How to remove words from Microsoft’s Spell Check’s Dictionary

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When using Windows, you’ll see an option that’s called “Add to dictionary” in various programs including Microsoft Word, some Note-taking applications, web browsers and more.

Every time you add a word to the spell checking dictionary, it is saved automatically. Once it is, you’ll be able to ignore it every time the program checks for spelling mistakes.

Add to Dictionary or Ignore

When we write a certain word multiple times and Windows doesn’t recognize it, it will point out that specific word as an error. But if you’re sure the spelling of that word is a correct, you can avoid Window’s error prompts and skip its irritating red underline by choosing between “Add to dictionary” or Ignore.

If you choose to Ignore, this will happen only once. If you’re sure you’ll use that specific word frequently, it’s better to choose to Add to Dictionary.

In the future, you might also want to remove that word. We’re going to show you the different ways in which you can add, edit or remove words from the default dictionary of Microsoft Office on Windows 10/8/7.

Adding and removing words from the Spell Checking Dictionary

When you use Add to dictionary”, the word you used this option on is saved in a file automatically. In case you didn’t know, you can edit that file manually in order to add or remove words from the spell checking dictionary.

Follow these steps in order to reach that file:

  1. Open the File Explorer > File > Change folder and search options > View tab
  2. Select Show hidden files, folder, and drives > click Apply.
  3. Use the following path: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Spelling
  4. In this Spelling folder, you’ll find one or more folders. In case you used more than one language on your system, you’re going to find more than one folder.
  5. Choose a folder based on the language that you’ve used. In each folder, you’ll see 3 files: default.acl, default.dic and default.exc.
  6. Double-click on default.dic and it will open in Notepad.

Here you’ll be able to see all the words that you’ve added to the dictionary. You can now edit the file. Save and exit after you’re done, and you’re all set!

This might be a bothersome task for some, but it’s the simplest way to edit dictionary entries created on your system. The number of words can pile up rather fast, especially if you’re writing about niche things and not your usual vocabulary is at play. However, once you get used to it, it can come quite handy for adding or, in this case, removing words. You can check other spell-checking tools, here.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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