How to prepare Windows and Office for the new Japanese era change

Overview

On May 1, 2019, a new Japanese era and associated calendar began.  This change requires updates to Windows, Office, and .NET Framework.

How do I update Windows and Office to support the new Japanese era?

If you have automatic updates enabled for your Microsoft software, the updates to support the new era will install automatically and you will not need to take any action.

Note: For non-Windows versions of Office, the underlying operating system may also need to be updated so the new era information can appear within the Office applications.

If automatic updates have not been enabled, or if you want to check for updates manually, please take the actions listed below.  Advanced users can find additional details at Summary of new Japanese era updates - KB4469068

Windows:

To update quickly, select check for updates now, and then select Check for updates.  Or select the Start button, then select Settings > Update & Security  > Windows Update, and then select Check for updates.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.  (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap or click Windows Update.

  3. Tap or click Check now.

  4. If updates are found, tap or click View details.

  5. In the list of updates, select all the available updates, and then tap or click Install

    If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, enter the password or provide confirmation.

  6. After the installation is complete, restart your PC and sign in.

  1. Select the Start button > All programs > Windows Update.

  2. In the left pane, select Check for updates.

  3. If any important updates are found, select the link to view available updates.  In the list of updates, select them all and then select OK.

Note: You might need to install prerequisite updates before the Japanese era update is offered.  Install any important updates and then follow these steps again to check for any additional updates.

  1. Select Install updates.  You might be asked for an administrator password or to confirm your choice.

  2. After the updates are installed, sign into your PC.  You might see a notification indicating whether the update was successful.

.NET Framework:

Some applications also require .NET Framework updates to support calendar dates for the new Japanese era.  These updates will also install automatically with your Windows Updates if you have automatic updates enabled.  You can install .NET Framework updates manually by following the same steps for updating Windows.

For additional information about the delivery of .NET Framework updates that contain the Japanese era updates, please see Summary of new Japanese era updates for .NET Framework.

Office:

For Office on Windows to correctly handle the new era in Japan, both Windows and the .NET Framework must be updated to versions which support the new era.  Please refer to the Windows and .NET Framework sections above for more information about making these updates.

To install the latest Office updates, see the article,Install Office Updates.

Advanced users can manually install the Office updates for the new Japanese era by following instructions provided in the article, Office updates for new Japanese era.

For non-Windows devices, updates are available from the store for the specific platform and will be applied according the store’s update policy.  Make sure to install updates for both the operating system and for your Office applications.

 

How to change your calendar settings to the new Japanese era

Once you’ve installed the latest Windows updates, you can set your date and time settings to display the new Japanese era calendar:

1. Launch Control Panel.

2. Sort by Category.  Under Clock and Region, launch Region setting.

3. In Region setting dialog box:

  • Change Format to "Japanese (Japan)".

  • Click on Additional Settings… button to launch the Customize Format setting.

Japanese Era additional settings view 1

4. In Customize Format dialog box

  • Click the Date tab.

  • Change Calendar Type to "和暦".

  • Click OK to apply the setting.

Japanese Era customize settings

Frequently asked questions about the Japanese era change

Q:  When will the Japanese era updates be ready for consumers?

A:  The new era name was announced on April 1.  Microsoft engineering worked to add the new name, tested the updates, and has begun releasing updates.  In addition, we are working as quickly as possible to address any issues that are reported by customers and partners.

 

Q:  How will you deliver updates to consumers?

A:  Updates are delivered in the same way we provide updates today. In most cases updates are available using Microsoft Update on Windows and using the corresponding store for non-Windows platforms.  To learn more about Microsoft Update, please see this Web page: Windows Update: FAQ.

 

Q:  Do consumers need to do anything if using Microsoft online services?

A:  Online services that handle dates in the Japanese calendar today have been gradually updated to support the new era without requiring users to install updates.

 

Q:  Do consumers need to do anything if they are using Microsoft apps?

A:  Most devices and apps that handle dates in the Japanese calendar today are supporting the new era simply by getting updates as they become available.

 

Q:  How can I verify if the update was applied to my computer?

A:  To check if Windows has applied the latest Japanese era updates:

  1. Press the Windows logo key  + R to open the Run dialog box.

  2. Type winver and press Enter.

  3. Make note of the Version and Build numbers listed in the About Windows dialog.

Image of Windows 10 version dialog

  1. Depending on your version number, go to the Update History KB article for Version 1809 or Version 1803, and check the build number of the latest update -- listed on the left side of the article, under “In this release”.  If your Windows build number is greater than or equal to the build number of the latest update listed in the KB article, then you have the latest Japanese era changes.

  1. Go to the article, Summary of new Japanese era updates - KB4469068.  In that article, find the table that lists the latest Japanese era updates and make note of the Knowledge Base Article (KB) number that corresponds to your version of Windows.

  2. Press the Windows logo key  + R to open the Run dialog box.

  3. Type Control Panel and press Enter.

Image of the Windows "run" dialog

  1. Go to Programs > Programs and Features > Installed Updates.

  2. Enter the KB number of the latest Japanese era update (from Step 1) into the search box and search for that KB number within the list of installed updates.  If that update appears in the search results, then you have the latest Japanese era changes.

Image of the "installed updates"dialog

To check if Word has applied the Japanese era updates:

  1. From the Insert menu, select Insert Date and Time.

  2. In the Language dropdown, select Japanese.

  3. Verify the new Japanese era appears in the available Date and Time formats.  Select the desired Date and Time format and click OK.

 

Related Links

Summary of new Japanese era updates - KB4469068

Office updates for new Japanese era

Install Office Updates

Latest updates for versions of Office that use Windows Installer (MSI)

Wrong Japanese era displayed in Excel dates

Update Office for Mac automatically

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