How to stop Google’s Smart Compose text suggestions

When you’re composing a document or email in Google Docs or Gmail, you may have noticed that the application often tries to finish sentences for you. As I was writing this, Google suggested “when I started writing this” instead of my preferred “when I started to type.” That’s because of Google’s Smart Compose feature, which tries to anticipate your thought processes and add what it thinks you’re going to type next.

Once a suggestion appears (in slightly lighter type), you have two choices: if you like it, you can hit the tab on your keyboard (or, on a mobile device, swipe across the word), and it’s there. If you don’t like the suggestion, just keep typing, and it disappears.

You may find this convenient. For example, if you’re writing a quick email, it could help you finish even faster. You might even appreciate suggestions that come up with better words than you might have thought of. But if you’re writing a personal email or an article for a publication (like, say, The Verge), it could start to be irritating.

When I was writing the passage I mentioned above, Smart Compose offered no less than six suggestions for what was a fairly short sentence. For some of us, this constant appearance of suggestions could interfere with (Smart Compose wanted me to say “interrupt”) our train of thought.

If that’s the case, you can turn Smart Compose off. Here’s how to do it in Google Docs and Gmail. (Thanks to Ryan Freebern, senior engineering manager here at Vox Media, for the suggestion.)

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