Macworld (USA)

How to fix autocorrec­t in IOS

What to do when you get inappropri­ate suggestion­s from the IOS autocorrec­t feature.


You’re tapping along on your iphone or ipad, and suddenly an ordinary letter or word gets replaced by something bizarre. We’re all used to autocorrec­t picking up weird expansions, which happens partly because Apple has introduced machine learning ( go. into how it predicts what you might intend to type.

However, you might also be the victim of a prank, and if you have children or people with child-like humor around you, you probably know who did it, too. A Macworld reader whose identity I shall wisely keep secret in order to spare them further embarrassm­ent, wrote in with this question:

When I type in the letter I, I get the following “i see dem jeanzzz,” and when I type in the word “hi,” I get “You a big green stankie bugger.” How do i stop this from happening?

While it’s possible ios’s autocorrec­t learned this from repeated entries, it’s more likely that someone gained access to your device and set a shortcut. While I don’t want to impugn young people, a young friend admitted this when I mentioned prank autocorrec­t substituti­ons:

Once, I made “Hello” autocorrec­t to “Salutation­s” on my mom’s phone.

You can check one method for this kind of substituti­on through these steps:

1. Open Settings → General → Keyboards

→ Text Replacemen­ts.

2. Review the list of items.

3. If you see something that looks ridiculous, swipe left on it, and then swipe Delete.

That takes care of obvious things. It’s possible to retrain autocorrec­t to substitute words automatica­lly, too. Sometimes on my IOS device, it will try to replace an ordinary word, like and, with something seeming off-base and disturbing, like “Ahahahahah­ahahah”. I must have typed that in once and it decided it’s what I meant all the time. This seems kind of sinister.

Typically, when autocorrec­t wants to drop a replacemen­t in without enough confidence it’s what you mean, you’ll have a pop-over menu appear with suggestion­s that you can tap before you tap space or return, which accepts the word that’s been dropped in. Tapping that pop-over helps retrain autocorrec­t, and you may only need to type the word a few times and pick your preferred replacemen­t (which might be the actual word typed!) before it’s back to normal. You can also double-tap a word, select Replace, and the pop-over menu with suggestion­s should appear.

If this is all too much, you can reset the dictionary, which drops all the words and replacemen­ts learned ( just go to Settings → General → Reset and choose Reset Keyboard Dictionary), or disable autocorrec­t (go to Settings → General → Keyboards and toggle the AutoCorrec­tion option off). ■

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 ??  ?? Autocorrec­t is usually helpful, suggesting a sensible replacemen­t.
Autocorrec­t is usually helpful, suggesting a sensible replacemen­t.

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