How to get rid of the predictive text suggestions on your iPhone

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With predictive text enabled. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
With predictive text enabled. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

iOS 8 brought with it a couple of keyboard changes — adding support for predictive text suggestions when you’re using the built-in iOS keyboard.

This is pretty great stuff, unless it bugs you to have three words or phrases at the top of your keyboard. If that’s you, then here’s a simple way to disable the “feature.”

Usually, as you type, you’ll see words and phrases that iOS thinks you’d probably type next. These are based on your past conversations and writing style, so they may change over time to better fit how you do your typing. It will adjust to casual style in iMessages, for example, and suggest more formal options when you’re doing email (if that’s how you roll usually). It may even adjust to whomever you’re communicating with, too, which is just creepy cool. The data your iPhone uses to perform these feats of prediction is kept on your iPhone, though, so don’t worry some dude at Apple is checking your iMessage style.

With predictive text disabled. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
With predictive text disabled. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

You want to turn this off, though? It’s pretty simple. Just tap and hold on one of the text suggestions when you’ve got the iOS keyboard up, and drag downward, toward the top row of the keyboard. This will leave you with a little gray line, but you won’t see the predictive text suggestions any more.

The other way to achieve this anti-predictive nirvana is to head into your Settings app, tap on General, and then on Keyboards. About halfway down, in the All Keyboards section, you’ll see a toggle switch for Predictive. Tap this to set it to OFF.

Now you’ll have no excuse for your poor communication skills; it’s all on you.