How to Reset Microsoft Word’s Spelling & Grammar Check Easily

Resetting Microsoft Word’s spelling and grammar check is a simple process that requires a few clicks within the program. By following a straightforward series of actions, you can restore the tool to its default settings, ensuring it functions as intended and assists you in producing error-free documents.

After completing the action, the spelling and grammar check tool in Microsoft Word will revert to its original settings. This means that any custom changes you made, such as added words to the dictionary or ignored rules, will be cleared. The tool will function as if it’s being used for the first time, applying the default checks and marks to your document.


Microsoft Word, the widely-used word processing program, is equipped with a helpful spelling and grammar check tool that keeps our documents looking professional and polished. But what happens when this tool starts acting up, missing errors, or highlighting words that aren’t mistakes? This can occur when the tool’s settings have been modified, either intentionally or accidentally, leading to less-than-ideal proofreading assistance.

As users, we often tweak settings to suit our writing styles or add words to the custom dictionary to avoid seeing the squiggly red or blue lines beneath industry-specific terms or names. However, there comes a time when these changes can hinder more than help, prompting a reset. This is important for individuals who rely heavily on this feature for day-to-day writing tasks, students working on assignments, professionals drafting reports or emails, and anyone aiming for flawless written communication. Resetting the spelling and grammar tool can refresh your Word experience and ensure you’re presenting your best-written work.

Step by Step Tutorial: Resetting Microsoft Word’s Spelling & Grammar Check

Before proceeding with the steps, understand that resetting the spelling and grammar check tool will erase any customizations. Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word Options

Open the ‘File’ menu and select ‘Options’ at the bottom of the list.

This step takes you to the Word Options dialog box, where you can adjust various settings for your Word environment.

Step 2: Go to the Proofing Section

In the Word Options dialog box, click on the ‘Proofing’ tab on the left side.

This section contains all settings related to spelling and grammar checking. It’s the central hub for customizing how the tool behaves.

Step 3: Click on ‘Recheck Document’ Button

Scroll down to the ‘When correcting spelling and grammar in Word’ section and click on ‘Recheck Document.’

This button forces Word to forget any previous spell check actions, such as ‘Ignore’ or ‘Add to Dictionary,’ on all documents.

Step 4: Confirm the Reset

A warning dialog box will appear, informing you that Word will recheck the document from scratch. Click ‘Yes.’

By confirming, you’re acknowledging that Word will reset the spelling and grammar check to default on the currently opened document.

Step 5: Click OK to Close the Dialog Box

After clicking ‘Yes,’ click ‘OK’ on the Word Options dialog box to apply the changes.

Your spelling and grammar check tool should now be reset, and the changes will take effect on your next document review.


Improved AccuracyResetting the spelling and grammar check ensures that the tool functions with the latest default settings, potentially improving the accuracy of error detection.
Customization RemovalIt removes any unnecessary customizations that may have been added over time, which could have caused the tool to overlook certain errors.
Fresh StartProvides a fresh start for the tool, which can be beneficial if you’re working on a different type of document that requires a different set of spelling and grammar rules.


Loss of CustomizationsResetting will erase all the custom words added to the dictionary, which can be inconvenient if you frequently use industry-specific jargon.
Time-ConsumingIt can be time-consuming to reapply preferred settings and re-add custom words to the dictionary after a reset.
Potential OvercorrectionThe tool may start flagging correctly spelled words or grammar structures that you had previously marked as exceptions.

Additional Information

When resetting Microsoft Word’s spelling and grammar check, it’s important to consider the scope of the reset. The tool will only reset for the document you have open at the time of the reset. If you want to reset the tool for all documents, you’ll need to open each one and follow the steps outlined above. Additionally, remember that any custom dictionaries you’ve created will not be affected by the reset. These are separate files that store your added words, and they remain intact unless you choose to edit or delete them manually.

Another tip is to take note of any custom settings you find particularly useful before resetting. This way, you can easily reapply them afterward. It’s also worth exploring Word’s advanced proofing options, where you can fine-tune settings such as grammar rules and exceptions, which can enhance the tool’s effectiveness after a reset.

Lastly, consider using the reset function as an opportunity to review the default settings and explore new features you may not have used before. Microsoft often updates Word with improved proofing tools, and a reset could introduce you to more precise and context-aware checks.


  1. Open Microsoft Word Options from the File menu.
  2. Access the Proofing section.
  3. Press the ‘Recheck Document’ button.
  4. Confirm the reset by clicking ‘Yes.’
  5. Close the dialog box by clicking ‘OK.’

Frequently Asked Questions

Will resetting the spelling and grammar check affect all my documents?

Resetting the tool will only affect the document currently open. You must repeat the process for each document you want to reset.

Can I restore my custom dictionary after resetting the tool?

Yes, the custom dictionary is not affected by the reset. Your added words will still be available.

Does resetting the tool affect AutoCorrect settings?

No, AutoCorrect settings are separate from spelling and grammar checks and will not be reset.

What should I do if the tool still isn’t working properly after a reset?

Try repairing your Office installation, as the issue might be with the program itself and not just the tool’s settings.

Can I reset the tool for specific sections of a document?

No, the reset function applies to the entire document. You cannot reset the tool for specific sections only.


Mastering the reset of Microsoft Word’s spelling and grammar check tool is a nifty skill that can save you from the frustration of incorrect error flags or missed mistakes. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your Word documents benefit from accurate and efficient proofreading, maintaining the professional and error-free standard that is expected in any written work.

Remember that while the reset can provide a fresh start, it’s essential to consider the implications of lost customizations. Happy writing!

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