How to use emoji pictures on your iPhone or iPad

How to enable and use emoji on your iPhone or iPad

Ever get an iMessage on your iPhone from someone you know that contains smiley or frowny faces, or even pictures of animals or cars, flowers or dancers, space ships or iPhones, and wonder how they did it? In the old days it was emoticons. Now it's emoji. Every iPhone and iPad has the ability to send and receive them. All you have to do is turn them on!

How to enable emoji on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Keyboard.
  4. On the next screen tap on Keyboards.
  5. Choose Add New Keyboard...
  6. All the keyboards are in alphabetical order. Scroll down to E and tap on Emoji.

How to access and use emoji on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch any app that uses the keyboard. In this example, I'm going to use the Messages app.
  2. Go to compose a message or type in any field as you normally would.
  3. When the keyboard pops up, tap on the Globe key which is to the right of the number toggle in the lower left hand corner.
  4. You can now explore all the different sections and choose the emoji you'd like to send. Once you're done picking your emoji, just tap the Globe key again to get back to the regular keyboard.

That's all there is to it! Emoji will work in any app that supports keyboard input. Just keep in mind that for the most part, only people using iPhones, iPads, or Macs can see your emoji.

Do you use emoji on your iPhone or iPad? If so, which ones do you use the most? Let me know in the comments!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to use emoji pictures on your iPhone or iPad


A helpful tip I discovered by accident just the other day...if you tap on the tab of emojis you're currently browsing, it'll take you back to the first page.

You can also add them to your keyboard shortcuts. So for instance if you type ":)" then I've got mine to automatically have the smiley emoji.