Multilingual spell checking (French and English) is working very well generally on my mac OS install. I set it up correctly following these recommendations.

However, there seems to be something particular with the Whatsapp Desktop application that makes it not work. Only English spell checking is happening and any word in French (not colluding with an English word of course) is underlined in red.

Is someone having the same issue? Does anyone have a solution to this?

  • have you asked Whatsapp or in their forums? Aug 1, 2018 at 21:19
  • 1
    Wanted to comment to say that I am seeing the same behavior on WhatsApp for Mac. I wonder whether it is a WhatsApp software issue where the program is not using macOS text correction libraries. For reference, my main language is English while the secondary is German and the third French.
    – Martin
    May 22, 2019 at 21:40
  • Hi @Martin, I still did not find the solution to this issue. If you ever find one, I'd be interested in hearing from you again :-) May 23, 2019 at 8:12
  • Whatsapp should add a simple option in the the program to select the language we want to use for spell checking and for the menus.
    – skan
    Sep 2, 2021 at 17:25

5 Answers 5


I had the same issue with Spanish and English. I followed these instructions to change the language priority, putting Spanish over English, and the issue was resolved.


  • 1
    Welcome to Ask Different! We're trying to find the best answers and those answers will provide supporting info as to why they're the best. Answers should be self-contained so explain why you think the answer you provided will solve the problem or is better than others out there. Answers should not be just a link. See How to Answer on how to provide a quality answer. - From Review
    – fsb
    Sep 11, 2018 at 19:55
  • thank you!!! I was looking for an anser for so long.
    – user318640
    Jan 24, 2019 at 21:33
  • 1
    That unfortunately didn't work for me. I have my language on top, yet WhatsApp underlines everything red. Apr 10, 2020 at 6:55
  • 1
    This did not work. May 29, 2020 at 18:23

Let me propose a simple workaround that worked perfectly for me. Issue: my system language is US English and I want WhatsApp spellchecker in Portuguese.

I‘ve downloaded from https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/issues/1947 the Portuguese spellcheck dictionary: pt-BR-3-0.bdic.

In the folder C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\WhatsApp\Dictionaries is located the US English spellcheck dictionary: “en-US-8-0.bdic”. I’ve rename it to “en-US-8-0.org.bdic”. Then I copied the Portuguese dictionary to this folder and renamed it to “en-US-8-0.bdic”.

That is all. Hope can help some of you.

Update: This workaround no longer works since Whatsapp start to manage the integrity of the installed package.


Even two years later on MacOS 11.1 (Big Sur) I have the same issue. Mac OS spell checking for me is on 'Dutch' but Whatsapp keeps forcing spell checking to 'English'. Sloppy work by Facebook, more interested in collecting my data than delevering a proper user experience.

Grtz, Sander.


I continue to have this issue as well. I followed the instructions at the link shared by Guillermo, making Spanish (for me) the top language and English second, and it helped, but is not 100%.


I have the same issue with the WhatsApp desktop app. I am on MacBook Pro last model and OSx Big Sur. My problem is that I write in 5 languages and the above suggested change in priority language would not work for me. I just switched nack to WhatsApp within Safari which works well since it detects automatically any other five languages are use and suggest corrections if necessary. However, I found a separate desktop app more comfortable and would've liked to continue to use it. I tried the new Whats App eta interface but that somehow didn't work for me, can't remember why🙂. But I do remember though is that the language detection in the WA desktop app worked quite okay in the beginning.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .