They say a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s true, even if the picture is only a handful of pixels tall and wide. Emojis are the funny faces and characters we add to emails and SMS messages, but finding them on your phone can be a little tricky until you know how.
It used to be that you would have to download third-party Emoji packs to add to your phone, but these days all of the cute faces you could ever need are (likely) part of the phone you are already using.
If you don't see the emoji icon on the keyboard (as pictured below), you'll need to enable emoji from the keyboard settings in iOS:
- Tap Settings > General > Keyboard.
- Tap Keyboards.
- Tap Add New Keyboard.
- Locate and tap Emoji.
Otherwise, the emoji button should be visible by default; tap it to access all the icons, then tap the ABC button to return to the regular keyboard.
Once you have turned it on, go to your Messages app to test it out. Once you’ve brought up the keyboard, press on the ‘globe’ icon beside the space bar and you’ll see all of the Emoji options, broken up into tabbed categories.
Finding Emoji on your Android phone will depend a lot on which model you’re using, and which keyboard you have installed. The easiest way to be sure you have Emoji characters is to download and install the Google Keyboard (Play Store link).
Using Google Keyboard
Firstly, make sure you are using the correct keyboard. Go to your messaging app (we’re using Google's default messaging app) and start a new message to bring up the keyboard. If you only just installed the Google keyboard, follow our “ How to change Android keyboards” article to set it as default.
With Google Keyboard you don’t need to change anything — the Emoji button is already front and centre. Simply press on one of the smiley faces to find a tabbed grid of characters, and swipe across to reveal even more.
Given the popularity of Samsung phones, there is a good chance that you are using the pre-installed Samsung Keyboard, which includes the same Emoji characters as the Google Keyboard, but hides them a little deeper in the menu.
- Open the keyboard in a messaging app
- Press and hold on the Settings ‘cog’ icon, next to the Space Bar
- Tap the Smiley Face
- Enjoy Emoji!
Typewriter Smiley image via Shutterstock