How To Enable iOS 5′s Hidden Autocorrect Keyboard

At some point we’ve all complained about iOS autocorrect. There’s even a website — damnyouautocorrect.com — dedicated to laughing at the worst autocorrect fails. However, it looks like Apple is planning on doing something about it in future iOS releases, and the beginning of that has been uncovered as a hidden feature in iOS 5.

How To Enable iOS 5's Hidden Autocorrect KeyboardIf you have used Android 2.3 Gingerbread or a custom Android keyboard like SwifyKey, the image to the right might look pretty familiar to you. Instead of autocorrect guessing which word you want and giving you two options — either the suggested word or whatever you entered — those Android keyboards provide you with a list of possible completions above the keyboard. It looks like Apple is going down this route as well, and this new autocorrect keyboard can be enabled on any iOS 5 device (without even jailbreaking first).

If you want to try out this promising new feature, here are the instructions.

First, you’ll need iBackupBot, a program that allows you to modify the backups of iOS installations that iTunes creates. Download the software from the link and install it on your computer. Next, hook up your iOS device to iTunes and make a backup. Make sure that your backup is not encrypted (there’s a checkbox that says “Encrypt iPhone Backup” in the iOS devices’ settings page on iTunes; it needs to be unchecked).

How To Enable iOS 5's Hidden Autocorrect KeyboardNext, open up iBackupBot and find the backup that you just created. In this case, I picked the backup from today, Thursday, November 10. Scroll down the list of files until you find Library/Preferences/com.apple.keyboard.plist, and then open the file.

Finally, add in the following string to that file underneath the others:

<key>KeyboardAutocorrectionLists</key><string>YES</string>

Once the string has been entered, save the backup, and go back into iTunes. From there, restore the backup you just edited. Your iPhone will restart, restore the backup, and once you get the keyboard open, the autocorrect keyboard will be there waiting for you. It’s that easy! If for any reason you want to go back, simply remove that string from the backup file and restore again.

What do you think of this new hidden feature?

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  • Anonymous

    assuming this works on the iPad as well???

    • Anonymous

      yep, though people have reported issues on ipod touch

    • Anonymous

      yep, though people have reported issues on ipod touch

  • Anonymous

    assuming this works on the iPad as well???

  • Joxer

    Can’t seem to find Library/Preferences/com.apple.keyboard.plist under 5.0.1, am I doing something wrong?

  • Joxer

    Can’t seem to find Library/Preferences/com.apple.keyboard.plist under 5.0.1, am I doing something wrong?

  • Itsdennerl

    I downloaded the iBackupBot and even bought it, but it’s not working for me. I think I’m doing something wrong. Please help.

  • Itsdennerl

    I downloaded the iBackupBot and even bought it, but it’s not working for me. I think I’m doing something wrong. Please help.

  • http://www.anthonyguidetti.com Anthony Guidetti

    This is the default keyboard on Windows Phone.

  • http://www.anthonyguidetti.com Anthony Guidetti

    This is the default keyboard on Windows Phone.

  • http://twitter.com/allproactive Patrick Welch

    iBackupBot is locking up when I try to save the new file. After three force quits, I’m giving up on this product. Any other suggestions?

  • http://doubletheb.com Bill Shelton

    I’d like to make a slight correction that may help out.  Above you have “Finally, add in the following string to that file underneath the others:KeyboardAutocorrectionListsYES”.  The code is correct, but the format as stated didn’t quite work. I had to go in between and , add a space and then the code.  Then I has to separate the “key” code from the “string” code like this:

    KeyboardAutocorrectionLists
    YESPlacing each one on it’s own line.  I am by no means a programmer, but I know enough the figure stuff out.  I hope this helps someone out.  If it’s okay with “Lockergnome” I would like to make my own article, and trackback to this one, and show how to do this step by step.  If you would like to contact me about this all of my information is on http://doubletheb.com in the “Social Areas” section on the top right.  Thanks for finding this out!  I really liked this feature on my Android, and glad that I can use it on my iPhone now.

  • http://doubletheb.com Bill Shelton

    I’d like to make a slight correction that may help out.  Above you have “Finally, add in the following string to that file underneath the others:KeyboardAutocorrectionListsYES”.  The code is correct, but the format as stated didn’t quite work. I had to go in between and , add a space and then the code.  Then I has to separate the “key” code from the “string” code like this:

    KeyboardAutocorrectionLists
    YESPlacing each one on it’s own line.  I am by no means a programmer, but I know enough the figure stuff out.  I hope this helps someone out.  If it’s okay with “Lockergnome” I would like to make my own article, and trackback to this one, and show how to do this step by step.  If you would like to contact me about this all of my information is on http://doubletheb.com in the “Social Areas” section on the top right.  Thanks for finding this out!  I really liked this feature on my Android, and glad that I can use it on my iPhone now.

  • http://doubletheb.com Bill Shelton

    I’d like to make a slight correction that may help out.  Above you have “Finally, add in the following string to that file underneath the others:KeyboardAutocorrectionListsYES”.  The code is correct, but the format as stated didn’t quite work. I had to go in between and , add a space and then the code.  Then I has to separate the “key” code from the “string” code like this:

    KeyboardAutocorrectionLists
    YESPlacing each one on it’s own line.  I am by no means a programmer, but I know enough the figure stuff out.  I hope this helps someone out.  If it’s okay with “Lockergnome” I would like to make my own article, and trackback to this one, and show how to do this step by step.  If you would like to contact me about this all of my information is on http://doubletheb.com in the “Social Areas” section on the top right.  Thanks for finding this out!  I really liked this feature on my Android, and glad that I can use it on my iPhone now.

  • Brodie Lyon

    worked like a charm

  • Brodie Lyon

    worked like a charm