Predictive text is a convenience feature designed to help users type faster and more accurately by learning and adapting the software over time. However, not everyone likes to use it because of how robotic emails can appear. Luckily, Outlook users can turn it off and type without the constant recommendations.
If you use Outlook often and are tired of predictive text, you're in luck. Outlook will allow you to disable the feature, but you need to navigate to settings first. Keep reading for all the details.
How to Disable Predictive Text in Outlook on Windows PC
Outlook is now included in the Microsoft 365 package, which you can download and install on Windows. The Windows client is not too different from the web version. We'll cover the latter in a separate section.
Predictive text in Outlook will only recommend words that can match the email you want to send. You can choose any suggestion as it appears on the screen by pressing the Tab and Right Arrow key. If you don't see anything you like, you can skip it and keep typing.
Although predictive text works well for many users, you can always turn it off. Here's how:
- Launch Outlook for Windows.
- Start writing an email.
- Go to “File”.
- Select options. »
- In the list, uncheck the box "Show text predictions while typing".
- Tap and see if predictive text is still active.
Now you can type your emails without the predictive text appearing.
There are several reasons why some users prefer not to enable predictive text. Microsoft uses machine learning to study your writing habits and characteristics. That's why the predictive text feature can guess what you want to type quite accurately.
While Microsoft claims that the data collected by their machines is not stored or seen by humans, that's not everyone's cup of tea. Thus, this is one of the many reasons why Outlook users turn it off and compose emails without digital assistance.
How to turn off predictive text in Outlook on a Mac
Mac users can also install Microsoft 365 as it has been ported perfectly to macOS. Although the main functions are the same, menus and options are sometimes labeled differently. Therefore, you cannot follow the exact steps you saw above for the Windows client.
On Mac, you can see that predictive text works like the Windows client, accepting or rejecting suggestions you deem appropriate.
Here are the steps to disable the feature for Mac users:
- Launch Outlook on your Mac.
- Click on “Preferences”.
- Go to “Autocorrect”.
- Select "Text Completion".
- Uncheck the "Show text predictions as you type" box.
- Test and see if the feature is gone.
The advantage of the Mac client is that you don't have to start a new email to turn off predictive text like you do on Windows.
How to disable predictive text in the web version of Outlook
The web version of Microsoft Outlook has different controls than its desktop counterpart, but you can use it on any computer.
Like the Mac client, the web version of Outlook does not require a user to be composing an email. They just need to locate the settings menu and search for the relevant sections.
Follow these steps to turn off predictive text on the web version of Outlook:
- Go to Microsoft Outlook page.
- Log in if necessary.
- Select "Settings" at the top of the page.
- Go to "View all Outlook settings".
- Select "Mail".
- Click on “Compose and reply”.
- Uncheck "Suggest words or phrases as I type" in the "Text predictions" section.
- Tap and see if Outlook still offers suggestions.
Once you turn off the word or phrase suggestion setting, you shouldn't see any words appear on the screen.
How to turn off predictive text in Outlook on an iPhone
If you prefer to email other people on the go, you can download Microsoft Outlook for iPhone. It is available for free on the App Store. Although not as comprehensive as the PC versions, the mobile app has everything you need to communicate.
In the case of mobile users, they swipe right to accept a suggestion. Continuing to type will not select predictive text, but the software will still suggest words and phrases.
Like on PC, by default predictive text is enabled for Outlook when you install it. Thus, you have to turn it off by going to settings.
Here are the steps for iPhone users:
- Open the Outlook app on your iPhone.
- Go to “Account Settings”.
- Disable “Text Predictions”. It's under "Suggested replies" and above "Report posts."
It only takes a few taps on an iPhone to turn the feature on and off, making it very convenient.
How to Disable Predictive Text in Outlook on Android Device
Unlike Outlook for all other platforms, the Android version didn't come with predictive text, meaning those who wanted its benefits had to rely on their phone's keyboard. However, that changed in February 2022, when the feature was finally implemented for all platforms.
Nowadays, all users who love predictive text on Outlook for Android can enjoy its benefits. For those who aren't fans, however, they'll have to turn it off.
Here's how to do it on Android devices:
- Launch the Outlook app on your Android device.
- Tap "Account Settings".
- Select "Text Predictions" to disable the feature.
Now the feature should be disabled. It's that simple even on Android, as the app isn't too different from the version on iOS.
Disabling other predictive text features
While you can turn off Outlook's predictive text feature, it won't turn off the predictive text version of your keyboard. When typing email on mobile, keyboards with this feature enabled will continue to suggest words.
You can easily access your keyboard menus and turn off autocorrect and other features if you want.
Outlook's machine-learning word or phrase suggestion feature will not work outside of it. So, if you're worried about the AI saving your words outside of Outlook, those fears are unfounded.
I will write this email myself
Some Outlook users prefer to write emails without digital assistance, which leads them to turn off any writing assistance. Outlook also has other similar features that you can turn off, but most people find the features useful and choose to keep them.
Do you use Outlook's predictive text feature to write your emails? What do you think of machine learning being used in this way? Please let us know what you think in the comments section below.