Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Grammarly Disables Spell Checking Globally

iA Writer:

We get a lot of support requests because, on installation, @Grammarly for Mac kills system spell-checking in all other apps (including iA Writer). Deleting Grammarly won’t restore the spell-checking. You have to manually do it using Terminal.


If you uninstall Grammarly for Mac and the system spell check is not working in apps such as Mail or Notes, do the following:

Open Terminal and copy and paste the following:

defaults write -g NSAllowContinuousSpellChecking -bool true

Restart the affected apps (or your whole computer).

Or, perhaps the setting should just be deleted to revert to the default.

Update (2024-01-11): Daniel Jalkut:

This is extremely poor form. […] I got bit by it because I installed it for a minute to do some integration testing.

15 Comments RSS · Twitter

Huh, that’s unexpected. I wonder why Grammarly does this? On the face it seems like bad behavior. But maybe it’s not nefarious. Maybe the reason is innocuous, like maybe Grammarly doesn’t want to be blamed for situations where grammar flagging occurs in a context that it can’t control?

I think it’s safe to say that most users are never going to figure out that they need to execute this Terminal command. Whatever Grammarly’s motivation this is an unfortunate outcome.

@ Martin: my guess is 1) when installing Grammarly, it disables macOS's spell-check in favor of its own, because having two different spell-check UIs fight with each other is confusing. But, 2) when uninstalling it, it doesn't restore macOS's spell-check to its original setting. I don't think there's anything nefarious going on, just a bit careless.

(Personally, I don't find it desirable to have an online service look at all my keystrokes to make predictions, which as best as I can tell is how this works, but YMMV. Maybe that's not how the service works?)

Hi Michael, Thanks for posting this.

I find it incredibly sloppy and disrespectful on the part of Grammarly for not cleaning up their mess when uninstalling their software. Nor do they mention it on their support page. Before finding IAWriters advice, I was tearing my hair out and even considered reinstalling macOS to try and fix the problem!

I suggest anyone else who has this problem to write to Grammarly (as I have done) and give them a piece of your mind!

Hi all,

Thank you for this resource. I too am incredibly surprised that after an uninstall I could not restore to standard spellcheck without a terminal command.

This is truly appreciated and will also be writing to Grammarly about this issue. Huge miss for them in my eyes.

Thank you for this! A lack of spell-check had been driving me crazy the last couple of weeks.

Hi, I've tried this many times, both true and false and my spellcheck is not still not fixed. Any help would be greatly appreciated thank you!

Thank you bro. It works.

did the trick on my MacBook Pro. Appreciate it as even a new install of Monterey by boot disk still had the spell check issues after restoring from Time Machine backup...

I'm generally not the type of person who leaves comments, but this problem was plaguing me for MONTHS. I am SO happy this solution worked. THANK YOU!!!

I noticed that this fixed my spell check. However, I used to use the "Capitalize words automatically" function on my Mac, and that still does not work. Any suggestions?

You're a lifesaver. What an outrageous performance from Grammarly. But your tip solves the problem. Thank you very much.

Thanks a lot! The spell-check problem have been confusing me serval weeks. Never thought the reason is Grammarly.

Did Grammarly fix the issue yet?

Thank you!!!

This isn't something Grammarly will be fixing, as it isn't a bug. Like someone pointed out, they disable the system's built-in version because it conflicts with theirs because they are trying to do the same job.

@Jeff Clayon: It is a bug because it persists when Grammarly is not running and even when Grammarly is uninstalled. If it's important to them to disable, they should probably "fix it" by arranging for the disable to occur when Grammarly launches, and for it be re-enabled when Grammarly quits.

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