How To Turn Off Autocorrect on the Galaxy S7
Imagine you’re typing a lot email out on your Galaxy S7 to your boss, explaining an important meeting at work, or an upcoming project they need to know about. You type your brand name, but since it isn’t a word, your keyboard mistakes it for a typo. Suddenly, your keyboard changes a word like “SlimmFlex,” an imaginary brand of phone cases I just made up, to “Slam Fest,” something I assume is a really cool underground wrestling ring. Without realizing your mistake, you hit send in Gmail, sending your boss—and dozens of other employees all CC’d in on the conversation—your write-up on the brand new “Slam Fest.” Yikes.
This situation isn’t necessarily hypothetical—stuff like this happens all the time, as people send out accidental texts and emails containing embarrassing messages and miscommunication. Autocorrect does plenty of good when it works properly, but sometimes it just completely destroys the original meaning of a message. “Autocorrect fails” returns 565,000 results on Google for a reason—there are plenty of accidental typos out there.
If you’re fed up with autocorrect, and you want to go back to the old way of typing, you can adjust the settings of the keyboard on your Galaxy S7 or S7 to take it easy on the corrections. Though you’ll still have to look over your messages for mistakes, you’ll be looking for actual typos instead of artificial ones. Let’s take a look at how to adjust and turn off autocorrect on your Galaxy S7.
How to Turn Off Autocorrect (on the Samsung Keyboard)
While there are some ways to adjust autocorrect’s functionality, as we’ll detail below, you might be ready to cut yourself off from autocorrect entirely. To do so, you’ll want to unlock your phone. There are two ways to enter keyboard settings: through the traditional settings menu, or through the settings shortcut on the keyboard. To get there from the standard settings menu, tap “Language and input” under “Personal” (or, in the simplified settings menu, tap “General management,” followed by “Language and input”). Once you’re in the “Language and input” menu, tap “Virtual keyboard” under “Keyboards,” and then tap “Samsung keyboard.”
If you’re accessing the keyboard settings from the keyboard itself, tap the gear icon on the bottom of the keyboard. If the gear icon is hidden behind another shortcut, press and hold the icon to launch the full menu of settings inside the keyboard, and then select the gear icon. This will take you to the Samsung keyboard settings page.
Inside settings, tap “Predictive text” under “Smart Typing.” Predictive text refers to the suggested words that appear above the keyboard as you type, but it’s also the location of the setting to adjust autocorrection on the S7 and S7 edge. Samsung refers to autocorrect as “Auto replace;” if you slide the switch off, the keyboard will stop all autocorrection system-wide. After this, you can use your keyboard as normal. Your words and phrases will no longer corrected or capitalized, though the starts of sentences will still be auto-capitalized.
How to Adjust Autocorrect
Of course, autocorrect can be really helpful in certain situations. While it may cause some embarrassing situations every now and then, there’s a good chance it helps more than it hurts. Luckily, there are some ways you can adjust autocorrect to not be so stringent with correcting your mistakes. Some of these you can perform and set right inside the stock Samsung keyboard, while other settings may require a third-party keyboard. For those adjustments, we’ll be demoing Google’s Android keyboard, Gboard, which is available as a free download in the Play Store. Let’s get started with some simple tweaks and tricks to make autocorrect a bit more manageable.
Use Spell Check
Samsung’s keyboard has a second way to correct your text, but this one requires manual effort to adjust and fix. In the settings of the Samsung keyboard, under the “Smart Typing” category, you’ll find a setting for “Auto check spelling.” Unlike autocorrect, auto-check will highlight your misspellings with a red underline, similar to how desktop operating systems highlight mistakes in web browsers or word processors. To fix the mistake, you’ll have to manually tap on the word. This will highlight the word in red, and deliver several word replacements for what Samsung’s program thinks the word may be. If the word you were looking for is there (say, you misspell receive as “recieve”), you can select the newly-corrected word and go back to typing. If none of the suggestions are correct, you can still delete the word with one touch and retype how you believe it to be spelled. If you’ve spelled the word correctly, you can ignore the red underline, and send the message as is.
Essentially, the red underline is an easy way for you to see whether or not a word is misspelled with autocorrection jumbling up a sentence. In our testing, it was fast and worked well enough, although some suggestions were incorrect or not even close to the word we were trying to hit. Overall, though, spell check is a good way for you to receive some of the benefits of autocorrect without the embarrassing mistakes that it can often provide.
Add Words or Phrases to Your Dictionary
Now we’re going to start getting into some of the suggestions for using an alternate third-party keyboard. As highlighted above, Gboard is a great keyboard replacement, but there are plenty of other suggestions on the Play Store, including Swiftkey and Fleksy.
One of the best ways to improve autocorrect is to add custom words into your phone’s dictionary, which can be accessed either through the Gboard app shortcut in settings, or by going to your “Language and input” settings, tapping “Virtual keyboard”, and then selecting Gboard. Tap “Dictionary,” followed by “Personal dictionary” to open your own custom dictionary. You can enter any word or phrase into your dictionary, and Google will not adjust or correct those words for you. You can also enter a word and tie it to a shortcut; for example, when I type “shrug” onto my phone, it gives me the ability to correct to ¯_(ツ)_/¯ easily and quickly.
These are obviously example use cases, but in my own testing, I found Google’s dictionary function to work well. Any words I added to the dictionary, either through settings or by adding a misspelled word while typing, were ignored or corrected to while typing, as if they were an actual word.
Tweak Autocorrect Settings
Google’s keyboard also gives you the option to tweak how autocorrect functions. In many cases, I found Google’s text correction settings to be flexible easy to use. While you can turn off autocorrection in settings, Google gives you the ability to change how its keyboard functions and changes words. For example, blocking offensive words is an option that can be turned on or off, which will save your f-bomb-ridden rants from using the word “ducking” a lot.
You can also enable “Personalized suggestions” inside settings, which will allow your keyboard to learn from Google apps, services, and your own data to improve suggestions. In my experience, allowing Google to learn from how you type is one of the best options in the app: it allows the company to learn people’s names and nicknames, locations, addresses, and even slang you might use between your friends.
Whether you feel the need to completely disable autocorrect, or simply lower its ability to mess with your writing, it’s a good idea to spend some time inside the settings app for your keyboard. If you decide to switch away from using the stock Samsung keyboard, you’ll find that many third-party keyboards are great at allowing you to tweak every setting of your keyboard. Gboard, especially, is great at learning from the data it receives from you, and can make your typing a whole lot faster without losing the flawed-but-helpful utility of autocorrect.
Of course, you can also just turn off autocorrect, to prevent any more unexpected changes from “SlimmFlex” to “Slam Fest” or the like. Just be prepared to reread through your emails before you send them out, or you might find writing with autocorrect off just as much of a cumbersome challenge as writing with it turned on.