How can I (if can I) turn off changing text to emoticons, as I type the text, in Outlook Web Access?

This ten years old answer brings no solution, because it is entirely about standalone Outlook client not about OWA. Sending e-mails as a plain text is not an option for me; we are forced to use rich-text for e-mail signatures at my company.

I have disabled "Joyful animations", but it brought no change to emoticons:

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Do I have any other option? Can I somehow get rid of that pesky yellow faces? Or becoming a dully, sad person and not using smiles (either textual or graphical) at all is the only way here?

1 Answer 1


I think you mean changing into emojis, not emoticons (which are plain text).

This also annoyed the hell out of me, and I spent too much time trying to fix it (I also found the 10 year old "answer" you link to).

However, I finally found the answer here. Basically, as you are typing, right when the text turns to emoji, hit the backspace key and it will revert to text. This is annoying to have to do/remember, but at least it gets the job done. In all my searches I have not found a way to generally turn of the conversion altogether.

  • Sounds like a blantly obvious option that I have never figured out or tried. I went through Ctrl+Z and Esc. Both were working randomly (as a lot of things in Microsoft products). I.e. Ctrl+Z sometimes reverted adding emoji itself and sometimes it was reverting writing the whole sentence that has prepend it. I don't have access to OWA at this moment so I am accepting your answer as is. Next time, I have access to Outlook, I'll double check with your idea of using Backspace. Thanks!
    – trejder
    Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 14:35
  • 1
    +1 for "annoyed the hell out of me". We use alphanumeric references codes with hyphens in them, and I must refer to them often in emails. Whenever I type -B OWA inserts a smiley-face-with-sunglasses emoji. youtu.be/x1mF2ML3v_U
    – Tim
    Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 15:10
  • This is fairly error prone and not a fix; Does anyone know how to actually fix this (permanently) ?
    – MRule
    Commented May 16 at 8:04

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