How to Add Emoji on an iPhone (Emojis Keyboard)

How to Insert Emojis on an iPhone

by | May 25, 2023 | iPhone and iPad

Want to express sentiments with ease and replace (or accentuate) words with pictures? Find out here how to add emoji on iPhone or iPad (in more ways than one).

First, Cats: 1 Avocado: 0

When Japanese telecom company NTT Docomo followed up their popular heart button on phones with more picture characters like it, 175 additional emoji appeared in 1999 across Japan.

Among them were more hearts (of course), a lovely cat’s face and the ever enigmatic 🔛—and no avocado.

You can get an avocado emoji today on your iPhone, of course, together with some 🧮 19 times 176 more:

How to Add Emoji on an iPhone (Using the Emoji Keyboard)

Time needed: 1 minute.

To add emoji characters using the keyboard on iPhone and iPad:

  1. Position the text cursor where you want to insert the emoji.

  2. Tap emoji on the iPhone keyboard to switch to the emoji keyboard.

    No emoji button: Tap the language switching button and select Emoji from the list.
    No Emoji keyboard: Do add the iPhone emoji keyboard; see below.
    Third-party keyboard: Keyboards such as Microsoft SwitKey or Google Gboard do also offer emoji, typically on a special tab.
    Tap the emoji button

  3. Categories and history: Use the tabs at the bottom to choose categories or the leftmost category for emoji you have used previously.

    Swipe: You can also swipe over the list of emoji to browse categories.
    Frequently used emoji: Swipe to the very left to see the emoji you’ve used most frequently.
    Frequently used emoji on iPhone

  4. Search: Tap Search Emoji and type any term to find emoji.

    Example: Try avocado or swim, for instance.
    Searching for emoji on iPhone

  5. Tap any emoji to insert it.

  6. Tap ABC to return to the regular keyboard.

Looking for more places to find the perfect emoji? The best tools to search for emojis reviewed

Alternatives to Tapping Emojis on the iPhone Keyboard

You can insert emojis on an iPhone without swiping through pages of emoji.

To replace text with emojis anywhere you can type in iOS:

  1. Type a word representing the emoji.
    Examples: Many a thing, emotion, and activity works, such as sheep, swimming, or cableway.
  2. Select the desired image from auto-completion above the keyboard if it appears.
    Your own: You can set up your own keywords for emojis.
    Use auto-complete to insert emoji
  3. Tap the Emoji button on the keyboard.
  4. Tap any word appearing in orange to replace it with an emoji.
    Replace text with emoji on an iPhone
  5. Double-tap any word not highlighted in orange and select Replace… to see and pick replacement emojis.
    Use the "Replace" menu to insert emoji on iPhone

How to Add the Emoji Keyboard on an iPhone

To add an emoji keyboard to iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the General category.
  3. Now pick Keyboard.
  4. Tap Keyboards near the top.
  5. Select Add New Keyboard….
  6. Now tap Emoji (typically under SUGGESTED KEYBOARD, but possibly also further down).

Now, you can move the Emoji keyboard further up in the list:

  1. Tap Edit.
  2. Use the three bars handle on the right to grab and drop Emoji in place where desired.
  3. Now tap Done.

(How to add emoji on an iPhone tested with iOS 14–16; updated May 2023)

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