Does your iPhone randomly capitalise words?

iPhone rageSeveral of my IT clients have mentioned this problem to me recently, and there doesn’t seem to be one single cause or one single fix. To add to the annoyance, the capital letter often doesn’t pop up until you have moved on several words in what you are typing. You then have to go back to it and try – sometimes several times – to persuade it that a lower case letter is what you wanted.

To begin with, I thought that this problem cropped up with the release of IOS version 11, but a bit of googling shows that some people have been having problems with this as far back as version 9 (a couple of years or so ago).

Apple themselves are not exactly helpful on the subject. Their support page mentions just one suggestion – re-setting your personal dictionary. This is achieved by going to:

Settings > General > Reset > Reset keyboard dictionary

The problem with this option is that it deletes any personalisation that you have created in your dictionary and, moreover, isn’t guaranteed to solve the problem. So, if you have personalised your dictionary at all, I would suggest that you try the possibilities listed below first as they are much easier to reverse if they don’t work.

IOS Keyboard Settings

The first thing to try is turning off auto-capitalisation. This, of course, means that the first character after a full stop will no longer be a capital unless you hit the shift key yourself, but you could at least try this first to see if it works and to see if you really would miss auto-capitalisation. Having to intentionally create an upper case letter when you want one is probably less annoying than removing a spurious one. Turn auto-capitalisation off as follows:

Settings > General > Keyboard > Auto-Capitalisation – and then slide the switch to the left (off)

Another possible reason for random capitalisation is that you are typing a word (in a different context) that is included in your Contacts as if it were a name. So, for example, if you’ve put “Acme Cabs” as the NAME of a contact, then you may get the word “cabs” capitalised if you use it in other contexts. If this is the case then the solution is simply to move “Acme Cabs” away from the Name field in your Contacts and into the “Company” field.

Another thing you can try is to disable auto-correction as follows:

Settings > General > Keyboard > Auto-Correction – and then slide the switch to the left (off)

Steve Jobs with iPhoneIf your rogue capitalisation is completely predictable – ie the same peculiar thing happens every time you type a particular word – then you could try employing what we techies might call a “dirty fix”. You could go into the “text replacement” setting and tell it to always replace what it got wrong with what is correct. To access this feature, go to:

Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement

This is all a bit of a mess, and we mere mortals are left to wonder how this glitch can be so difficult to cure that it has been around for a long time now.

Sometimes, you can’t help getting the impression that some of the gloss has gone from Apple since Steve Jobs died. On the other hand, maybe the rot set in right at the beginning when Apple decided to spell “iPhone” with a capital “P”. If that isn’t “random capitalisation”, I don’t know what is!

© 2011-2018 David Leonard
Computer Support in London
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