Microsoft finally agrees to swap out its pistol emoji for a water gun

Microsoft finally ditches its pistol emoji and swaps it for a water gun, following in the footsteps of Google, Facebook and Apple

  • Microsoft has joined other tech firms in eliminating the realistic handgun emoji
  • Instead, the software giant has designed a green, yellow and orange water gun
  • The company didn’t specify when its water gun emoji will be rolling out to users
  • Google and Facebook announced they’d be swapping out their emojis yesterday 
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Microsoft has joined a growing list of Silicon Valley giants who are abandoning the realistic handgun emoji in favor of a toy water gun.

The company unveiled the design of its new emoji — a green, orange and yellow super soaker.

The move follows Facebook and Google’s announcement on Wednesday that they were also making the switch.

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Microsoft is the latest tech firm to swap out the realistic hand gun emoji for a water gun. On Wednesday, the company unveiled the design of its new emoji — a green supersoaker. As shown above, it was previously the only major firm to hang on to the pistol design this year

‘We are in the process of evolving our emojis to reflect our values and the feedback we’ve received,’ Microsoft said in a tweet. 

The firm then tweeted out a rendering of the new water gun emoji. 

Microsoft didn’t specify when its water gun emoji will be rolling out to users.  

One user quipped that the new emoji had made ‘the world safer now’. Microsoft was the last of the leading tech firms to adopt the change. 

That’s despite the firm actually being the first to introduce a cartoonish ray gun to its emoji lineup in 2013. 

Microsoft didn’t specify when its water gun emoji will be rolling out to users, but shared a preview of what it will look like

‘While Microsoft was technically first with a non-weapon interpretation of this emoji, no other vendors followed their lead,’ Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge told Business Insider. 

The company later changed its emoji back to a handgun as it cited concerns about cross-platform consistency — basically, it wanted its emojis to appear properly between different platforms.  

Google and Facebook made the decision to swap out their emojis a day earlier. 

Google said the change should already be accessible for Android users via a software update, according to Emojipedia. 

Facebook has confirmed that the toy squirt gun will soon replace the pistol emoji after it consults with the Unicode Consortium, the group that establishes standards for emojis. 

Apple was the first to lead the charge when it eliminated its hand gun emoji in 2016, swapping it out for bright green toy water gun. 

Microsoft was the last of the leading tech firms to adopt the change, despite swapping out the handgun emoji for a 50’s style ray gun back in 2013. Apple later led the charge in 2016 

Google said it’s swapping out the pistol emoji for a squirt gun, following in the footsteps of several other tech giants. The update is rolling out to Android users in a software update


Apple has proposed 13 emojis that are meant to represent several kinds of disabilities.  

Once approved by Unicode, the emojis could appear on your smartphone by March 2019. 

The emojis proposed include: 

  • A man/woman gesturing that he’s/she’s deaf 
  • A man and woman using a manual wheelchair
  • A man and woman using a mechanized wheelchair
  • Ear with a hearing aid
  • A man and woman using a cane
  • A prosthetic arm 
  • A prosthetic leg
  • Guide dog with a harness
  • Guide dog with a leash and vest

The emojis depict people who experience blindness, low vision, physical disabilities, deafness, as well as hidden disabilities, such as Autism, seizures, anxiety and PTSD


WhatsApp, Samsung and Twitter later followed suit by replacing the weapon emojis with toys. 

Across all the platforms, Google seems to have changed its gun emoji the most frequently. 

The firm told Emoji Wrap in 2016 that it was cautious about swapping out the gun emoji for the bright green water gun, as it wanted to be compatible with other systems. 

But as more and more tech companies have adopted the water gun glyph, others have followed suit.       

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