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Guide: Fix ‘Spell Check Not Working in Google Docs’ Issue
Google Docs is one of the most popular and functional online word processor apps right now. I often use it to write useful guides for GT. When thoughts come to your mind faster than your typing speed, you tend to make spelling mistakes. Fortunately, Google Docs comes with a built-in spell checker. For some odd reason, the spell checker doesn’t work for several users in Google Docs.
Note that some browsers, such as Firefox and Chrome, also have a built-in spell checker, but these don’t work in Google Docs. The Google Docs menu takes precedence over the right-click browser menu options. Here are some solutions to fix the problem of spell check not working in Google Docs.
1. Reload the Documents page
This is simple trick that can fix web apps related to bugs. Hit the F5 button on your keyboard to refresh the page. See if the spell check is now working.back to menu ↑
2. Turn on spell check
The feature may be currently disabled in Google Docs. A recent update pushed by Google may have disabled it. Either way, let’s make sure. Click Tools in the menu and under Spelling and grammar, check Show spelling suggestions and Show grammar suggestions.
You will notice that there is a keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + X that performs an automatic spelling and grammar check. Try that too.back to menu ↑
3. Format error
Did you copy the text from elsewhere? There may be code or formatting errors in the text that are otherwise not visible. To remove that from the text, right-click anywhere on the Doc page and select Paste Without Formatting.
You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + V. Check if the Google Docs spell checker can now detect the spelling errors.back to menu ↑
4. Try a different browser
I’m not sure which browser you are using, but Chrome seems to be the most popular and most used browser in the world right now. Either way, your browser could be the culprit. An easy way to find out is to open the same Google Doc file in a different browser. You can try Brave, Opera, Firefox, Vivaldi or any other browser.
If the error continues, your browser is harmless. If not, you know what to do – try a different browser or read on for solutions.back to menu ↑
5. Incognito Mode
Let’s just say the Chrome browser behaves strangely during Google Docs spell check feature works fine in Firefox. Now open the same Google Doc in Chrome’s incognito mode. Most browsers offer a similar featureIf you don’t see the spell checker working, it is possible that one of the extensions on it has become rogue.
If you still find that the Google Docs spell checker is not working, skip to point 6 below. If it works, go to point 7.back to menu ↑
6. Disable extensions or add-ons
Chrome calls them extensions while Firefox calls them add-ons. Either way, they can mess with your browser’s function. Most extensions are automatically disabled in incognito mode, as we saw above. Open the extension page from the menu and disable them all at once.
Disable all extensions and check again. The spell check in Google Docs should now work. So, how do you know which extension is to blame? Turn on half of them at once and check again. Depending on how the spell checker behaves, you will know which half is causing the error. Turn on the remaining half and keep doing that until you find the culprit. Remove that extension. You can also try an extension manager to help you with this.
Note: A grammar extension update targeting the Google Docs web app once broke things for me. I followed the same procedure I described above to find it. Disabling Grammarly resolved the error. The development team has now solved the problem.back to menu ↑
7. Browser data and cache
Old data or cache files can interfere with the operation of Google Docs. Open the browser and click Settings under Menu.
You will find the Clear browsing data option under the Privacy and Security tab.
You need to delete cookies and cache files here. Select Always from the drop-down menu that will choose all the cookies stored on your computer. You don’t want to clear the browsing history, otherwise all your favorite sites will be erased as well as the ones you have visited since the browser installation.
Click Clear data now. Do note that you will have to sign in again to access sites again. Make sure to save all browser work before performing this step.back to menu ↑
8. Manual auto-correction
Like Google Docs spell checker feature If the misspelled word is not underlined, you can try to correct it manually. Right-click on the misspelled word and you should see a few suggestions.
If you think you are right or if Docs doesn’t understand the term, you can add it to the dictionary from the same menu. It’s more of a workaround and may not work for everyone.back to menu ↑
9. Mobile App users
If you run into this issue in Google Docs mobile app, there are a few solutions I can suggest. First and foremost, check if an update is available in Play or App Store. Second, you erase app data and app cache files. Open Settings and go to Google Docs under Manage apps.
Click on Clear data here and select both Clear all data and Clear cache.
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10. Language settings
Have you set the correct language in Google Docs? Click File and select Language to check, then choose one.
You can only choose one language at a time, so you’ll have to switch it every time you work on a file with a different language.back to menu ↑
If you still can’t get Google Docs working, you’ll be happy to know that Grammarly was recently updated with an add-on built specifically for Google Docs. It is available on Google Chrome for now. That means it should work on other Chromium-based browsers as well, so check if you’re using one.back to menu ↑
A good writer will always proofread his / her work to find mistakes, but it is easy to oversee your mistakes. In addition, a spell check can save a lot of time. One of the solutions mentioned above should fix the spell checker not working in Google Docs. If not, try Grammar until you know.
The next up Is Google Docs not working for you? Do you want to try a new writing instrument? Check out our in-depth comparison between Google Docs and Quip below.back to menu ↑
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