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Microsoft recently added “joyful animations” to the Outlook web app. These show a shower of glitter whenever Outlook detects “joyful” words like “Congratulations” or “Happy Birthday.” Here’s how to turn them off.

First and foremost, let us just say that here at How-To Geek we’re in no way anti-glitter. Well, other than the fact that actual glitter and computers don’t really go well together, which is why you should clean your hardware regularly. But there’s a time and a place for sparkle, and work email isn’t it. Many of you might feel the same about your personal email, too.

The “joyful animations” appear when a mail you’ve received is shown in the reading pane of the Outlook web app. Any words deemed “joyful” are highlighted, and when you move your mouse over them a shower of glitter is displayed, rising and falling like a primary colored firework fading into the wind.

Note: These animations are only available in the modern version of the Outlook web app. If you’re still using the classic version, you won’t see them.


Celebratory words and a joyful animation of glitter

How lovely. Here’s how to turn that stuff off. Click the Settings cog and then click “View all Outlook settings.”

The Outlook settings option.

Switch to the “Email” settings and then click “Compose and reply.”

The "Compose and reply" option.

On the right-hand side, scroll down, untick the “Show joyful animations in the reading pane” check box, and then click Save.

The "joyful animations" setting

Congratulations! You’ll no longer see glitter when you receive an email with a “joyful” word.

Profile Photo for Rob Woodgate Rob Woodgate
Rob Woodgate is a writer and IT consultant with nearly 20 years of experience across the private and public sectors. He's also worked as a trainer, technical support person, delivery manager, system administrator, and in other roles that involve getting people and technology to work together.
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