Outlook 2007 Spell Checker Not Working

I recently upgraded Office 2003 to Office 2007 on my computer and learned that my spell checker was no longer working in Outlook 2007! Usually, it would automatically show me misspelled words immediately if I mistyped them, however, after the upgrade, nothing was being marked.

Even if I ran the spell checker manually, it would complete without marking or correcting any of the misspelled words! Annoying! After doing some research, I found a couple of possible solutions.

Method 1 – Enable Proofing in Word

Since Outlook 2007 uses Microsoft Word for spell-checking, you have to make sure that spell-checking is working in Word first.

Click on the round Office icon at the top left and then click on Word Options.

outlook 2007 spell checker

Click on Proofing and make sure that the Check spelling as you type box is checked under the When correcting spelling and grammar in Word section.

check spelling outlook 2007

Once you do that, you need to click on Add-Ins and then choose Disabled Items from the Manage drop down menu at the bottom. Then click the Go button.

manage disabled items

Make sure that Proofing is not disabled. If it’s in the list of Disabled items, make sure to re-enable it.

Method 2 – Delete Registry Key

If that method didn’t work, you may have to try some more hardcore approaches. You can do this by deleting a key registry keys that will not adversely affect Word or your Office programs.

Navigate to the following registry key:


Depending on what version of Word you have, it may or not have be 12.0. Delete the entire Word key. When you reopen Word, it will recreate all the keys and subkeys for you. Also, restart Windows after deleting the key.

This should hopefully fix the spell checking issue. If not, you can navigate to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Proofing Tools\1.0\Override\

Simply delete the Override key. In normal versions of Office 2007, you do not need this key at all, so it is safe to remove.

Method 3 – Repair Office

If none of that worked for you and Outlook 2007 is still not spell checking correctly, you can try to repair the installation. You can do this by going to Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, clicking on Microsoft Office and then clicking on Change.

spell check not working outlook

Then choose the Repair option and allow the program to repair the installation. It may take quite some time for the repair to complete. After it is finished, make sure you restart your computer.

repair outlook 2007

That’s about it! If you are still having this issue, post a comment here and I will try to help! Enjoy!

Comments [22]

  1. Thanks for the disabled items angle, saved someone a rebuild.

  2. I am having trouble with spell check for Word 2007. I tried all of your fixes and nothing seems to help.

    When I tried to do the REPAIR, I receive the following message:

    2007 Configuration did not complete successfully

    Any more ideas on what I can do to fix the spell check?

    Also, I am having trouble with Windows Installer not working properly. I tried to download that program from Microsoft and it says I already have it. I know it is not working properly as I cannot download an Adobe program.

    Any advice is appreciated. Thank you,


  3. I've done all the steps including the repair of Office, and spell check will not work in Outlook even though it's working in Word.

  4. Thank you for these ideas and their very clear presentation.

    I, too, tried every one of these fixes – and about 20 other ideas – none worked.

    I was just about to attempt to reinstall Outlook when I thought I would try something, and to my astonishment, it worked, so it might work for you.

    I noticed that, when logged in as administrator on my user's computer, the Outlook spell checker would behave perfectly, yet for the user, it just would not work. (It worked on Word OK, just not Outlook).

    After checking the registry a bunch of times before, I thought I would compare the settings in the administrator account to those of my user. To cut a long story short, I found two keys on the account that did *not* work, that were simply not present in the administrator profile – where it *did* work.

    I copied down the details and then deleted the keys, started up Outlook and Presto – Outlook started spelling again. I could barely believe it. I was going on a hunch.

    Anyway, in the following folder:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftShared ToolsProofing Tools1.0

    There was a folder called "Office" containing two keys as follows:
    OutlookSpellingOptions Reg_DWORD (value = 5)
    WordSpellingOptions Reg_DWORD (value = 7)

    This "Office" folder hadn't appeared in the registry with the administrator account, so after noting down these details I deleted this "office" folder completely. When I restarted Outlook, the spelling worked.

    I don't know how these files got there. All I know is that this worked for me.

    *Always back up your registry before tinkering – and do so with care!*

  5. Same problems as Sue and Oakland. No dice. Work in Word, does not work in Outlook 2007. Have tried all posted suggestions.

    Any ideas?

  6. Thanks for your help. This is the best resource I've had for Microsoft 2007 so far.

  7. I have this issue too – Win XP Pro, Office 2007. I will start composing an email and spell checker will work, and then after a few minutes or a few lines of text it will just stop working. In this state, it will continue to show words misspelled but not yet corrected, but it will not flag any new errors, neither will running the spell checker manually find new errors.

    Additionally, if I highlight text towards the end of the email, and right click, it will only give me a 'signature line' floating menu – not the usual one with formatting, etc.

    And finally, click-and-drag highlighting with the mouse will go away – you can still use the mouse to set the cursor position, but you have to use shift-arrow keys to highlight.

    These things happen several times a day.

    They usually clear away when I start a new email, but often come back when I'm part way through it.

  8. Deleting the Override key also worked in fixing the Word 2010 "Spell Checker Not Working" problem.

    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftShared ToolsProofing Tools1.0Override

    Thanks for the info.


  9. I have the same problem with the spell checker. I read on another forum that e-mail stationary causes the problem. If I type between header and footer it will NOT work, but outside of it, it works perfectly. Now how does one fix that?? I also found that I am not able to paste in this same area – it just will not work.

    Any suggestions???

  10. Just a note on the Reg Key Fix. I did not have a Override directory under Proofing Tools1.0, so I deleted the entire folder (or in my case, renamed) and it also fixed the issue.

  11. My situation:

    Win7, Office 2010 (64-bits)

    Word spell check worked, Outlook 2010 spell check did not (64-bit). Tried everything, regedit, new profiles, repairs etc – nothing worked. Was about to give up when I tried changing the Language setting, via Outlook Options, from English Australian to English (US), and spell check turned on for the first time since installing 2010. Word 2010 is still set as English Australian and works. Maybe Outlook 2010 64-bit does not like Eng/Aus Spell check?

    Thought I would publish this in case someone else had same problem. Maybe it is a 64-bit issue?

    It is now fixed.


  12. I am running 2007 Outlook with 2010 Home and Student Office. I can't get the spell check auto correct and grammar check to work in Outlook.

    Any suggestions?

  13. Thank you for you help. I have same problem with spell check. I try to use any solutions, but the spell check problem still exists. When I saw the methods on the helpdesk website and used the number two method, at last, the problem was resolved successfully.

  14. Went to " HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftShared ToolsProofing Tools1.0Override " but couldn't find any override key. Instead, there was a folder inside override named en-US. Deleted that folder and the issue was resolved. Spell check started working after I restarted Outlook.

  15. I had the same problem and discovered that it was my signature that also included a banner. Spelling worked in word, and as soon as I put a signature in with a banner… spelling would stop, take away the signature and apply it after ive written the email, and spelling worked, wierd…

  16. Removing Override key method from registry worked form me :)

    Thank you very much.

  17. Same problem as posted in original thread by Aseem above.

    I upgraded Office 2003 to Office 2007 yesterday, on my office laptop and learned today that my spell checker was no longer working in Outlook 2007! Usually, it would automatically prompt me misspelled words immediately if I mistyped them, however, after the upgrade, nothing was being marked. This used to save me from sending mail containing typo-errors upon hitting ‘Send’ button. You dont want those ‘Oops’ moments looking at your mail in sent folder;-)

    But, after this upgrade, even if I ran the spell checker manually, it would say ‘spell check complete’ without marking or correcting any of the misspelled words! Really frustrating!! I googled this error and found this thread really helpful.

    Went to ” HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftShared ToolsProofing Tools1.0Override ” but couldn’t find any override key. Instead, there was a folder inside override named en-US. Deleted entire ‘Override’ folder and the issue was resolved. Spell check started working after I restarted my machine and Outlook.

    As discussed on one of the tips on this forum, I also took snapshot of my regedit settings just in case. Luckily I need not use it and it worked just in one attempt.

    One of best help found till date on commonly faced Microsoft error so far!!! Thanks all for sharing your problem, all research and providing this solution. Really glad to resolve this error on my own:-).

  18. Thank you thank you thank you. It was the 'override' deletion in the registry that did it for me. There is no way I would have found that myself.

  19. I found a solution for my problem here: http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/email/spell-chec
    I have Word 2007 and Outlook 2010, and they don't work well together, so I had to *copy* winword.exe into outlook.exe's folder, restart Outlook, then go into optionsmail[Spelling and Autocorrect]Proofing and turn on Check grammar with spelling.

  20. Thank you it works 100%

    I would recommend this article to everyone!

  21. Great document! Took me about 10 minutes to fix this following your instructions. It was the override registry key deletion that worked for me.

  22. I have tried all of them. None of them work. On method 3, it is showing Microsoft Office Small Business 2007 Configuration did not complete successfully. An unexpected error has occurred.
    How do I fix it?


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