How to Fix Unwanted Predictive Text Suggestions from QuickType on iPhone

Apple introduced the QuickType predictive text feature to iPhone users with iOS 8, and it's been a time-saver ever since. The iPhone's ability to suggest the three most likely words you'll use next in your message is a fantastic keyboard add-on, but what happens when QuickType makes the wrong word suggestions? Sometimes our iPhone keyboards "learn" misspellings, or offer unwanted words that pop up before the word you prefer. Luckily, there is a way to edit or remove unwanted words that the predictive text feature presents. Read on to learn how to fix your iPhone's predictive text function by resetting your iPhone's keyboard, so you can make sure QuickType is suggesting the words you really need in your iMessages. 

Related: iMessage Not Working? Here's How to Fix It on iPhone or iPad (UPDATED FOR iOS 11)

The best way to avoid unwanted words in QuickType is to be attentive when you type, making sure to avoid accidentally choosing the wrong word from the predictive text offerings. If you do end up with unwanted words, there are three ways to deal with them.

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Use Autocorrect to Fix Predictive Text

If you have just a few misspelled words being offered by QuickType, this is a good fix. I deliberately misspelled believe only two times before the predictive text function started suggesting the misspelling. To use your iPhone's autocorrect function to fix a predictive text suggestion like this:

  • Open an app where you can backspace and correct yourself, such as Notes.
  • Enter your misspelled word, then backspace until a black bubble appears offering the correct spelling.

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  • Tap the black bubble to correct the word.

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Eventually, the predictive text feature should learn the word that you actually prefer, but for the first few times, the misspelling with still be offered.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Fix Predictive Text

A second way to fix the problem, especially if there are just a few words that you need to correct, is to create keyboard shortcuts so that the incorrect or unwanted word becomes a keyboard shortcut for the correct word. See our earlier tip on how to create keyboard shortcuts.

Reset Your iPhone's Keyboard to Fix Predictive Text

The third way to fix predictive text errors is the most extreme, and I wouldn't do it unless the predictive text is so messed up it's become a chronic issue. Once you reset your keyboard dictionary, you'll start from scratch and lose all the tailor-made suggestions your iPhone has accumulated for you over the months or years. If you decide to reset your keyboard dictionary:

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Scroll down and tap on General.

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  • Scroll down and tap Reset.
  • Now, scroll down and tap Reset Keyboard Dictionary.

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That's it! Now you can start from the ground up with your keyboard's predictive text function, and hopefully have better results in the future.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.