Many people are seeing a square box that says OBJ on text messages, social media apps (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), and web browsers lately. What exactly is OBJ, and what does OBJ mean in Android, iOS, Mac, or Windows?
You might be wondering what OBJ is in the text. Usually, it appears inside a dotted square box. Inside the dotted square box, it will display OBJ. Chances are, many people think it is some virus. Well, it’s not.
When you see the OBJ symbol next to your text message or inside any social media app like Facebook or Instagram, it simply means your device does not support some content.
What is OBJ in a Dotted Square Box Mean?
OBJ aka Object Replacement Character in Unicode is a text place holder used to display unspecified objects. OBJ that appears in text messages or social media apps like Facebook or Instagram means there is some content that your device cannot recognize. It is most likely an unsupported character or emoji.
The OBJ symbol is an object which can be an emoji, a character, or a combination of both. As your device does not support it, it shows it as an OBJ symbol. Every character and emojis you see on your device is an object.
OBJ inside the square box stands for ‘Object Replacement Character.’
Your device receives messages and emojis as objects. Your device displays the supported content while it fails to recognize some of them. The characters or emojis your device can’t identify will be displayed as OBJ symbols.
Now that you know some basics of the OBJ symbol, let’s take a deeper look at the causes and ways to fix the appearance of the OBJ symbol while using your smartphone.
What OBJ Mean in Text Messages?
Most of you might have first found the OBJ symbol in a text message. Let me explain why the OBJ symbol might appear on a text message sent from any app, including SMS, iMessage, Instagram, Messenger, Facebook, etc.
Everyone uses different devices to surf the internet and send text messages. Some might use a smartphone, while others might be using a PC. Some might use Android, while others use iOS. Within each of these operating systems, there are different versions and apps.
The OBJ symbol appears on your device when the other person sends you something not recognizable by your device. Maybe the other person’s device has updated, and the latest emoji packs with new emojis. And you might be using an older version with no further update. So, obviously, without updating your emoji library, you won’t be able to see what actually that OBJ symbol means.
What is OBJ Emoji?
A lot of people think that the OBJ symbol is an emoji. They can’t be blamed as it appears as an emoji with a dotted square box and text inside. It is very similar to some emojis available on WhatsApp.
But the OBJ symbol is not an Emoji. It’s not an emoji or a character. It’s an object which your device cannot display. There might be multiple reasons why your device cannot display it.
Even if you go through the entire list of emojis on any app or keyboard, you won’t find anything similar to OBJ. In short, OBJ is not an emoji.
What Is OBJ On Instagram
The OBJ icon appears on Instagram captions, comments and direct messages when a person tries to view content not supported on their phone. It could be an emoji or a special character.
Instagram shows the Object Replacement Character icon when the app can’t render and show the original content. It may be because Instagram does not support those content or your phone is not updated.
What Is OBJ On Facebook
OBJ stands for Object Replacement Character, and it appears on Facebook when the app can’t render and display some specific content like special symbols or emojis.
Millions of people use Facebook and all of them have different devices running different OS. Certain features like new emojis or special characters are first made available on certain devices. When a person tries to view a emoji or content not supported on their phone yet, it appears as an OBJ icon.
Is OBJ A Virus?
Another popular misconception about OBJ is that people think it is some sort of virus. As a user, they have some weird boxes on the screen, and anyone might think it is some virus or malware.
No, the OBJ symbol on your device is not a virus. It doesn’t indicate the presence of viruses or malware on your device either.
OBJ on Facebook, Instagram, And Other Apps
WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media apps are the places where you’ll prominently find this OBJ symbol.
The reason behind this is straightforward. Different users use different devices to post content to these social media platforms. Some users might be using the latest version of the app, emoji library, or OS with support for newer emojis or characters.
Let’s say a user with the latest emoji library on their device sends a message or posts something on WhatsApp. A user with an outdated or slightly older version of the Emoji library won’t be able to read it because their device doesn’t recognize the content in the first place. Since the device doesn’t know what to display, it shows the content as OBJ.
Why OBJ Symbol Appear On Your Device
Let’s take a look at some reasons why the OBJ symbol appears on your device.
Outdated Emoji Library
The outdated emoji library is one of the most common reasons why the OBJ symbol appears on your device. Let’s say your friend sends you a message with some emoji. Your friend’s device has the latest emoji library installed, while yours is still on an older version. There is a new emoji release in the new version.
Now, if you try to open the message sent by your friend, you won’t be able to see the new emojis since they are not supported on your device because of the outdated emoji library.
OS Not Updated To The Latest Version
Sometimes an outdated operating system can also be a culprit. Many latest features and options will be missing on an outdated OS. It is always recommended that you update your OS to the latest version for more new features and security features.
A bug concerning a specific app on your device can also be a problem. For example, if there is a bug on the app, then the app might fail to display certain characters or emojis and display the OBJ symbol instead.
Apps Specific Content Send On Other Platforms
Some apps will have an exclusive set of emojis. If you try to copy and paste the same emoji on a different app, the other app might fail to display it since it does not recognize it. When a person copies an emoji from an app and sends it over to you on a different app, your device will fail to recognize the character or emoji and show you an OBJ symbol inside a square icon.
How To Get Rid Of OBJ Symbol And Fix It
Let’s look at some ways to get rid of the OBJ symbol from your device.
One of the easiest ways to fix the OBJ symbol issue on your device used to update the operating system to the latest version. Head over to the system settings and ensure your device runs on the newest OS version. If an update is available, then update your device right away, and hopefully, it fixes the OBJ symbol error on Android, iOS, Windows, or macOS.
If you are using an outdated version of a specific app, you will frequently see the OBJ symbol. Open App Store or Play Store and see if an update is available for the particular app where you find the OBJ symbol. Always update the app to make sure it is error-free.
Update Emoji Library
As mentioned earlier, an outdated emoji library will fail to display newer emojis. To fix this, you need to update the emoji library of your device. In most cases, the emoji library of your device will be automatically updated when you update the operating system.
Use a Different Keyboard App
Another quick fix to remove the OBJ symbol from your devices is to try using a different keyboard app. There are various keyboard apps like:
- Microsoft Swiftkey
Try switching to a different keyboard app to see if the issue is fixed.
Seeing the OBJ symbol on your device repeatedly can be pretty frustrating. The above are some easy fixes that will display the content behind the OBJ symbol.
The OBJ symbol is nothing but the object replacement character. Because they are not supported, certain devices fail to display certain characters or symbols. In such cases, your device will display the OBJ icon inside a dotted square box. And no, the OBJ symbol on your device is not a virus.
Let’s quickly recap what we did to fix the appearance of the OBJ symbol on our device.
- Update OS
- Update Apps
- Use a newer version of the Emoji library
- Try switching to a different keyboard ap