I like the autocorrect feature, but sometimes I want to revert to the word I typed. If i backspace to the word, I see an overlay with the word as I typed it, but can't figure how to revert to it without using the mouse. Any suggestion?

5 Answers 5


After you've got the overlay with the previous, uncorrected spelling, you can press the down arrow key, then Return/Enter. This accepts the selected, uncorrected spelling.

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  • 1
    This does not work for me. The only thing that works is one of the following annoying processes: (1) take my hand off the keyboard, move it to the mouse and position the cursor to the "X" and click; (2) backup an change the word back to the correct spelling. The program then seems to understand that it should not attempt to change the word, the simply underlines it with the squiggly red underline. Jul 9, 2015 at 4:41
  • @Jeffrey If an × is shown then you haven't accepted the autocorrect suggestion yet which is not what this question and answer is concerned with.
    – grg
    Mar 24, 2016 at 13:03
  • 3
    The problem with all these suggestions is that (1) they imply you are watching what you type; (2) that you type slowly. If you are used to looking at other reference material or typing fast, you get way ahead of this "see the x" process. Apr 12, 2016 at 21:04
  • 1
    This method works, but you have to precisely position your cursor at the end of the word you want to revert. You can typically speed up movement with ⌥← (option + left arrow), which jumps one word at a time.
    – duozmo
    Jun 22, 2016 at 4:01
  • @Jeffrey That's true, but I'm confused what your point is. This solution works specifically for the case you describe: when you have typed ahead and not observed the ×. Simply return to the changed word and perform the steps in this answer.
    – grg
    Apr 4, 2017 at 16:26

Same. I also like having auto correct, but sometimes I'm trying to write a word spelt incorrectly on purpose.

  • Pressing 'Space Bar' will correct your word.

  • If you press 'UP' on your directions, it will cancel auto-correct.

  • If you press 'Down' it will let you cycle the choices, then hit 'Space Bar' when you've selected the word you want.


⌘ Command + z for Undo will undo the auto-correct.

  • Did you mean Command instead of Control for the menu item shortcut? Jul 11, 2016 at 9:53
  • This is the only answer that works for me on Catalina. Jan 4, 2020 at 11:57
  • Will select the autocorrected word though, so you have to finagle around with arrow keys before you can continue typing. (at least on my system)
    – AndreasT
    Dec 27, 2021 at 14:15

Since a fix for this broken MacOS feature is basically unavailable within text typing flow, my "solution" is to fix it with karabiner, or disable it altogether.


  • Add a Shortcut that does the ⌘ Command + z -> RightArrow -> Space sequence for you.

Disable: System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Text -> uncheck "Correct spelling automatically". Yes, some actually useful uses of this feature die with this.


You can just press escape key.

  • Does not workk <esc>. OS X Yostemite 10.10.5 Actually none of the techniques appear to work in this comment box, but I did test this suggestion elsewhere to no effect.
    – here
    Dec 2, 2015 at 6:12
  • for me works on Catalina Mar 10, 2021 at 9:30

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