How-To

How to Fix Google Docs Spell Check Not Working

Google Docs spell check not working featured

No spell checking in Google Docs? Here’s what to try if you’re having problems with Google Docs spell check not working.

Does the thought of Google Docs spell check not working send shivers down your spine? If you’re anything like me, there are certain words that it’s just impossible to type correctly. No matter how many times I try to type “Instagram” correctly, it always ends up coming out as “Instragram.” This can be particularly embarrassing if I’m making the document public for others to read or edit. Thankfully, spell check has my back. If I do make any typos, Google Docs will helpfully underline them for me to point out exactly where I’ve been a total idiot. Sometimes, however, those helpful blue lines just don’t appear. The good news is that you should be able to fix it. Here are some things to try if you’re having issues with Google Docs spell check not working.

Ensure Google Docs Spell Check is Turned On

The first thing you should check is whether spell-checking is turned on in Google Docs. If spell-checking isn’t enabled, you won’t see any spelling suggestions in your text.

How to Turn On Google Docs Spell Checking

You can quickly turn on spell check in Google Docs through the Tools menu.

  1. Open your document and click the Tools menu.
    tools menu to fix google docs spell check not working
  2. Select Spelling and Grammar.
    google docs spelling and grammar
  3. Show Spelling Suggestions should be checked.
    google docs show spelling suggestions
  4. If it’s not checked, click Show Spelling Suggestions to turn spell checking on.
  5. You can also turn on grammar suggestions by checking Show Grammar Suggestions.
    Show Spelling Suggestions being turned off is a common cause of Google Docs spell check not working

Set The Document Language

Google Docs needs to know which language you’re working in so that it can provide the correct spelling suggestions. Setting the document language may fix your problems with Google Docs spell check not working or resolve issues with incorrect spelling suggestions.

How to Set The Document Language in Google Docs

You can set the document language through the File menu in Google Docs.

  1. Open your document and click the File menu.
    google docs file menu
  2. Select Language.
    google docs language
  3. Choose the appropriate language from the list.
    google docs select language

Try a Different Browser

A quick and easy way to determine if your Google Docs spell check problems are being caused by your browser is to open your document in a different browser. If Google Docs spell check works as expected when using a different browser, then you know that the issue must be caused by the browser you were initially using. If this is the case, you can either carry on working in your new browser or try one of the next few options listed below to try fixing the problem with your original browser.

Turn Off Enhanced Spell Checking

Some browsers, such as Google Chrome, offer an enhanced spell checking option that sends your data to the cloud to be checked. Disabling this feature may solve your problems with Google Docs spell check not working.

How to Turn Off Enhanced Spell Checking in Chrome

You can turn off enhanced spell checking in Chrome through the Chrome settings.

  1. In Chrome, click the Three Dots icon at the right-hand end of the toolbar.
    chrome three dots icon
  2. Select Settings.
    chrome settings
  3. In the left-hand menu, select Languages.
    chrome languages
  4. Under the Spell check section, ensure that Basic spell check is selected.
    chrome basic spell checking
  5. Alternatively, you can disable Chrome’s spell checking completely by turning off the toggle switch.
    You may need to disable built-in spell check in Chrome if Google Docs spell check is not working

Update Your Browser

If your browser is outdated, this may cause issues with spell check in Google Docs. Updating your browser to the latest version may solve the problem. The methods will be different for different browsers; below are the steps for updating Chrome.

How to Update Chrome

You can update Chrome or check that you are running the most updated version through the browser settings.

  1. Click the Three Dots icon in the top-right of the screen.
    chrome three dots icon
  2. Select Settings.
    chrome settings
  3. At the bottom of the left-hand menu, click About Chrome.
    chrome about chrome
  4. Chrome will check for updates.
  5. If Chrome finds any updates, it will automatically apply them.
    chrome updating
  6. Once Chrome finishes updating, click Relaunch to start the latest version.
    chrome relaunch

Disable Browser Extensions

Many browsers offer useful browser extensions, such as grammar checkers, that can interfere with spell check in Google Docs. By disabling all of your browser extensions and then re-enabling them one by one, you may be able to find the extension that is the cause of Google Doc spell check not working. The method for disabling extensions will differ from browser to browser; here’s how to do it in Chrome.

How to Disable Browser Extensions in Chrome

You can quickly disable browser extensions in Chrome through the Extensions tool.

  1. Click the Extensions icon in the toolbar.
    chrome extensions
  2. Select Manage Extensions.
    chrome extension manager
  3. Turn off all of the extensions using their toggle switches.
    chrome extension toggle
  4. Check your document to see if spell checking now works.
  5. If it does, turn one extension back on and check again.
  6. Eventually, you should find the extension that is the cause of Google Docs spell check not working.
  7. You can now leave that extension disabled and turn the others back on again.

Clear Browser Cache and Cookies

A common way to fix issues within a browser is to clear the browser cache and cookies. These stored files may be the cause of the problems with your Google Docs spell check. Clearing cache and cookies may help, although you should be aware that this will have certain effects on your browsing, such as signing you out of websites.

How to Clear Browser Cache and Cookies in Chrome

You can clear the cache and cookies in Chrome through the More Tools options.

  1. Click the Three Dots icon.
    chrome three dots icon
  2. Select More Tools.
    chrome more tools
  3. Click Clear Browsing Data.
    chrome clear browsing data
  4. Select All Time in the Time Range.
    chrome all time
  5. Check Cookies and Other Site Data and Cached Images and Files only.
    chrome cookies and cache
  6. Click Clear Data.
    chrome clear data

Reset Your Browser Settings

If none of the browser-focused fixes above work, as a last resort you can try resetting your browser to the default settings. This may remove whatever issue was causing Google Docs spell check to work incorrectly.

How to Reset Your Browser Settings in Chrome

You can reset the browser settings in Chrome through the Settings.

  1. Click the Three Dots icon in the top-right of the Chrome window.
    chrome three dots icon
  2. Select Settings.
    chrome settings
  3. In the left-hand menu, select Reset Settings.
    chrome reset settings
  4. Click Restore Settings to Their Original Defaults.
    chrome restore settings
  5. Confirm your decision by clicking Reset Settings.
    chrome confirm reset

Copy Your Document Without Formatting

If you find that this issue isn’t with your browser, then the problem may lie within the text itself. If you have copied text from other sources into your Google Docs document, the formatting of that text may be the cause of Google Docs spell check not working. You can try copying the unformatted text into a new document to see if that fixes the problem.

How to Copy Your Document Without Formatting in Google Docs

You can use a keyboard shortcut to quickly paste your text into a new document with the formatting removed. Hopefully, spell check should then work on this unformatted text.

  1. Select all of the text in your Google Docs document.
  2. Press Ctrl + C on Windows or Cmd + C on Mac to copy the text.
  3. Open a new Google Docs document. A quick way to do so is to type new in the address bar.
  4. Click somewhere within your new document, and press Ctrl + Shift + V on Windows or Cmd + Shift + V on Mac.
  5. Your text should now have no formatting.

Get Google Docs Working Right

If you were having problems with Google Docs spell check not working, hopefully one of the fixes above has helped. If you find any other methods that work, please let us know in the comments below so that we can add them to the list.

Google Docs is brilliant when it works, but when things go wrong, such as the spell check not working, then it can be frustrating. Another common frustration is when the indentation in Google Docs goes all over the place, and your document looks a complete mess. Thankfully, there are some ways to fix indentation in Google Docs, too.

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