[Update]: This article was first published on January 27, 2017. It was updated with new problems and their solutions.
In Office 365, there are some situations in which your email signatures stop working. Here is a quick access list of the most frequent email signature management problems, with solutions:
- Broken email signature formatting
- A new email signature cannot be set up or missing email signatures
- Double email signatures in Office 365
- Office 365 signatures cannot be edited
- No images in Office 365 email signature
- Double spacing in email signature block
- Office 365 email signature grayed out
- Email signatures don’t show up directly under replies or forwards
- Office 365 email signatures are not displayed in Sent Items
Broken email signature formatting
While the problem is not reserved for Office 365, it happens a lot on this platform.
You create a beautiful email signature in Outlook and then, after you send an email with the signature included, it is not right. The layout is different, line breaks appear out of nowhere, fonts don’t look like what you’ve set up and so on. Sounds familiar? Then you’ve got an HTML problem. The most common reason for that is creating your email signature in Microsoft Word. While it looks all right in Word and in your signature settings, it has a lot of hidden formatting information that usually breaks the layout right after you send an email.
The solution is to build your email signature with the proper HTML code. If you are an HTML expert, you can use those pro tips to build a well-formatted signature. If, like most of humanity, you only have some distant clue as to what HTML is, you can use the free email signature generator. That’s how anyone can get a great looking signature that doesn’t break as soon as you send out your email.
Email signatures are missing
You had 30 different email signature designs set up and suddenly they’re all gone? Or, you had different email signatures set up across your devices and now they’re all the same?
The most likely reason for this phenomenon is the feature called “signature cloud settings” (or “roaming signatures”) added by Microsoft. With its implementation, the location of Outlook email signatures changed from your local Windows folder to mailbox settings in the cloud. The feature is meant to make your life easier – you no longer need to set up email signatures in each Outlook you use. The catch is that it might mistakenly overwrite the signatures you set up previously.
To fix the issue, you can disable the roaming signatures feature, which will automatically restore your missing signatures. Alternatively, you can also try to recreate your missing signatures by going to the local Outlook signature storage and copying the contents of HTML or RTF signature files. Learn more
Double email signatures in Office 365
The problem of double email signatures shocked many and it shouldn’t be very surprising, as, on the first look, it doesn’t make any sense. Here’s how it goes:
You send out an email with your signature. Everything seems fine until you get a reply in which you have two email signatures under your message. One of the signatures you know. The other has your personal data but looks completely different. What’s more, when you check your Sent Items folder, there’s only one email signature.
It might come as a surprise, but the issue is quite common and is not a prank. The second signature is usually added by your organization after an email is sent. Most well-known brands have policies that control how the brand is presented across different channels, email included. They use “mail flow rules” or dedicated tools to add a specific signature after an email is sent, so that it cannot be changed by end users. A side effect? Double signatures if end users aren’t aware of such mechanism.
The problem is probably not your fault – your organization should always communicate the use of such methods clearly, or use branding management tools that let users see the organization-issued signatures.
Office 365 signatures cannot be edited
Sometimes, when using your Office 365 Outlook on the web (OWA), you might experience a problem when trying to set an email signature for your account. When going through email settings, under Layout menu, the Signature button might be missing. This makes it impossible for users to make any changes to their Office 365 email signatures. The most probable cause is OWA policy blocking this feature. Here is how to fix it:
- Access your Exchange admin center and go to the permissions section.
- Then, select the Outlook Web App policies tab in the top menu. Choose the policy which is in action (OwaMailboxPolicy in this example) and edit it.
- In the features tab, click More options at the bottom of the window.
- Under the User experience section, select the Email signature checkbox.
- This feature can be used the other way round in case there is an email signature/disclaimer added through mail flow rules or a third-party tool, and you want to block user-made signatures.
- If an email signature is added prior to blocking this feature, users will still be able to use it. It can even be added automatically if such an option has been chosen.
- OWA policies, as expected, are not applied to users who access their mailboxes in Outlook.
If you are not sure how to set an Office 365 email signature, this article may come in handy.
No images in Office 365 email signatures
Have you added an image to your email signature, but it is not displayed? Have you struggled with the dreaded red x showing instead of your marketing banners or social media icons? This might have happened because you have used a linked image (aka hosted image). Linked images are blocked automatically by most email clients. What is more, if a web location where the image is stored becomes temporarily or permanently unavailable, the image will not be displayed. Neither will it display while browsing emails in offline mode. You can fix this issue by using embedded graphics instead:
- Click the picture icon in the signature editor window and choose a picture from your local drive.
- Images in this option are sent as hidden attachments, increasing the email size.
- On rare occasions, such images can be deleted by the recipient’s anti-virus software.
- If you want to ensure your embedded images look correctly on the recipient’s side, you have to use a third-party solution like CodeTwo Email Signatures 365.
You can read more on the differences between linked and embedded (inline) pictures in this blog post.
Double spacing in email signature block
While editing an HTML email signature in OWA or Outlook, it is quite common that your template does not display the way you designed it. The most frequent problem is double line spacing:
Although there are quite a few ways to solve the problem, there is one which tends to work for every formatting-related problem, including the issue with double spacing:
- Start from creating your email signature block in a word processor or email signature generator;
- Copy and paste the email signature you have created into the signature editor;
- Make final adjustments, if necessary.
The double-spacing problem could also be solved by using Shift + Enter key combination, instead of starting a new paragraph by simply pressing Enter. However, sometimes it might cause the signature to appear as just one line of text. The solution above guarantees that the problem is solved. Apart from that, it gives you more editing options than the built-in OWA or Outlook email signature editor.
Office 365 email signature grayed out
This issue might occur if you access your Office 365 email account in Outlook. If you cannot change or add a new email signature, this is most likely caused by a certain value entered into Registry. It has nothing to do with Office 365 Administration, it is entirely dependent on Microsoft Windows’ functionalities. In order to repair the issue, follow those simple steps:
- Playing with the Registry might prove to be a bad idea if you haven’t done it before. Be sure to always create a registry backup before you start working on it. This can be done by clicking File > Export… and choosing a target location for your backup.
- Additionally, there can be value NewSignature and Reply_Signature with value type REG_SZ and value data set to name of the signature which is to be added automatically. Those Registry entries should also block changing signatures.
- On your keyboard, hold the Windows icon and press R.
- Type regedit and press Enter.
- This will open the Registry editor. In the folder tree on the left, follow the path: HKEY_Current_User > Software > Microsoft > Office > X > Common > MailSettings
- If there is a value named DisableSignatures and is set to 1, modify it so that it is set to 0.
Email signatures don’t show up directly under replies or forwards
A well-known issue often discussed among Exchange Online administrators is email signatures landing at the bottom of email conversations. Unfortunately, Exchange Online does not provide a way to overcome this problem natively. What is more, if you do not add an exception to your mail flow rule, you may experience your email signature being doubled.
Currently, the only way to automatically add email signatures directly under replies or forwards is to use a third-party solution. Your best bet would be trying out CodeTwo Email Signatures 365.
Office 365 email signatures are not displayed in Sent Items
Another issue that companies often face is that email signatures inserted on the server’s side are not visible in the sender’s Sent Items folder. This might cause problems if you have a disclaimer that should be attached to every sent email, but you are not able to verify it. Not including disclaimers in your emails may cause problems of a legal nature.
There is a workaround – instead of appending disclaimers on the server level, you can create one email signature template and distribute it to all users. Then, just instruct them to insert the disclaimer in their email clients.
Unfortunately, although it solves one problem, it may generate a list of new ones. To name a few:
- Employees may fail to implement the email signature or simply ignore the request to set it up.
- In case users use more than just one email client, the signature may look different across the company.
- Every change to email signature would have to be implemented on all the machines every time it occurs.
In order to view Office 365 email signatures and disclaimers in the Sent Items folder, you will need to use CodeTwo Email Signatures 365 – the first Office 365 signature manager on the market to offer such a feature.
These are the most frequent problems you might experience with email signatures in Office 365. If you experience any other issues, be sure to let us know about them in the comments. We will try to address those problems to the best of our abilities.