Messages make using emoji easier than ever. If that doesn't sound important to you, then you haven't seen the kind of cheers emoji get on stage or the amount of interest they generate on social platforms. They're a big, smiley, thumbs-up kind of deal!

If you're looking to spice up your messages to your friends and family, you can litter them with emoji all you want! Here's how you do it!

How do you get emoji recommendations in Messages?

Apple's predictive QuickType keyboard can suggest emoji as well as, you know, regular words. The predictive keyboard has to be turned on in Settings, and can't be hidden.

  1. Start typing in the iMessage text field.
  2. Tap any emoji predictions that show up in the prediction bar. If multiple predictions show up, tap the one you prefer.
  3. Tap the Send button. (Looks like an upward arrow)

Emoji predictions will show up whenever you type something that has a corresponding emoji. For example, "I'm happy" will predict "[smiley face]". "My car" will suggest the "[car]" emoji.

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Pro tip: If you don't want the emoji to take the place of the word, but rather appear beside it, put a space between the word before you tap your desired emoji.

How do you emojify an iMessage?

The "emojification" works similarly to emoji recommendations.

  1. Type an iMessage in the text field.
  2. Tap the Emoji button on the keyboard.

    Open Messages, type message, tap emoji button

  3. Tap on a word that's highlighted orange to replace it with its corresponding emoji.
  4. Keep tapping words highlighted until you've "emojified" everything you want.
  5. Tap the Send button (Looks like an upward arrow).

    Tap yellow words, pick emoji, hit Send

With emojification, you can convert as many — or as few — words to emoji as you like.

How do you react with an emoji Tapback in an iMessage?

Emoji aren't just for replying, they're also for reacting. Apple calls them Tapbacks. They're similar to Slack or Facebook emoji reactions, and drop right onto any iMessage bubble sent your way.

  1. Touch and hold (long press) on an iMessage sent your way.
  2. Tap the Tapback you want to send: Heart, thumbs up, thumbs down, Ha ha, !!, or ?.

    Open messages, tap message, select tapback

There's no need to hit send, the emoji reaction goes immediately.

What do the Tapback emoji reactions mean?

Theoretically, these Tapback reactions can mean whatever you want them too. Context is king and a thumbs up Tapback to your Mom might mean something different than one to your best friend. Here's a basic guide to all the Tapback emoji that are available and what they could mean.

  • Heart: Like, love, or fav
  • Thumbs up: Happy, approve, or agree
  • Thumbs down: Sad, disapprove, or disagree
  • Ha ha: Laugh, either happily or sarcastically.
  • !!: Exclaim emphatically.
  • ?: Question.

How do you change the emoji reaction Tapback on an iMessage?

If you reply with the wrong Tapback, or you later decide you want a different Tapback, you can easily make the change.

  1. Touch and hold (long press) on an iMessage with the Tapback you want to change.
  2. Tap the Tapback you want to change to: Heart, thumbs up, thumbs down, Ha ha, !, or ?.

    Open messages, tap tapback, select new tapback

The new Tapback will take the place of the old one.

How do you delete the emoji reaction Tapback on an iMessage?

If you accidentally send a Tapback, or have simply reconsider sending one, you can also remove it.

  1. Tap a Tapback that you wish to remove.
  2. Tap the Tapback you want to remove (i.e. if you want to remove Heart, tap Heart.)

    Open Messages, tap the tapback

The Tapback will disappear.

Any Questions?

Let us know in the comments below!

Updated September 2019: Updated for iOS 13.

Emoji: Everything you need to know!