Avoid UTF8 option is gone from Gmail

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Avoid UTF8 option is gone from Gmail – Despite Gmail excellence, there can be problems in accessing the service. You may not be able to clear out storage space, share files, or are unable to access a document. Thankfully, many Gmail problems are easy to fix. With Gmail, specifically, whether you’re storing and managing your documents, there’s a decent chance you’ll run into some manner of murkiness along the way. We’re going to offer some typical Gmail troubleshooting tips, then solve some specific Gmail problems, like Avoid UTF8 option is gone from Gmail, and how to fix it.

I recently tried to send an email to a colleague, and received the following error:

local-part of envelope RCPT address contains utf8 but the remote server did not offer SMTPUTF8

Many posts suggest that you avoid the UTF8 option in Gmail. This option, however, seems no longer to exist in either the Inbox interface or the “old” Gmail interface.

Furthermore, using the plain-text option, doesn’t seem to change anything either. This post has tried to raise the same issue in the past but got closed.

Further details – the mail itself contains no attachments, “special” characters or anything that should require out of the way encoding.

Edit: Based on @pnuts comment, it is important to note that the address contains a - symbol. It seems like sometimes this is a problem, but there must be a way around it. I mean, it is this guy’s email.

Answer :

Short answer

If you need to send your message now, try a different email service to send it.


Here is a thread from 2017 on the Official Gmail Help Forum UTF-8 Message not delivered. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include a workaround, just several replies from Nina – Community Specialist, who have the Expert – Google Products badge, saying:

Hi ______

Welcome to the Gmail Help Forum!

I’m continuing to work with my team on this issue. Shall keep you
posted on the update.

I’d appreciate your patience.

Best, Nina

The last reply has the above text and was sent on 11/20/17

I just found this question after having a similar issue. It turns out the issue was on my side, as the - I copied in the e-mail address wasn’t actually a dash, but a (a unicode hyphen, u2010)

If anyone is having a similar issue I suggest trying to re-type the e-mail address instead of copying it.

Gmail will happily accept recipient addresses containing UTF8 characters and try to send mails to the recipients, but the receiving mailserver may not support recipient addresses containing UTF8 ‘special characters’ such as ‘æøåüäèá’ (and many more).

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