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How to Add Words to the Dictionary on Android



Typing on our smartphones and tablets has improved immensely over the past few years. Google’s own keyboard is getting smarter and smarter, and third party alternatives like SwiftKey and Swype are excellent. However, there is a dictionary on Android it tries to follow, and as a result some words or names always get corrected, even when you don’t want them to.

If you’re like me you have a few friends with crazy weird first or last names, not to mention we’ve all seen those autocorrect fails that are all over the internet. Thankfully on Android we can quickly and easily add words, names, and of course the occasional curse word to our phones dictionary, so it no longer tries to correct a word you actually want to use. Below we’ll show you how easy it is to add a few words.

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 11.35.26 AM

We’re running Android 4.4 KitKat here, but almost all 3rd party keyboards have a similar solution, not to mention Google’s own keyboard has an “Add to dictionary” button to make this extremely simply. So next time you try to text your friend with an unusual name, the auto-complete field will correctly display that name, rather than switch it to something totally wrong.


Not all phones will have the exact same selection, not to mention 3rd party keyboards make this different for some. However, most Samsung Galaxy devices, or anything running Android 4.3 or 4.4 KitKat should have an add to dictionary option that’s rather easy to find.

You’ll tap settings (gear-shaped icon) and head into the phone settings, then you’ll want to scroll down to Language & Input or Language & Keyboard, and then tap Personal dictionary, or User dictionary, depending on the phone.


From here you’ll simply hit the + icon at the top right for stock Android, or hit the plus or add button for most other phones, and you’ll instantly be able to add a word, name, or swear word to your user dictionary. Now, the next time you type it your phone will remember, and you’ll keep your texting flow moving right along.


Above you’ll also notice the right side screenshot says “shortcut” for an optional shortcut. This is great for websites or email addresses. If I add to my dictionary and set the shortcut as GM, typing GM will instantly have the dictionary suggest the website, and I’ve just typed two letters instead of the entire address. It’s a wonderful little hidden trick.

Read: How to Cut, Copy & Paste on Android

Alternatively, with the official Google Keyboard you can simply tap the word while typing it, if it isn’t the middle suggestion with next word prediction it will be to the left or right, tap it and Google will automatically give you a choice to tap again to save. This does the same thing as the steps above, all from the keyboard while typing, and makes it quick and even easier. See the screenshot below for an idea of what to lookout for.

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 11.16.52 AM

Many 3rd party keyboards available today will simply let you long press a word while typing it, and instantly save it to your user dictionary as well, if the steps above differ from what you’re seeing on your own device. In general the steps or location should be the same, or extremely similar.

If these settings aren’t in the same place on a third party keyboard try going to settings > language and input > and head to the settings for that particular keyboard and you’ll likely find the option to add a word to the dictionary.

That’s it, it’s that easy to add a word and keep typing with ease. Enjoy!



  1. Cac Tux

    02/16/2015 at 2:33 am

    Yes it is easy to add one word, or even a few words. But what if I have a list of hundreds or thousands of words I need to add to the dictionnary? (specilized vocabulary).
    Do you know a way to do this? Thanks :)

  2. SherLizz

    06/13/2015 at 11:22 am

    I have Android 4.3 NO personal or User Dictionary. I have an unusual name and after 1,5 year my name still doesn’t come up… What a nightmare! No way to easyil add wordswor names. totally dysfunctional.

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