How to Turn On/Off Auto-Correct on the iPhone/iPad

If you find auto-correct annoying, turn it off

It's easy to turn off Auto-Correction once you know where the setting is located.
Daniel Nations

Auto-Correction can be a helpful feature, but it can also be a frustrating feature. Most iPad and iPhone users have experienced typing an email or text message only to spot garbled words after the Auto-Correction feature got its hand on it.

You can do some cool things with Auto-Correction. One neat keyboard shortcut is to skip typing the apostrophe in contractions like "can't" or "won't" and let Auto-Correct insert it for you. Of course, unless you type a lot of contractions, the time saved may not be worth the frustration involved.  

How to Turn Auto-Correction On or Off

You toggle auto-correction on or off in the Settings app.

  1. Tap the Settings app on the Home screen.
  2. Choose General from the menu. 
  3. Tap Keyboard to open the keyboard settings.
  4. The Auto-Correction setting is just below Auto-Capitalization. Tap the slider next to Auto-Correction to turn it on or off.

How to Auto-Correct With Auto-Correction Turned Off

If you want to have your cake and eat it too, you can still use auto-correction without having it correct your typos automatically as you type. By default, spell checking is turned on for your iPhone or iPad. So long as it remains on, you can tap any misspelled words to see a pop-up menu with three choices for correcting the misspelling.

You can tap out a message and then go back through your misspelled words and quickly change them to the correct spelling.

Pay attention to Predictive typing, which is also turned on by default and configured in the same keyboard settings screen. Predictive typing suggests words as you type. If you are typing a long word, keeping an eye on the predictions across the top of the keyboard allows you to use one tap to complete the word.

A Few More Keyboard Tips for Your iPhone and iPad

The iPhone and iPad keyboards have other tricks. For example, did you know you can quickly tap in numbers on the iPad without switching to the numbers keyboard? There's also a virtual trackpad that allows you to place the cursor precisely when editing text. Who needs a mouse when you have a virtual trackpad?

Access the virtual trackpad on the iPad by holding two fingers down on the keyboard. This turns the keys blank and allows you to move the cursor with your fingers. If your iPhone supports 3D Touch, which was introduced with the iPhone 6S, you can press a single finger down on the keyboard to activate the virtual trackpad.

You may have noticed the numbers and special characters showing above the letters on the keyboard on an iPad. You activate these alternate numbers and characters by tapping the key and sliding your fingers slightly down.

Voice Dictation is the ultimate shortcut. Just tap the microphone key and let your voice do the typing, courtesy of Siri. Tip: To insert a comma or period, say the word "comma" or "period."