This is driving me crazy.

In 'Notes', with a note text open/active, I uncheck 'Edit->Spelling and Grammar->Check spelling while typing'. Now the red underlines disappear from words believed to be spelled incorrectly, as expected. I close 'Notes', open it again. The same note text is active, but the red underlines are back. Checking the menu item above, I see that it is now checked again.

How come this setting won't stick when closing/opening 'Notes'? If I open/display another note text, then open/display the first note text, the red underlines are not back - it is only when 'Notes' is closed that this setting seems to be forgotten.

I have tried this: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2577594 (changing some system-wide settings, however written for a different version of OSX) ...but it doesn't help.

Possibly a similar problem (not entirely clear) on OSX Yosemite, however no solution: How to completely, utterly, disable spell-check on OS X Yosemite?

3 Answers 3


Quit all applications.

System Preferences > Keyboard > Text Tab. On the right side you should see "Spelling : Automatic by Language". In drop down list, choose "Set Up..." then uncheck English.

Nightmare free from those red underlines :D

Drawback: doing so will disable Spelling checking in system wide, while you may want to disable in one specific app only.

  • This is the solution suggested by the first link I gave; discussions.apple.com/thread/2577594 I have done so, that is, unchecked all languages but one, and left one I don't use checked. Didn't help.
    – Carl
    Oct 22, 2016 at 22:59
  • Dude, I unchecked English Only! Uncheck all left one didn't work for me either :)
    – Aura
    Oct 23, 2016 at 7:54

I am on El Capitan and wanted to turn off those red lines as well, but also keep the correction available with CommandShift;, so came up with a solution that seems to work:

  • Open System Preferences > Keyboard > Text.
  • Click on the "Spelling" selection drop-down menu and select "Set Up".
  • Disable English and all the other languages that you use, leave only those that you don't: Keyboard Settings El Capitan

This works like a charm across all of OS X.

If you, at any time, want spellchecking, then press CommandShift; and select the language. It will work for the current app.

Hope it helps :)


Solution: Upgrade OS X. In El Capitan, this is simply a bug and there seems to be no workaround. This is fixed in OS X Sierra.

  • Well I would be delighted if that had been fixed, but I'm on 10.12.4 in freaking 2018 and this issue is still going strong. Everytime I reopen Sticky Notes, the Spell-Check is enabled.
    – rwenz3l
    Apr 17, 2018 at 13:15
  • rwenz3l, the question was about Notes, not Stickies. But anyway, it's now freaking 2022, and Stickies is fixed too. Mar 26, 2022 at 22:06

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