The Little Irritations of Life #23: Hotmail’s Predictive Text

Just when I thought it was safe to go back onto the keyboard, Microsoft have come back to bite me again.  Having managed to switch off the annoying AutoCorrect function in Microsoft Office, I am now being plagued by the Auto-Complete function in Hotmail.

As soon as I start typing any message in Hotmail, I am assailed by a barrage of irritating predictive text, attempting to mind-read what I am about to type next, like some kind of electronic proof-reading version of Derren Brown.  Sometimes the predictive text is correct; sometimes it is wrong but, what it always is, is several seconds behind what I was about to type anyway.  The result is a glitch in the sentence; while Hotmail’s Editor tries to comes to terms with the fact that I have carried on typing and ignored its suggestion, it ends up leaving out a character that I have actually typed, in a show of teenage editing petulance, with the result that I have to go back and manually correct the error.  The only way that I can compensate for this is to type at a much slower speed than I am normally accustomed to, purely so that Hotmail’s Editor can keep up.

More annoying, is that a needy, approval-requesting message––“Are the auto-complete suggestions above helpful?”––appears on the screen below my typing.  Without fail, I always press “No” in response.  The result?  Absolutely nothing.  The predictive text facility simply does not get the hint; continues unabated.

I have tried in vain to switch off this Auto-Complete function; stabbed at every option available to me without success until, one day, pressing the ‘three dots’ button for more options, I was presented with a screen that I had never seen before.  One of the options on the screen was ‘Editor’ and, tentatively, making this choice, I was confronted with a screen where I could finally disable text predictions.  It was like opening a door into Narnia.  It seemed almost too good to be true.  And that was because it was.

When I next went back into Hotmail, the Auto-Complete function was active again and when I pressed the ‘three dots’ button the magical portal to Hotmail’s Editor had vanished; like a chimera that had never existed in the first place.

© Simon Turner-Tree

Simon Turner-Tree is resigned to predictive text/tents/test match cricket. 


  1. I absolutely hate the predictive text and I also say “NO” to the question of helpfulness. I’ve also tried in vain to try to turn it off. Emails that should take mere seconds to send, take minutes now. I fight the stupid, predictive crap constantly and it’s exhausting. Thank you for the article, at least I don’t feel so alone now.


  2. I also abhor this plague, and not only does it make it more difficult to type out emails, but now it has resulted in full on glitches in the entire system. It opens new messages, archives the ones I’m working on, closes the settings I’m in, logs me out, etc. It’s absolutely bizarre. With the prevalence and variety of these issues, one would think that my computer is at fault, however the issues only ever express themselves within Hotmail.


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