Outlook 2016 AutoCorrect Options Greyed Out

There is a bug in Microsoft Outlook where users seem unable to toggle the checkbox for AutoCorrect or Spell Check options in Outlook (a feature to correct typos or check spelling as you type). At first, it was thought that perhaps this was a permission problem in Outlook settings. It turns out it was actually an issue with running a different version of Outlook to the version of Office installed on the computer. As email users with Thexyz can download the latest version of Outlook as per Exchange licensing agreements, a user will often update Outlook more often than the Office suite.

So far this is happening in instances mostly running Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016 with other Microsoft Office apps from 2013 or 2010.

The Solution

For both Spell Check and AutoCorrect, Outlook is dependent upon Word and it looks for a Microsoft Word file called WinWord.exe in the folder where it is installed. You may just need to copy this file into the Outlook install folder as per the steps below:

  1. Open Microsoft Word and Outlook
  2. Right-click on Windows Start menu and select Task Manager > Go to Processes tab > Right click on Outlook.exe and select Open File Location from the file options menu.
  3. Do the same for WinWord.exe also and Open File Location
  4. Copy WinWord.exe from Word folder to Outlook.exe folder and restart Outlook.

You may need to restart Outlook for the autocorrect feature to start working again and it will replace text as you type with misspelled words. 

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