How to Disable Dictionary on Mac (Simple Solution)

You are working on an app or browsing the web on your Mac; out of nowhere, a dictionary pop-up appears on the screen. When it happens, the dictionary pop-up shows the definition of a word. A few times, even the Dictionary app gets opened. That means you will have to return to the app you were initially working in.

If this situation happens once in a while, then it is tolerable, but what if the dictionary keeps popping up every here and there. It will be very annoying, right. If you are experiencing a similar issue on your Mac, then stay tuned with this article. Here we have explained why Dictionary keeps popping up and how to disable dictionary on Mac so it doesn’t annoy you further.

How To Disable Dictionary On Mac

Why does Dictionary keep popping up on my Mac?

Let’s first start with understanding why Dictionary keeps popping on Mac. Mac comes with many pre-built apps such as Calculator, Calendar, Notes, Reminders, etc. Among those apps, one app is Dictionary. It helps you get the definition of a word and phrases from various trusted sources.

Typically you will need to open the dictionary app on your Mac to check the definitions. However, Apple has given a feature that allows quickly checking the meaning of a word while working in an app or browsing the web. You can tap the trackpad with three fingers, or if your MacBook trackpad supports force click, you can enable the look-up gesture. After that, you can force-click on your trackpad with one finger, and the dictionary app will show the definition of a word.

The feature is given to make finding definitions of new words and phrases easier. But someone who has recently started using a MacBook and is unfamiliar with the Mac trackpad might accidentally trigger the dictionary. Also, if someone is upgrading from an older MacBook to a newer one with force click support, they will need some time to habituate to force click. So, the Mac “Look up and data detectors” feature leads to Dictionary keep popping on your Mac.

How to Turn off (Disable) Dictionary on Mac

Dictionary is a pre-built app on macOS Ventura, Monterey, and older versions. It means you can’t actually disable or turn off Dictionary on your Mac. However, You can turn off the “Look up and data detectors” feature to stop Dictionary from popping up on your Mac. Below are the steps to turn off the feature in the Trackpad settings.

1. Tap on Apple Logo in the top left corner of the menu bar. It will bring up the Apple menu on the screen.

Apple Logo In Top Left Corner

2. From the Apple menu options, choose System Preferences.

System Preferences 1

3. Under System Preferences, select Trackpad.


4. In Trackpad settings, by default, you should be in the Point & Click tab. If not, tap on it to get there.

Look Up Data Detector

5. In the Point & Click tab, unselect the Look up & data detectors feature.

Once you have followed the above steps, the dictionary will stop popping up on your Mac. If you ever decide to use this feature, you can follow the same steps and check the box next to Look up & data detectors.

The below video will help if you want to know some Mac Dictionary tricks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Dictionary on Mac?

Dictionary is a pre-built application on every Mac. You can find it in the Launchpad or the Applications folder in Finder. If you want to access Dictionary quickly, you can turn on the Look up & data detectors feature. Once enabled, you can get definitions of words by force click with one finger.

How do I turn off Dictionary on my Mac?

You can’t actually turn off Dictionary on your Mac. However, you can turn off the Look up & data detectors feature on your Mac to prevent the dictionary from popping up. We have explained the exact required steps above in this article.

How do I turn off Dictionary in Chrome Mac?

Google Chrome offers a basic Spell check feature that allows checking the spelling while using it. If you no longer want this feature, you can simply turn it off. To do so, Open Google Chrome on your Mac and tap the three dots icon in the top right corner. From the menu options, select Settings. On the Settings page, choose Languages from the left sidebar. In the Language, settings check the toggle next to Spell check.

How do I turn on Dictionary on Macbook Pro?

Dictionary comes enabled by default on every MacBook. However, If you have turned off Dictionary in the past, you can turn it on quickly by following these steps. Tap on the Apple logo in the menu bar. From menu options, select System Preferences. Now select Trackpad, and on the next screen, check the box next to Look up & data detectors.

If any of the above solutions did not fix the Windows PC issues, we recommend downloading the below PC repair tool to identify and solve any PC Issues.

Ratnesh is a professional tech content writer with well over five years of experience. He specializes in writing long-form feature content, including high-quality how-to guides, comparisons, explainers, etc.