J in Outlook email messages won’t bother you anymore

By: Ivan Jenic
2 minute read
fix Outlook error 0x80042108

Microsoft finally found a way to fix the infamous issue that turns all your emoji in Outlook into letter “J”. This issue has been bothering users for seven years now, so we’re sure people will be happy to see that fix is there (or at least on the way).

If you’ve ever sent an email with Outlook with any emoji in it, you probably know what’s going on. Namely, Outlook autocorrects the smiley face “:)” to the “J” symbol in Microsoft’s “Wingdings” font. You won’t notice anything different if you’re using the Outlook app or Microsoft Edge to access your email. But if you’re using other clients or browsers, including Google Chrome and Firefox, all your emoji will be converted to “J”.

And now, Microsoft told Business Insider that the fix is finally ready, and on its way to all users. The fix will be first rolled out to Office 365 users, while the cycle should be complete by the end of the year.

Here’s what Microsoft told Business Insider:

“Outlook uses Word as its authoring tool. Previously, we automatically changed “:)” to a smiley face character in the font face WingDings. When that email would show up in another client that doesn’t support Wingdings font, it can’t show that character. So it gets replaced.  J is the character in the windings font that is a smile, so that is what was displayed in Gmail, iOS Mail, etc.  

We’ve recently released an update that fixes this. Now, we properly represent emojis as true emojis. This means any other email app that recognizes emojis will display the emoji in their app. We have also improved Outlook’s rendering of other email services emojis. We are currently rolling out this feature to customers and should complete in the coming year. As with all feature updates, these updates are available for Office 365 customers.”

So, if you’ve ever been bothered by this strange problem, it will be fixed now, or at least soon.

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