How to Enable Emoji on iOS

Emoji are more than just silly little smiley faces. These lovable icons have become a universal language ingrained in our messages, and an integral part of communication.

If you spend a lot of time conversing through text, you may want to punctuate your messages with colorful animals or planes.

See also: 10 Emojis We Wish Existed

Until iOS 5, you could only access an emoji keyboard by downloading third-party apps. Luckily, iOS devices now have a built-in keyboard for these illustrated characters. But the downside is that Apple doesn’t show this special keyboard by default.

Follow these easy steps to unlock the emoji keyboard on your iOS devices.

1. Open Settings and tap ‘General.’

Step 1: How to enable emoji on iOS devices

Image: Screenshot from iPhone Kyli Singh

2. Select ‘Keyboard’ and tap on the ‘Keyboards’ submenu.

Step 2: How to enable emoji on iOS devices

3. Select ‘Add New Keyboard’ to open the list of available keyboards. Choose ‘Emoji.’

Step 3: How to enable emoji on iOS devices

Congrats, you have now expanded your texting options with your new emoji keyboard.

To use it, open any app that allows you to type messages, such as iMessage, Mail, Notes or Twitter. When you tap on the text entry field, you’ll see a globe icon to the left of the spacebar key. Select the globe, and your emoji keyboard will appear.

How to use emoji

Tap the icons along the bottom of the keyboard to switch emoji themes. As you swipe left or right in each theme, you’ll see there are additional emoji to choose from. The first category, marked by a clock symbol, saves the emoji you recently used.

Remember, if your recipient does not have an emoji-supported device, then they will see empty symbols.

BONUS: 5 Emoji Meanings That Will Surprise You

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