How to Fix Spell Check in Microsoft Word When It Isn’t Working? (4 Common Ways)

May 13, 2024 2.1K views

After investing time and effort, you've completed your document in Microsoft Word, only to discover an array of spelling mistakes—more than just an isolated error, but a multitude. To add to the urgency, the auto-correct and spell check features seem to have abandoned their posts, leaving you with the exhausting task of manually sifting through the entire document. In this article, we shall guide you through the solutions for spell check that does not work in word ensuring a seamless and error-free document editing experience.

How to Fix Spell Check in Microsoft Word

Why Spell Check Isn't Working in Word?

If your Microsoft Word spelling check is not working,there could be several reasons:

  • Spell Check Settings: Ensure that Word's spell check is turned on. If automatic spell-checking is not enabled, the tool won't function as expected. Also, make sure to select the options for marking grammar errors as you type and checking grammar with spelling.

  • Proofing Language: Check Word's proofing language settings. Incorrect proofing language selection may cause the tool to miss errors. Confirm that Word is set to proof in the correct language.

  • Proofing Exceptions: Verify if there are any proofing exceptions, such as hiding proofing errors, enabled in the document. Exceptions might interfere with the spell-check tool.

  • Safe Mode: Open Word in Safe Mode to identify if any add-ins are causing issues. Add-ins can disrupt the spelling and grammar-checking tool. If it works in Safe Mode, proceed to the next step.

  • Disable Add-ins: Disable add-ins one at a time to identify the one causing the problem. Once identified, permanently disable the problematic add-in.

  • Default Template Issues: If problems persist, there might be an issue with Word's global template (normal.dotm). Renaming the template can resolve the problem by generating a new default document.

  • Repair Word: Utilize the built-in Office Repair utility to fix Word. This tool repairs the entire Office suite and is available for Windows versions of Office.

  • Contact Microsoft Support: If none of the above steps resolve the issue, reach out to Microsoft Word support. The official Microsoft Word help page provides a searchable knowledge base, community forums, and contact information for additional assistance.

How to Fix Spell Check Not Working in Microsoft Word

Proofreading document, and your Word is not spell-checking? Here are some solutions to make this problem go away:

Method 1: Make sure spell check is turned on

If your Word does not spell check, it might be because it has been disabled in the settings. Here's how you can enable spell check:

Step 1: Navigate to the Proofing tab in Word options.

Step 2: Confirm that the "Check spelling as you type" checkbox is selected.

Microsoft Word Check Spelling

Method 2: Turn off disabling Add-ins

Step 1: Navigate to Word options and select the Add-ins tab.

Step 2: Review the displayed Add-ins; identify and disable any suspicious add-ins.

Step 3: In the Manage field at the bottom, select the add-in type and click Go.

Microsoft Word Manage Add-ins

Step 4: Locate the suspicious add-in, click on it.

Step 5: Click "Remove" to permanently delete the add-in and resolve the issue in Word.

Microsoft Word remove Add-ins

Method 3: Make sure the correct language is selected

Step 1: Navigate to Word options and select the Language tab.

Step 2: Confirm your language is installed in the Office authoring language and proofing section. Add a language if needed from the list.

Microsoft Word Add a Language

Method 4: Turn off spelling exceptions

Step 1: Open Word options and go to the Proofing tab.

Step 2: Scroll down to the "Exceptions for" section.

Step 3: Uncheck both options: "Hide for spelling errors in this document" and "Hide for grammar errors in this document.

Microsoft Word Exception

The effectiveness of each method depends on the specific cause of the spell check issue. Users may need to try multiple methods to identify and resolve the problem successfully.

How to Fix Spell Check

Spell Check function in older Microsoft Word versions may not work. Encourage users to upgrade to the latest Word version or consider downloading WPS Office for an alternative with reliable spell checking.

The Best Free Office Suite with Word Spell Check - WPS Office

WPS Office has been a stalwart in the office suite industry, consistently showcasing excellence in both functionality and versatility. Recently, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into WPS Writer, alongside advanced PDF tools, has catapulted this suite to an expert level, revolutionizing the user experience.

Unlike its competitor, Microsoft Office, WPS Office takes a distinctive approach by seamlessly integrating with Microsoft Office, allowing users to harness the combined benefits of both suites concurrently. This unique feature provides unparalleled flexibility in office productivity, setting WPS Office apart in the competitive landscape.

WPS Writer

A notable enhancement in WPS Writer is the introduction of an advanced spell-check service, addressing a previous gap that necessitated reliance on third-party tools like Grammarly. This game-changing feature eliminates the need for external tools, saving users valuable time and elevating the overall professionalism of their documents. The spell-check service swiftly detects and highlights incorrect spellings, enabling seamless error rectification within the native environment.

WPS Office

WPS Office offers four distinct methods to activate spell check, ensuring your documents are error-free. Let's explore these options:

Menu-Based Spell Check:

Users can activate spell checks in WPS Writer options by following these steps:

Step 1: Click the Menu Button at the top left of WPS Writer, then choose "Options".

WPS Writer Menu

Step 2: Go to the "Spell Check" tab in the left panel.

Step 3: Make sure to check the "Check spelling as you type" box and click "OK" to activate spell check in WPS Writer.

WPS Writer Spell Check option

Step 4: Identify misspelled words by the red wavy underline.

WPS Writer Spell Check indicator

Step 5: Click on a misspelled word to view suggested corrections. WPS Writer uses AI for effective spell checking.

Step 6: Choose a suggestion or enhance your experience by adding words like company names to the dictionary.

WPS Writer Spell Check Suggestion

Enabling spell check in WPS Writer enhances proofreading. Enjoy seamless AI-powered suggestions, making the proofreading experience delightful without unnecessary flags.

Review Tab Spell Check:

Navigate to the Review tab, click the Spell Check drop-down, and access language settings. The Check Spelling pane appears on the right. Correct spelling mistakes, and the sidebar displays the total potential errors in the document.

WPS Writer Review Tab

The spell check editor in WPS Writer provides easy access to errors, simplifying proofreading. With suggestions and customizable dictionaries, it streamlines the process for a hassle-free experience.

Toggle Spell Check Button:

Click the Spell Check button at the bottom to toggle the Spell Check function on/off. The "×" turns into "√" to indicate Spell Check activation.

WPS Writer Toggle Spell Check Button

Shortcut Menu Spell Check:

Click the small triangle button on the right side of Spell Check. A shortcut menu appears; choose "Check Spelling As You Type" to activate this feature.

WPS Writer Spell Check Editor shortcut

WPS Office vs Microsoft Office: Differences in Spell Check

WPS Office

WPS Office introduces a new Spell Check feature, enhancing the writing experience by seamlessly identifying and correcting spelling errors. In real-time, a red wavy line appears beneath misspelled words, providing visual cues to users.

Clicking on the misspelled word opens a dropdown menu with blue text options for corrections and black text options for Spell Check settings. Additionally, a powerful sidebar statistics feature is available in the "Check Spelling" ribbon, displaying possible misspelled words and their count.


  • It promptly flags and visually indicates spelling errors.

  • A dropdown menu ensures easy corrections and settings.

  • It offers a powerful stats display for efficient error management.


  • It might lack collaboration features and a broad user base.

  • Some advanced features may be limited.

Microsoft Office

On the other hand, Microsoft Word's Spell Check is a crucial tool for accurate and error-free writing. It not only spots and fixes spelling mistakes but also addresses grammar issues and offers word alternatives, contributing to a polished and professional document.

The benefits of using Spell Check in Microsoft Word include mistake-free writing, professionalism, time savings, and improved document quality. The Oxford University Press study emphasizes the effectiveness of spell check tools in reducing spelling mistakes. Enabling spell check in Microsoft Word is a straightforward process through the spell check settings.


  • Microsoft Word provides an extensive suite beyond spell check for diverse writing needs.

  • It boasts robust collaboration and document-sharing capabilities.

  • Word suggests alternatives and auto-corrects, enriching the writing experience.


  • Full feature access often requires subscription costs.

  • It can be resource-heavy, impacting performance on some devices.

While both WPS Office and Microsoft Word prioritize error-free writing, WPS Office's new Spell Check feature focuses on real-time identification and correction, providing users with a dynamic and user-friendly experience. In contrast, Microsoft Word's Spell Check is embedded within a comprehensive suite of features, catering to diverse writing and editing needs.

WPS Office- Free All-in-One Office Suite
  • Use Word, Excel, and PPT for FREE, No Ads.

  • Edit PDF files with the powerful PDF toolkit.

  • Microsoft-like interface. Easy to learn. 100% Compatibility.

  • Boost your productivity with WPS's abundant free Word, Excel, PPT, and CV templates.

5,820,008 User
Algirdas Jasaitis


1. Why choose WPS Office over Microsoft Office?

Choosing WPS Office over Microsoft Office comes with notable perks. It instantly corrects spelling errors as you type, ensuring error-free documents. The interface is user-friendly, with correction options easily accessible. You can customize Spell Check settings to suit your preferences, making WPS Office a seamless and personalized writing experience, surpassing Microsoft Office in user convenience.

2. Does WPS Office also check grammar?

Certainly! In the latest version of WPS Office, users can benefit from a robust AI proofreading feature that not only checks for spelling errors but also addresses grammatical issues. This advanced functionality enhances the clarity of sentences, providing users with a comprehensive tool for refining their written content.

3. Is WPS Office available for free?

Yes, WPS Office is indeed fully free to use, offering users accessibility across various platforms such as iPad, Android, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Windows. This broad compatibility ensures that users can enjoy efficient productivity and access their work seamlessly from anywhere, making it a versatile and user-friendly office suite.

4. Can users integrate custom dictionaries in WPS Office?

Yes, WPS Office allows users to add custom dictionaries, providing the ability to modify the current dictionary. This allows users to add custom words, such as names or geographic references. Users can access this option by visiting Menu > Options > Spell Check > Custom Dictionaries.

WPS Writer Custom Dictionaries

Choose Simplicity: WPS Office vs. Word in Spell Checking

Word has intricate settings, requiring adjustment for desired preferences, for example you have to beat around the bush a little before you figure out why spell check does not work in word. It poses a significant learning curve. On the contrary, WPS Office ensures simplicity, allowing users to quickly adopt preferred default settings. Within minutes, users can enjoy a hassle-free experience, including easy and comfortable spell checking. Download WPS Office for a seamless and efficient writing experience.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.