Outlook 2016 - chinese characters appearing in messages when replying/forwarding

Hello,

I am investigating an issue with Outlook 2016 and seemingly random appearances of chinese characters in email messages when replying or forwarding. I have a Exchange 365 hybrid environment and O365 pro plus office installed on workstations.

I have not been able to pinpoint a common factor why or when this happens. It is possible to reproduce the issue by sending a plain text message to a O365 group and then reply/forward the same message > header information is transformed into "chinese" (I have no idea what they actually are) characters. This does not happen with all groups or senders which is why I am looking into Outlook at the moment.

I`ve tried to change Outlook settings: use UTF8 with mailto protocol, change the encoding settings to different options etc. without success. 

I`d like to hear how would you start to troubleshoot this issue?

BR,

Sam

 

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Last updated August 23, 2019 Views 56,413 Applies to:

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Hi Sam,

 

I suggest you open Outlook, click on File> Options> Language> under Choose Editing Languages check if any other language is enabled, if yes highlight it and click on Remove.

Based on your description, this issue should be related to your client side rather than server side. Please try HTML format message to see if the same issue occurs.

 

Additionally, there is a similar thread for your reference: Outlook email text become weird characters.

 

If the suggestion above doesn’t help, please let us know the following information:

  1. The whole screenshots reproducing this issue.
  2. Your Outlook client version details such as 1704(8067.2020).
  3. Have you ever done anything when this issue happened?
  4. Are these senders and group who encounter this issue in pure cloud or sync from on-premises? In other words, when this issue occurs, are these mailboxes in pure cloud or on-premises?

With the information above, we can move forward.

Best Regards,

Vanessa

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Hello Vanessa,

Thank you for the suggestions and we will troubleshoot this issue further tomorrow on Thursday.

This issue has also occurred with a HTML formatted message when a http-link is in the body.

I will test the fixes explained in the other article via group policy to see if they have any effect:

"By setting the message format as you're composing it to either plain text or HTML by using the More options (…) menu, and selecting Switch to plain text or Switch to HTML."

> set message format to HTML as default for all

"The characters the author used are not supported by the recipients character set - this is very common with smart quotes (affecting ' " - ... ). You can prevent it by turning off smart quotes in email.

Disabling this feature under the Tools menu keeps special characters in a format that most email encodings can render."

> disable smart quotes for all

"Under the Encoding Option there is a Preferred encoding for outgoing messages drop-down list.

Click on the arrow to expand the drop-down list and select Uniode (UTF-8) or another encoding that corresponding language you are typing."

> set UTF-8 as for outgoing messages as default for all

I`ll have to find the answers for the questions you posted if these changed do not fix the issue:

If the suggestion above doesn’t help, please let us know the following information:

  1. The whole screenshots reproducing this issue.
  2. Your Outlook client version details such as 1704(8067.2020).
  3. Have you ever done anything when this issue happened?
  4. Are these senders and group who encounter this issue in pure cloud or sync from on-premises? In other words, when this issue occurs, are these mailboxes in pure cloud or on-premises?

BR,

Sam

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Hi Sam,

 

Just take your time. I will monitor this thread. If there are any updates, please feel free to let me know.

 

Best Regards,

Vanessa

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Hi Sam,

Does everything work fine? Any updates will be appreciated.

Best Regards,

Vanessa

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Hello Vanessa,

We are still in process the testing. The situation has not been resolved. It has proven to be quite challenging to find a group policy to change smart quotes behaviour ("You can prevent it by turning off smart quotes in email").

BR,

Sam

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Hi Sam,

Yeah, you can spend time trying it. I will wait for the updates.  

After that, please let us know the results.

 

Best Regards,

Vanessa

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Hi Sam,

Did you get a chance to check the information above?

Best Regards,

Vanessa

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Hello,

Here is more information for you:

  1. The whole screenshots reproducing this issue.
    I cannot share emails here due to security and here`s what is happening:
    When replying to a message the From, Sent, To, CC and Subject fields in the message are replaced by text like this:
    䐼噉氠湡㵧湥甭汣獡㵳畏汴潯䵫獥慳敧效摡牥愠楬湧敬瑦䥄㵒䰢剔㸢㰠但呎䘠捡㵥䌢楓敺㈽䈼㹒㰠㹂㱆䈯䈼匾⼼㹂洠䈼㹒㰠㹂㱔䈯㰠㹂㱓䈯‾†⼼但呎⼼䥄㹖䐼噉㰾䐯噉
    This text appears between the previous messages body and the next messages email signature where those headers would be shown normally.

  2. Outlook client version is 16.0.7668.2074.

  3. Have you ever done anything when this issue happened?
    Please elaborate what do you mean?
    The issue started appearing after we started using O365 groups for messaging. Previously we used traditional distribution groups and this issue did not appear.

  4. Are these senders and group who encounter this issue in pure cloud or sync from on-premises? In other words, when this issue occurs, are these mailboxes in pure cloud or on-premises?
    Senders are in the cloud (synced from on-premises exchange). Groups are O365-groups, they are in the cloud.

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Hi Sam,

Do these information mean that you have tried the suggestions above but got no difference?

In this situation, please share your domain with me via private message to analyze environment? Meanwhile, if convenient, you can share a screenshot with me via private message, which will help us further troubleshoot.

And then, open your Outlook client in safe mode to see whether the issue persists: hold Ctrl key and open Outlook. This is to rule out other add-ins interface.

Let me know how many users are affected by this issue or just one people. I have sent my test account to you via private message. Use it to log into your Outlook client to check again. This is to narrow down this issue is related to Outlook client itself or exchange settings.

Last, create a new user in pure cloud in Office 365 portal and test this account. I speculate this issue should be likely caused by server settings when these users are synced from on-premises. 

Thanks for your time.

Vanessa

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Hi Sam,

Is there any update?

Best Regards,

Vanessa

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