts about artificial intelligence and machine learning. Then it replaces “boasts” with “boats”. Typing on an iPhone is more frustrating now than ever.

One day, one of these random replacements went unchecked. I sent a text message that made me seem like an idiot. I knew I had typed the right words. My iPhone replaced them as I looked at what I was currently typing. I know I should have proofread. I did while I entered the text. My iPhone decided one word should change, as I was off typing other words. I got so fed up that I decided to reset my keyboard dictionary, and so far, I’m delighted with the results.

How to Reset Your iPhone’s Keyboard Dictionary

If minor adjustments aren’t enough to fix aggressive and incorrect Auto-Correction, resetting the keyboard dictionary will often help. In some cases, this can reduce accuracy. In my case, it helped a lot. The intelligent word substitutions were so idiotic that I had to try something.

Resetting your iPhone’s keyboard dictionary is easy, and it won’t delete any apps or files from your iPhone. You can also back up the dictionary along with a full backup of your iPhone. If you find that resetting the dictionary made things worse, you can restore your backup, which will repopulate the keyboard dictionary.

To reset your iPhone’s keyboard dictionary, tap on Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset Keyboard Dictionary. Enter your passcode to confirm. iOS will reset your keyboard dictionary to factory defaults, and you will immediately notice a difference in typing.

If you notice that typing is worse and you saved a backup, restore it immediately. Otherwise, enjoy a better typing experience on your iPhone…


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