WhatsApp is the most widely popular instant messaging app in the market. In fact, smartphone sales got a big boom after the launch of this app. WhatsApp is the main reason for the death of old text messaging. You just need an internet connection, and get connected anywhere in the world.

WhatsApp allows you to send text messages; or send documents, videos, audios, make voice calls and with the latest update, video calls too (Amazing! Isn’t it?). One of the best features of WhatsApp is the emoticons. You have a WhatsApp emoticon for every mood, every occasion or jokes you can think of. I mean, jokes in WhatsApp are incomplete without using emoticons.

And even though WhatsApp offers a huge number of emoticons already in its chat window, you can still add/edit custom emoticons for yourself.

Why you should use Custom WhatsApp Emoticons?

  • You can create your brand logo as an emoticon for promotional purposes
  • Add cartoon or other iconic characters in it.
  • You can amaze people with this trick and show off!

How to Add/Edit Custom WhatsApp Emoticons to your WhatsApp

Softwares Required

  • 7zipfreeware to extract the WhatsApp backup
  • Apk tool freeware to compile extracted backup and edit WhatsApp later.
  • Imagemagik
  1. Create a backup of your WhatsApp in your device using any application.

Make backup of WhatsApp using ES File Explorer

  • Install the app -> Go to menu -> APP
  • Search and select WhatsApp and then wait for it to create the backup.
  • The backup will get saved in /backups/apps/ after creation and be named as apk.
  1. Connect your phone to your PC now and copy the backup file or move it to your SD card.
  2. Extract the WhatsApp.apk using WinRAR (in computer) or 7zip extractor (on android phone).
  3. The emoticons are actually .png images of 48X48 res. They are located inside res\drawable-hdpi
  4. Open the “drawable-hdpi” folder. You will find all Custom WhatsApp Emoticons is stored there.
  5. Now add into or replace any Custom WhatsApp emoticon by creating a new one using Photoshop.
  6. Replace this new emoji with the one located in the “drawable-hdpi” folder (anyone you don’t need or use) with same resolution i.e., 48X48. But, if you try to compile that folder with apktool then, you will get an error message saying resources are interchanged. Don’t worry! This means that the new file is larger in size than the older one. To solve this, use imagemagick or any relevant software which can compress the image by cutting unnecessary database off the image.
  7. To do this, open imagemagik -> Select “Open” -> select image -> save. Done!
  8. Your emoticon’s size is now reduced. Rename as the name of the older emoticon which you replaced and copy-paste it into the “drawable-hdpi” folder. Replace it with the old file then.

You folder now contains

  • Backed up “WhatsApp.apk”.
  • Apktool
  • Extracted and edited WhatsApp folder.
  1. Extract “apktool” which you can get inside the apktool extracted folder.
  2. Now, go to the explorer, delete the location and type cmd.
  3. A command window will then pop up. Then input “java -jar apktool.jar b (Folder name)”, where “Folder name” is the name of the extracted folder. Like suppose the name of the folder is “WhatsApp_2.12.158”. Then you will type “java -jar apktool.jar b WhatsApp_2.12.158“, and press Enter.
  4. You have now compiled the edited WhatsApp version successfully. The name of the file would be “WhatsApp_2.12.158” only.
  5. Now copy the new WhatsApp apk into your phone.
  6. But don’t install it now as it is unsigned right now. To sign into it, install “zip signer” from Google Play Store. If you try to install it without signing it, it will show parsing error.
  7. Open it after installation, Select whatsapp.apk as your input file and as output file.
  8. Now select auto-testkey and then tap “sign the file”.
  9. Open ES Explorer and go to the newly signed file and change the name from “” to “whatsappedited.apk”.
  10. Install it and then Enjoy!!!

Also Read: How to have a dual WhatsApp account on Android devices


The above method will surely work for any Android device. The only shortcoming of this method is that the emoticon you created must also be installed on the receiver’s WhatsApp too otherwise he/she will get a gibberish emoji instead. That is, he must have also edited his Custom WhatsApp emoticons too.

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