I hope you had the chance to optimize your web experience by changing your Chrome flags through last week’s Android customization post. This week, we want to head back to a fairly beginner’s task, changing the settings, or completely disabling, auto-correct functionality on your Android devices.

Auto-correct, or auto-cucumber, or arto-monkey as it is sometimes referred to, is responsible for many humorous and disastrous exchanges between friends, loved ones and co-workers. Usually auto-correct works wonderfully, changing misspellings like ‘freind’ into ‘friend’, but other times, words like ‘things’ turn into ‘thongs’ and confusion or worse is the result.

courage cheese auto-correct

If you, more often than not, spell your words correctly, and find that your auto-correct settings do you more harm than good, this is the guide you are looking for. You know what, if that is not you, if you find that far too few of your words are adjusted, that spelling mistakes are still the norm in your text, we’ll cover some settings below for you as well.

Before we begin

Please keep in mind that this is a relatively beginner’s tutorial. We will thoroughly walk through all of the available text correction settings on your Android device, but these are the basic settings that you can find by diving into settings. No apps or magic here today.

That all said, please keep in mind that each keyboard may use its own settings and dictionaries for your auto-correction needs. I will be using a stock Android 5.1 Lollipop device running the latest Google Keyboard for today. Your alternative keyboards should have similar settings, but please consult their individual tools for specific instruction.

How to disable auto-correct

There are two main methods to enter the Google Keyboard settings, you may long press on the ‘,’ button, to the left of the space bar and select the gear that pops up, or head into Settings -> Language & input -> Google Keyboard.

Settings Google Keyboard Text correction

From here, simply tap on Text correction.

You will find a number of settings in the following list, we will look at a few of them shortly.

To disable Auto-correct, tap on Auto-correction and choose Off.

Go ahead and back out of your settings and enjoy your new found power over your words.

Google Keyboard Text correction modest

How to modify auto-correct settings

As I hope you noticed above, there are plenty of extra options available in your Google Keyboard settings. For example, you may choose to set your Auto-correction level to Very Aggressive, so that Google changes up nearly every word that you type. Or, you may keep it at modest, but add a ton of your own words to your Personal dictionary.

Again, enter into your Google Keyboard settings either by long pressing the “,” button on the keyboard itself, or heading into Settings -> Language & input -> Google Keyboard. Then hit Text correction to see your options.

Google Keyboard comma Settings

Under Personal dictionary, you may manually add new words for your keyboard to recognize, including any word that is not in a normal dictionary, like your unique pet names, or any of the many acronyms that you may like to use. LOL.

Add-on dictionaries will bring support for alternative languages, and emoji.

Block offensive words, I suppose I do not have to tell you what this will do. Live bravely and free, just one toggle button away.

From there, Show correction suggestions and Next-word suggestions control the visuals of how the auto-correction operates. Personalized suggestions and Suggest Contact names gives the keyboard permissions to delve into your Contacts list and other Google apps to learn how you like to write, what words you like to use.

That is all there is to the Google Keyboard, feel free to change the settings around, see what works best for you. You may be surprised to learn that the only reason you have been piecing together legible sentences is through the power of auto-correct – which is not a reflection on you as a writer, just that that tiny little keyboard on your Android phone or tablet may be far less accurate than you previously thought it was.

Google Keyboard Auto-correct

What’s next

Did you know that Android has a global spell checker besides what is found in your keyboards? That’s right, check out the basic Language & input settings on your device, the second option down is Google Spell Checker. You can turn it on or off, and choose whether or not to check against your Contacts list for names. Rest assured, no matter what keyboard you use, or what auto-correct setting you put in place, Google is still trying to make sure you spell things correctly.