Turn off predictive typing in Word and Windows (10 & 11)

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Does predictive typing (predictive text) drive you mad?

Clippy
Clippy – 1997-2007
Do you remember the good old days of the Microsoft “Clippy” character in Microsoft Word? If you started to create a document that looked anything like a letter then it popped up a totally useless box with a totally fatuous and infantile piece of clipart, and a caption saying “It looks like you’re writing a letter”. It was much ridiculed and reviled, but it survived in the Microsoft Office versions from 1997 to 2003.

Well, it seems that there’s still at least a soupcon of that mentality alive and well at Microsoft. Yes, they’ve introduced “predictive text” to both Word and Windows itself. If there’s one thing guaranteed to put me off my stroke while I’m typing, it’s a popup telling me what it thinks I may be about to do. By the time I’ve been predictably distracted and decided that I can safely ignore the distraction, I’ve forgotten what I was about to type. Now, you may think this all because I’m becoming chronologically challenged, but it’s been the same for at least 30 years, so I would dispute that.

Empire State
In Word, after typing “Bui” the remainder of the word appears in grey. Hit the tab button to accept the suggestion.
I haven’t tried to encourage predictive text in Windows, but I did try it in Word. The first time I tried it, the prediction appeared in grey followed by the word “tab” in a box. Sure enough, when I hit the tab key, the grey text turned black and the cursor moved on to the end of the prediction, ready for me to continue typing. Thereafter, I couldn’t get it to repeat the hint (the word “tab”), so I hope people using it for real remember how to accept the prediction.

At least they’ve made this new “feature” optional – even if it’s not as obvious as it might be how to turn it off. It goes like this:

Turn off predictive text in Word (the current version)

  • Click on the “File” option
  • Down the lefthand side, click on “Options”
  • Down the lefthand side, click on “Advanced”
  • Scroll down to the section entitled “Editing Options”
  • Uncheck the box (ie click on it) next to “Show text predictions while typing”
  • Click “OK” at the bottom right of the box to close it
Predictive Text In Word
Uncheck the circled option to turn off predictive text in Word

Turn off predictive text in Windows 10

  • Click on the “Start” button
  • Click on the “Settings” icon
  • From the Settings home screen, click on “Devices”
  • Down the lefthand side, click on “Typing”
  • Under the “Typing” heading, turn off the switch under “Show text suggestions as I type on the software keyboard”
  • Under the “Hardware Keyboard” heading, turn off the switch under “Show text suggestions as I type”

Turn off predictive text in Windows 11

  • Click on the “Start” button
  • Click on the “Settings” icon
  • Down the lefthand side, click on “Time and Language” (yes, that’s right – “Time and Language”)
  • Click on the “Typing” option
  • Under the headings “Show text suggestions …” and “Multilingual text suggestions”, slide the switches to off

That’s it. Easy when you know how.