I have a misspelled word - initiaitializatyion - on my MacBook running macOS Mojave 10.14.5. I have checked all the following files for its existence:

  • /Users/me/Library/Spelling/LocalDictionary

  • /Applications/me/Library/Spelling/LocalDictionary

  • /Users/me/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Custom Dictionary.txt

but couldn't find it.

If I right-click on this word in Slack, TextEdit, etc. I do not get the Unlearn spelling option that many websites I've looked up have suggested. However, I do have Microsoft Word for Mac (16.26), and in that app the word is recognized as being misspelled.

Where can I find this word and remove it from my dictionary? And remove any other words which may be in that dictionary, as there may be other misspelled words in it?

  • Try looking up in ~/Library/Dictionaries.
    – Nimesh Neema
    Jul 3, 2019 at 15:37
  • This is surprising from Apple that there's not simply a list for the user in system preferences somewhere.. Dec 11, 2023 at 4:04

2 Answers 2


Open finder and search for your misspelled word. If the custom dictionary is stored in a text file, it will come up. Open the file in TextEdit, remove the word, and save.

Using this technique I discovered that Slack has a custom dictionary in addition to using the OS dictionary.

~/Library/Application Support/Slack/Custom Dictionary.txt

Microsoft Office Word adds all changes to its own Speelling and Grammer database.

For apps that are using the built-in macOS dictionary you can simply remove it like this:

  1. Open Textedit
  2. Paste initiaitializatyion
  3. Select initiaitializatyion
  4. Hold down Command (CMD/Rightclick) and select Unlearn Spelling

Unlearn Spelling

If you do not get the Unlearn spelling option, 'initiaitializatyion' has not been added (learn option) to the Spelling Dictionary.

  • 1
    I tried that. "Unlearn Spelling" is not an option. I mentioned that in the question. Jul 8, 2019 at 14:04
  • 1
    Yes, you mentioned it. I have also added: If you do not get the Unlearn spelling option, you did not add 'initiaitializatyion' to the macOS Spelling Dictionary. Apple stores all changes to a database which can no be modified manually. Instead, you can try to add 'initiaitializatyion' to the macOS Dictionary by using the 'Learn' option. Then select Unlearn Spelling.
    – user136834
    Jul 9, 2019 at 8:51
  • I added an 's' to the misspelled word, and your instructions all worked. The misspelled word itself does not have a Learn/Unlearn option which implies that it was not added to the macOS dictionary via the Learn option, hence this question. It must be in my dictionary via some other method. Jul 11, 2019 at 13:39
  • I manually added the word 'initiaitializatyion' to my ~/Library/Spelling/LocalDictionary file and Force Quit the AppleSpell process, and then it did get the 'Unlearn Spelling' option. I selected Unlearn, saw that the LocalDictionary got updated with removing the word, and now it still shows up as a properly spelled word with no 'Learn Spelling' option. Jul 11, 2019 at 13:48

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