Internet Productivity

The Best Ways to Spell Check in Google Chrome

Tina Sieber Updated 28-05-2019

Proper spelling is not just a courtesy, it’s also a sign of intelligence and good education. And with Google Chrome, spell checking is a breeze.


These days, you don’t actually need to know how to spell to make a good impression. If you’re smart, you’ll just use one of the many free spell check tools, some of which can also correct your grammar. And by paying a little attention to the corrections these tools make, you can also improve your native spelling skills on the go.

How to Set Up Spell Checking in Google Chrome

Chrome comes with a native spell checker, which should be enabled by default. The dictionary is typically set to the language of your operating system, but you can add and switch between multiple languages. This spell checker also offers an advanced version that uses the Google search spell checking technology. This, however, involves routing your text through Google’s servers. So let’s see all the options in detail.

How to Enable Spell Check in Google Chrome

To enable or disable the spell checker in Google Chrome, follow these steps:

  1. Click the menu button in the top right of the browser toolbar and select Settings.
  2. Scroll to the bottom click Advanced to expand additional settings.
  3. Scroll down to Languages and click Spell check to expand the respective menu.
  4. Here you can turn on or off Chrome’s spell check by clicking the slider next to the respective language. A blue slider indicates that the spell checker is enabled.

Google Chrome spell check options.

Note 1: You can add and edit custom spellings by selecting the respective option at the bottom of the list. Basically, you can add words to Google’s default dictionary, which is handy for names or technical terms that Chrome’s spell check doesn’t recognize.


Manage Google Chrome's spell check.

Note 2: You can also enable an enhanced spell checker, which will recognize other errors, like a missing space or hyphen. In Settings > Advanced, go to Privacy and security, click Sync and Google services, and, at the bottom of the list, enable Enhanced spell check.

Enable Google Chrome enhanced spell check.

How to Add Additional Languages to Google Chrome’s Spell Checker

The language you want to spell check isn’t showing up in Chrome? Chrome only picks up your system’s default language for its spell checker.


Here’s how to add another language:

  1. Expand the Language menu and click Add languages.
  2. Check the language you wish to add and click Add.

Add languages to Google Chrome.

Once you’ve added a language to Chrome, go back to the spell check menu and enable the spell checker.

How to Use Google Chrome’s Spell Checker

Now that you have added languages and enabled the spell checker, the question is, how does Chrome know when to spell check and which language to use?


By default, Chrome spell checks words in all text fields, including Gmail and most third-party websites. When you misspelled a word, you should see a red squiggly line underneath that word. If you enabled the enhanced spell check, you might also see a grey squiggly line, which indicates a different error, such as a missing space.

Find the Right Spelling With Google Chrome

When you see a word that’s marked as misspelled, right-click it to review Google’s suggestion, which shows up at the top of the context menu.

Spell check with Google Chrome.

Note: Be sure to enable Ask Google for suggestions, as this will give you access to advanced results. For difficult to interpret typos or words, Google will use its prediction engine to come up with better suggestions.


Add Words to Your Custom Dictionary

If Chrome is wrong about a spelling, you don’t have to go to the Settings menu to add a new word. Simply right-click the word and select Add to dictionary. Now the spell checker won’t highlight that word again.

Note: Your custom dictionary is the same, regardless of which language you select.

Manage Chrome’s Spell Checker On-the-Fly

You can turn Chrome’s spell check feature on or off anytime. At the same time, you can also change the language Chrome is using.

  1. Right-click into a text field and choose Spellcheck from the menu.
  2. In the options menu, make sure Check the spelling of text fields is selected.
  3. Now choose the appropriate language or simply All your languages.

Google Chrome spell check menu.

Note: Chrome might not automatically spell check long texts. With the spell checker enabled, it will, however, spell check everything you type. To process a long text, for example when opening a post in WordPress, you might have to click each paragraph to initiate Chrome’s spell check for that paragraph.

Chrome Spell Check Isn’t Working

When Chrome’s spell check isn’t working, you can try the following steps:

  1. Click the three-dotted menu, head to Settings, search for spell check, then disable and re-enable all settings related to spell checking.
  2. Disable third-party spell checkers in the Chrome extensions menu: chrome://extensions/
  3. Check whether Chrome is up-to-date and restart it.

Alternative Spell Checkers for Chrome

Even with all features enabled, Google’s spell checker remains somewhat basic because it doesn’t check grammar or style. Meanwhile, the Chrome Web Store is boasting with alternative spell checkers. So if you need an advanced tool, try one of these great grammar checkers The 5 Best Grammar Checkers Grammar checkers are important for clean professional documents. Here are the best grammar checkers to choose from. Read More .

1. Grammarly for Chrome

Grammarly is an AI-powered writing assistant that includes a contextual spell and grammar checker. Like Chrome’s default spell checker, it works in all text fields. Over 10 million users and a near perfect user rating make it the de facto gold standard for spell and grammar checking in your browser.

The free version catches critical grammar and spelling errors. With the premium plan you gain access to advanced features, like suggestions to enhance the vocabulary, genre-specific writing style checks, and a plagiarism detector.

Grammarly is great if English is the only language you need to proofread. Unfortunately, it does not support other languages.

Download: Grammarly (Free with optional paid plans)

2. Grammar and Spell Checker by LanguageTool

Grammar and Spell Checker by LangaugeTool

If you want to proofread content in more than one language, try this grammar and spell checker for Chrome. With almost 250 thousand users and a 4.5/5 rating, it’s one of the most-used and best-rated spell checkers for Chrome.

The free plan supports 20,000 characters per check in over 25 languages. Signing up for a Premium or Enterprise plan will add additional features and API access. You don’t need an account to use it, your IP address will not be logged, and all data transfers needed to provide the service happen over an encrypted connection.

Download: Grammar and Spell Checker (Free with optional paid plans)

How Do you Spell Check and Proofread in Chrome?

The best spell and grammar checker will always be a human, aided by technology. Technology isn’t always smart enough to understand context and may offer strange fixes. By asking Google for suggestions, however, you will get close to perfect corrections.

If you’d like to work on your English writing and grammar 8 Grammar Apps That'll Help You Improve Your English Weak in English grammar? Here are the best grammar apps for iPhone and Android to improve your fluency with the language. Read More outside the browser, we recommend these apps:

Related topics: Browser Extensions, Browsing Tips, Dictionary, Google Chrome, Google Translate, Spell Checker.

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  1. Masud Rana
    September 7, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    I have tried to change the setting for spelling checker, it seems I have no option to change the setting from disabled to enable. The check box displayed in the blog is missing in the setting page.

  2. John Vickers
    January 8, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    I seem to have lost spell check computer wide, Word, Gmail, Google. A mispelled word used to have a red underline but no longer! I checked advanced Settings and it says it is "on." In Gmail I can only check spelling after writing, using the box at the bottom right and the errors are highlighted in yellow. While the errors are yellow I click the down arrow next to "recheck" and at the top of a list of languages AUTO is checked. I recently upgraded to W/10, would this have caused the problem?

    • Brian
      January 15, 2018 at 7:27 am

      I have the same thing recently on xp and win7. The spell checkers sudden started missing lots of misspelled words. gernerators , lobbiest , proffits, compaign, for instance. It was in Disqus. It's really annoying.

      • John Vickers
        January 15, 2018 at 7:16 pm

        I was really looking for answers, not commiserations!

      • Tina Sieber
        January 21, 2018 at 2:57 am

        Sorry guys, don't have a definite answer either. I'm on Windows 10, Insider Preview, and have not had this issue. However, a registry setting could be the culprit.

        Just to be sure, the options under Settings > Devices > Typing > Spelling are all turned On, correct?

        Maybe a registry setting was changed. Follow the third option in this guide to make sure your registry settings are set to highlight misspellings:

        Good luck!

    • Jonathan
      May 28, 2019 at 11:13 pm

      I would give Grammarly a go anyway, just the free plan.
      It does work in Chrome, and Word and is actually a brilliant spelling and grammar checker.

  3. Ginger Crawford
    December 8, 2017 at 4:23 am

    This has not helped

    • Tina Sieber
      December 8, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      What were you looking for?

      • John Vickers
        January 18, 2018 at 9:41 pm

        An answer to my posting of Jan 8th!!

        • Tina Sieber
          January 21, 2018 at 3:08 am

          Scroll up. Where's my cheque?

  4. JWSC
    April 2, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Thank you!!!

  5. Roz
    April 2, 2017 at 1:47 am

    I am quite sure Chrome and Google's sad excuse for a spell checker was written by non English speakers, probably Chinese people who are not able to speak English. It is pathetic and I have complained to no avail for years.

    • Tina Sieber
      April 2, 2017 at 8:59 am

      What's your main complaint, Roz? Which words are marked or spelled incorrectly?

      • Paul Thomas
        January 22, 2018 at 1:07 am

        It frequently--like literally every time I write a post--stops working. It's marked as on. I turn it on and off, it still doesn't pick up any misspelled words. I think there's a bug in the way it recognizes multiple misspelled words together. It lets you correct the first word, but then all the other misspelled words in the sentence stop being marked red. I thought the Firefox one was bad, until I started using Chrome. Please, rip off their code. It never did this.

        • Jonathan
          May 28, 2019 at 11:19 pm

          I do not see what any of this has to do with the spoken language of the people who wrote the code.

          Why would "every time [you] write a post--stops working" would be an indication that Chrome's built-in spellchecking software was written by "non English speakers, probably Chinese people who are not able to speak English. "

  6. Michael
    January 29, 2017 at 6:15 am

    Worked perfectly somehow the spell check got turned off in all the computers in my office. Thanks

    • Tina Sieber
      January 29, 2017 at 10:30 am

      Glad it helped, Michael and thank you for your feedback!

  7. DLF
    November 24, 2016 at 2:35 am

    Did you mean "ezzAutoCorrect for Gmail"? If so, you should be aware that it is no longer updated or supported. This, according to their website and app.

    • Tina Sieber
      November 24, 2016 at 8:53 am

      Wow, thanks for spotting a spelling error in a 5 years old article that I merely cross-linked to. Yes, my article is 3 years old and cross-linked articles can be even older. Things change.

  8. Anne
    October 7, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Thank you!

  9. Anonymous
    March 27, 2016 at 1:24 am

    I start using Grammarly (Chrome extension) to check grammar errors.

  10. Doug Larsen
    February 24, 2016 at 4:20 am

    I see no "enable spell checking" to turn this on. My old laptop with Windoze 7 was no problem. The new laptop with Windoze 10 must be to blame. It won't spell check consistently. For instance, my first use of "Windoze" went unmarked. The second one has the squiggle red line under it. The third use goes unmarked. Go figure. Go Microsoften (ah! it caught that one though)...

    • Tina Sieber
      February 26, 2016 at 10:29 am

      This article is more than two years old and Chrome is ever evolving. Here is how it works now...

      Either follow the instructions above and click the Language and input settings… button --or-- right-click into a text field in Chrome and select Language settings....

      In the Languages window that will open, add the language for which you need spell checking and select Use this language for spell checking.

      Unfortunately, Chrome can only spell check one language at a time.

  11. James B
    March 11, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    I would like that Chrome would automatically detect the language I am writing in. I use 4 languages on a daily basis and it is annoying to have to switch between dictionaries to get the correct word check . I am writing every day in English, German, Spanish and Russian. Is it possible to make this automatically?

  12. Ian
    February 10, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    There is no option to enable spell checking in the languages section of chrome as you describe.

    • Tina Sieber
      February 10, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Ian, the article was written in September 2013 and Chrome has changed quite a bit since then. The option is still there, though.

      Go into advanced settings as described above, scroll down to Languages and click the "Language and input settings..." button. At the bottom of the window that comes up, check "Enable spell checking". Does that work?

    • Connor R
      February 10, 2015 at 5:31 pm

      Ian, I am in the same boat and bet you are on a Mac. If so, then you must also change your settings in the OS, in System Preferences, like this link says, but I am not sure what to change. If you have any insight, I'd appreciate it (see the little light-bulb note):

    • Tina Sieber
      February 11, 2015 at 8:54 am

      Thanks so much for pointing that out, Connor! Didn't consider the settings could be different based on the OS.

  13. Francisco
    September 26, 2013 at 2:06 am

    Is there any add-on that changes to the language that you are typing, like MS Word does? I write both in English and Spanish, don't use one more than the other, and it would be great if Chrome could auto-detect what language I am typing at any given moment.

    • Charly
      March 2, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      Same here, well, my english is not even 50% as good as my spanish but i do use english a lot when sending some e-mails or posting stuff on facebook, twitter or in youtube.