Windows 11 November 2021 Emoji Changelog

Windows 11 November 2021 Emoji Changelog

This week Microsoft has released an update for Windows 11, officially bringing their new Fluent emoji set to Windows users. The update also brings popular new emojis such as Face with Spiral Eyes and Heart on Fire to the platform for the first time.


Above: a selection of ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Smiley emojis as they now appear on Windows 11 after the platform's November 2021 update.

With the official release of the Fluent emoji set, Microsoft has made a much-hyped promise reality: the return of Clippy in the form of the new ๐Ÿ“Ž Paperclip emoji design.[1]


The 2D Fluent emoji set in this week's update was first made available in a Windows Insider developer build back in October.


Above: a selection of different ๐Ÿง‘ People & Gestures, ๐Ÿป Animals & Nature, and ๐Ÿ” Food & Drink emojis as they appear in Microsoft's Fluent emoji set.

These designs differ from those that first appeared alongside the announcement of the new Fluent emoji design overhaul ahead of this year's World Emoji Day. Those initially previewed designs were glossy and 3D, with many of them being animated.


Above: a selection of the 3D designs that accompanied Microsoft's original announcement of the Fluent emoji set.

However, it has since been made clear that while the 3D Fluent emoji designs will be made available within the likes of Microsoft Teams and the upcoming Microsoft Loop,[2] these glossy designs will not be the primary emoji set for Windows: the 2D incarnations will be.


Above: a comparison of the current 2D Windows 11 Fluent emoji set with the previous Segoe Color Emoji set and the originally previewed 3D Fluent set.

This is likely due to the nature of Microsoft's color font format, which uses vectors to allow for significant scaling of the emoji designs but may well require flatter designs for file size management purposes.


Above: a selection of emojis from the ๐ŸŒ‡ Travel & Places, ๐Ÿ’ก Objects, and ๐Ÿ”ฃ Symbols categories they now appear in Microsoft's Fluent emoji set.

๐Ÿ†• New

In addition to revising the entire emoji set, this update introduces 57 brand new emojis to Windows from late 2020's Emoji 13.1 recommendations.

These include the aforementioned ๐Ÿ˜ตโ€๐Ÿ’ซ Face with Spiral Eyes and โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ”ฅ Heart on Fire, alongside the likes of ๐Ÿ˜ถโ€๐ŸŒซ๏ธ Face in Clouds, โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿฉน Mending Heart, and ๐Ÿ˜ฎโ€๐Ÿ’จ Face Exhaling.


Above: 57 brand new emojis included in today's Windows 11 update.

While Emoji 13.1 recommends 217 new emoji sequences, Windows has supported the majority of these recommendations since their Windows 10 Creators Update, released in April 2017.

Specifically, Windows previously supported the multiple skin tone versions of the ๐Ÿ’ Kiss and ๐Ÿ’‘ Couple with Heart emojis that included a ๐Ÿ‘ฉ Woman and a ๐Ÿ‘จ Man, two ๐Ÿ‘ฉ Women, or two ๐Ÿ‘จ Men emojis.[3]

This week's update, however, provides support for multiple skin tone versions of the ๐Ÿ’ Kiss and ๐Ÿ’‘ Couple with Heart that display two non-gender-specifying ๐Ÿง‘ Person emojis.


Above: a selection of the various new non-gender-specifying ๐Ÿ’ Kiss and ๐Ÿ’‘ Couple with Heart emojis included in the Windows 11 November 2021 update.

Additionally, this update also introduces new gender-specifying sequence variants of the ๐Ÿง” Person: Beard emoji: ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™€๏ธ Woman: Beard and ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™‚๏ธ Man: Beard. Both of these new emojis support skin tone modifiers.


Above: the ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™€๏ธ Woman: Beard and ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™‚๏ธ Man: Beard as they appear in the new Windows Fluent emoji set.

Meanwhile, ๐Ÿง” Person: Beard has been given a new gender neutral design.


Support for late 2021's Emoij 14.0 recommendations is not included in today's Windows update. This means that Windows users will have to wait a while longer before they can view and use the likes of Melting Face and Heart Hands.

๐Ÿ†™ Changed

While all emoji designs were changed to the new Fluent style in today's Windows 11 update, several emojis also had other elements of their design modified. A collection of these changed designs are highlighted below.

๐Ÿ˜ท Face with Medical Mask now has a contented expression instead of a neutral one.


๐Ÿ˜‰ Winking Face now has its mouth open.


๐Ÿง Face with Monocle looks bemused, as per other vendors' designs.


๐Ÿฆ  Microbe is now green instead of blue.


๐Ÿ’‰ Syringe has been updated to remove its blood-red contents and droplets, as per other vendors' recent changes.


๐Ÿ’ƒ Woman Dancing now has facial features and a new flower in her hair.


๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿซ Teacher is now holding a book instead of a pointer.


๐Ÿง‘โ€๐ŸŒพ Farmer is now holding a pitchfork instead of a sheaf of rice.


๐Ÿง‘โ€โš–๏ธ Judge no longer has glasses but is now holding a gavel.


๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿš’ Firefighter is now holding an axe


๐Ÿคฐ Pregnant Woman has new facial features, is facing forward, and is now wearing purple.


๐Ÿ‘ฝ Alien is once again green after briefly going gray.


๐Ÿ›ธ Flying Saucer no longer includes a little green alien.


๐Ÿงš Fairy displays the fictional woodland creature's full body, as per other vendors.


๐Ÿง Elf is now clad in green instead of orange.


๐Ÿ‘ฌ Men Holding Hands are now both wearing blue instead of teal.


๐Ÿถ Dog Face has changed breed from a cocker spaniel.


๐Ÿง Penguin is now looking forward and has a white feathered face.


๐Ÿ™ Octopus now has a bulbous, cartoonish head.


๐Ÿฆง Orangutan is no longer scratching its head.


๐Ÿฆ„ Unicorn has a new multi-colored mane and horn.


๐Ÿฆ“ Zebra is now a full-bodied feature.


๐Ÿฆ– T-Rex is now green instead of brown.


๐Ÿ”ซ Water Pistol now more closely resembles the designs on Apple and Samsung devices.


๐Ÿš Spiral Shell is now white instead of peach-colored, as per other vendors' designs.


๐Ÿ“ฎ Postbox is now red instead of blue, as per other vendors' designs.


๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ Framed Picture no longer includes Ninja Cat.


๐ŸŒŒ Milky Way now has a square background instead, akin to other vendors.


๐Ÿ’ฎ White Flower now includes Japanese text that roughly translates to very well done.


๐Ÿงฑ Brick now displays as a wall.


๐Ÿ›น Skateboard now shows the board's deck instead of its wood underbelly.


๐Ÿช… Piรฑata is now donkey-shaped instead of a three-dimensional star.


๐Ÿ“† Tear-Off Calendar and ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ Spiral Calendar now appear as a generic month instead of showing the number "31".


๐Ÿ”€ Non-RGI Emojis

Since their 2016 Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft has supported over 50,000 different ๐Ÿ‘ช Family emoji combinations, with different skin tone support and sequences that included the non-gender-specifying ๐Ÿ‘ถ Baby emoji.

These ๐Ÿ‘ช Family combinations are still not recommended for general interchange (RGI) by the Unicode Consortium, but remain in place within the Fluent emoji set.

However, despite keeping these ๐Ÿ‘ช Families, this update has removed emoji support for a variety of different Unicode characters and emoji sequences not recommended for general interchange (RGI) by the Unicode Consortium.

Sadly, as we feared within our initial preview of the 2D Fluent set, this includes the various Ninja Cat emojis.


Originally introduced within the Windows 10 Anniversary Update in August 2016, the Ninja Cat and its other emoji incarnations were a nod to a popular Windows Insider program meme from the early 2010s.

However, following the November 2021 update, the six Ninja Cat emojis - namely the ๐Ÿฑโ€๐Ÿ‘ค Ninja Cat, ๐Ÿฑโ€๐Ÿ’ป Hacker Cat, ๐Ÿฑโ€๐Ÿ Stunt Cat, ๐Ÿฑโ€๐Ÿ‰ Dino Cat, ๐Ÿฑโ€๐Ÿ‘“ Hipster Cat, and ๐Ÿฑโ€๐Ÿš€ Astro Cat - no longer render within an individual emoji design.

Instead, they now appear as their component emojis (e.g. ๐Ÿฑ Cat Face and ๐Ÿ’ป Laptop for ๐Ÿฑโ€๐Ÿ’ป Hacker Cat), as they would have when viewed on non-Microsoft platforms.

Other non-RGI Unicode characters and sequences that no longer have an emoji design include:

However, despite many non-RGI symbol emoji designs being discontinued in this update, the Windows 11 November 2021 update continues to provide various Mahjong Tile Unicode characters with emoji support.


Above: the various non-RGI Mahjong Tile emoji designs included in this Windows emoji update.

Though the colors featured in their designs have changed, these Mahjong Tile characters retain a thick black outline reminiscent of the outgoing Segoe Color Emoji style first introduced in the 2016 Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

๐Ÿ“ถ Released

The Windows 11 November 2021 emoji update is now available as a free update for Windows 11 users in select regions, with global rollout continuing over the next few weeks and months.

The update is entitled the Windows 11 KB5007262 update and will lead to Windows 11 Build 22000.348.

Those using Windows Insider builds would have already received this update at various stages over the past few months, varying based on the fast or slow ring options.

๐Ÿ“– Read More

  1. In fact, it was through a tweet about showing Clippy as the ๐Ÿ“Ž Paperclip ahead of World Emoji Day 2021 that we got our first hint that Microsoft would be conducting an emoji design overhaul. โ†ฉ๏ธŽ

  2. It is also expected that these platforms will debut the various Working From Home animated emoji-esque designs initially previewed alongside the 3D incarnation of the Fluent emoji set. โ†ฉ๏ธŽ

  3. In its 2017 update Microsoft began to support some ๐Ÿ’ Kiss and ๐Ÿ’‘ Couple with Heart emoji sequences that remain non-RGI to this day. Specifically, the platform has supported skin tone variations that feature the ๐Ÿ‘จ Man on the left and the ๐Ÿ‘ฉ Woman of the right of the design, as well as skin tone combinations that include one of either the ๐Ÿ‘จ Man on the left and the ๐Ÿ‘ฉ Woman emojis presented without a skin tone modifier. These sequences are still supported in this Windows 11 November 2021 update and have been supported within the Apple emoji design set since the 2021 iOS 14.5 update. โ†ฉ๏ธŽ