Getting Emoticons on your iPhone without installing the “Emoji” app

While you may think that emoticons are really just for girls, I happen to think they’re fairly useful and help to elevate a boring sms to something more worthwhile.

Most people think they have to download an app called Emoji, but you don’t have to! One day – extremely bored – I was burrowing through the iPhone menus when I came across a little goldmine :) Turns out you don’t need Emoji at all. The smileys are already on your phone – you just have to enable them!


Go to: settings > general > keyboard > international keyboards > add new keyboard. Just scroll down until you find Emoji and select it.

And that is as simple as it gets. All you have to do is go to iMessage or Whatsapp, and start typing a message. When you want to add an emoticon, simply touch the “network/world/whatever-it-is” icon next to the “123” that’s at the bottom left of your screen – the Emoji keyboard will pop up and you can add smileys and pics to you hearts content.

When you’re done with the emoticons, just tap the “world” icon again and you’re back to your keyboard. #Boom.

Don’t say I never did anything for you ;)

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  • eGichomo

    It was there all along!? Lol. Thanks for sharing bro..

  • Amyc

    Thanks for sharing! This is just what I was looking for Andrew!

    • Andy

      You’re welcome!

  • Modojoj

    Thanks, very simple way better than paying for the emoji app

    • Andy

      You’re most welcome!

  • mona

    finally i got it, thank u

    • Andy

      No problem Mona :)

  • Linda

    Wow! Thank you! I am so happy to be able to have this feature now. I can’t believe it was here all this time!

    • Andy

      Haha, glad it’s working for you now Linda!

  • Loree

    Andrew – you are an honestly altruistic human. Thank you so much for helping me get these darn things on my phone not only quickly, but simply and without cost. My husband and three sons will soon be tortured by my adorable texts. Best, Loree

    • andyschar

      Haha, that’s great to hear Loree! Glad I could help. All the best, Andy :)

  • ONUR

    Thanks many times, my wife thinks I am a genius now :)

    • Andy

      You’re welcome :)

    • Andrew

      Haha, glad to hear it ;)

  • Marisca Uitenweerde

    THANK you! I thought I had to go through a lot of trouble!!

    • Andrew


  • Nurten Çal??kan

    thank you so much :)

    • Andrew

      You’re welcome :)

  • Aleeee

    thxxxx budddyyyyyyy .. its help me :)

    • Andrew

      No problemo ;)

  • Monique Lawrenson

    Thank you :-))

    • Andrew

      Sure thing ;)

  • murad

    thank you very much

    • Andrew

      You’re welcome :)

  • Kristi Southey

    your awesome!!
    I’ve been looking for them!!

    • Andrew

      You’re welcome Kristi :)

  • Trina Sen

    Thats so very helpful!! Thanx a ton!!! Really!!!

    • Andrew

      Glad to hear it Trina!

  • Varsha

    Thank you so much sIR. I used to curse iphone for not supporting smileys on whatsapp. Never knew it was already thr :D

    • Andrew

      Haha, cool. Glad you’ve got it working now.

  • Antonie Potgieter

    Great advice thank you ????

    • Andrew

      You’re welcome.

  • Bridget Jones

    Omg i love you thank u soooooo much

    • Andrew

      Haha, no problem :P

  • Meenakshi

    Thank you very much sir ! I didn’t know this feature ….. It’s Amazing :)

  • Judith Westby

    Unfortunately they only show up on other apple devices. On android phones iPhone emoji emoticons don’t show properly ????

    • Andrew

      Hi Judith. If you use whatsapp to cross-message, there shouldn’t be a problem. I message my friends on android devices all the time and they never have a problem in viewing the emoticons.

  • Misso Kyle Simon

    Thank you very much

    • Andrew

      You’re most welcome!

  • Sainabou

    thank you so much you the niceing man ever

  • shanti

    thank you so much…so i can use emoticon for whatsapp and instagram…yippiii

  • Sydney Wallenfelsz

    Thank you so much!! Have you discovered any other “gold mines”?? You seriously rock for sharing this…

  • Rahul

    Thnks Adrew,,I am new to iphone technology…i am happy to know this in simple steps provided by you.

    • Andrew

      Glad to hear it Rahul!

  • Mira Luna

    You’re amazing thank you! ????

    • Andrew

      You’re welcome :)

  • baarin

    thanks you sir for sharing such wonderful tip! as they say in our country India ” without a good teacher you can not learn” Thanks again

    • Andrew

      You’re welcome! Enjoy :)

  • Sandor Oroszi

    Absolutely awesome – I am super chuffed right now. Thanks for this incredibly useful tip

  • hardik

    thank u so much

  • Varsha

    thanks very helpful

  • Sumit Verma

    Thank you so much for this thing even i through my iphone whn i didn’t get dis stupid thing thankss buddy…!!

  • SkyscraperSkyline Geography

    ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????™??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????. Cool, isn’t it!

  • SkyscraperSkyline Geography
  • SkyscraperSkyline Geography

    This is ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????™??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????. Cool, isn’t it! Awsome!
    Supercalifragilisticexpalidoucus, How do you spell ‘Gangnam Style’ ?

  • SkyscraperSkyline Geography

    You helped me ???? but I got ????

  • Dineo Lukuugi

    Thk u so very much, I nearly got rid of my iPhone jst for my emoticons. I loooooove dem. u r a star

  • carter

    awesome! thank you!

  • chiNINA

    So simple…thanks! I’ve been searching for a simple app but they’re all mosaics which are annoying.

  • Dg Su Ag Damit

    Very helpful n straight to the point. Never knew it was there all along ????

  • Sarah Craig

    Sorry 2 b the only unhappy 1, my i-phone 4 does not have emoji already installed mayb model is 2 old?

    • Andrew

      It’s there ;) I have an iPhone 4.

  • Sarah Craig

    I looked through the whole list and it didn’t appear under add new keyboard my phone also doesn’t have the “software update” option either! mine is the version 4.3.3 model MC603SO

    • Andrew

      Hi Sarah. That’s weird. It should be there. But if it’s not and you can’t update your phone over the air, you’ll either need to update it via iTunes by plugging it in and choosing “update software”. If you can’t do that, take your phone in to a Genius Bar or Apple Store for some assistance :)

  • Sarah Craig

    thanks Andrew, I finally managed to do a software download and now there is software download option available in settings and the emoji option arrived at the same time! mine must have been the only i-phone 4 without these settings! my next issue is getting into my bbm account as I cant remember my password or forgot password words! any ideas on this?….

  • Emma te Water Naude

    You are amazing.

  • Pushpa Reddy

    Hi Andrew it’s really not there in my iPhone what’s next.. Option

  • Gardening Dummy

    Thank you. You helped me the hero for the day, or at least a moment, to my wife.

  • Sheetal Rajebhosale

    ???? many thanks mr.

  • A J

    Oh, I could kill you for this! Superrrrrrrbbbbbbbbb. Eeee huuuu.
    Just bought my iPhone C and when I was complaining, there you are, Sire Messiah :D
    Bless you mate :=) You made my day (and months :P)

  • jos

    thanks Andrew, you are amazing. always wondered why my iphone didnt have smileys, thanks very much

  • aboodi


  • Tushar Bhatnagar

    Thanks for information Andrew. That really helped

  • Tango Charlie

    you are awesome bro…I have been using iphone for last one year and always thought emoticons are not meant for iphone as its software restricts so many free features available for androids and other OS.

  • debbs

    thanks sooooooo much :) i was über stressing about which app to download & you totally helped me out !

  • aceccher

    Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was so useful!

  • mehrab

    thank you i had problems with those emoji thank u thank u tahank u

  • Patricia

    Awesome !!!;you just changed my life!!!

  • Shinta Wilar

    Pls inform me because after follow ur instruction I can’t find the emoji on what’s app

  • Philips

    This is cool. Thanks for the Tip

  • Amitava

    Thanks for sharing this excellent tip. Have been searching for this for years!

  • Manoj

    Thanks A Lot!!!!!!

  • sangeethtr

    You are my God

  • Beach Bummette

    yes awesumm, thank you. LOL

  • Subie201

    This is so great! Thanks so much!!!! My friends use them all the time on their iPhone 5s. I have a 4, and the free apps don’t work! This was a score!

    • Karthik

      I dont find > international keyboards > option :-(

  • Tokas Arun

    thanks dude…. u saved me a great embarresment… i owe u one

  • Rajkumar

    awesome! thanks!

  • shweta

    fantastic …..thank you so much ….

    • Andrew

      No problemo!

  • kim

    thanks so much wow my chats are now interesting

    • Andrew

      Haha. Sure thing, enjoy :)

  • Minita

    this is very cool! I kept wondering for so long, how it could be done and it was such a simple solution! Thanks for sharing Andrew!

    • Andrew

      Only a pleasure!

  • Ariana Cason

    This was really helpful!!! Ever since like January when I got an iPhone 5c I’ve been gettin really frustrated without having the Emoticons!!! So now I have them and I love it!! THANK YOU!!

    • Andrew

      No problem :)

  • John Efekodo

    Thanks. Never knew it was there. ????

    • Andrew

      You’re welcome. Enjoy :)

  • Tracy Langdon Quintrell

    Awesome! The little animals are so stinking cute!

  • sailee

    Thank you so much… it was of great help! :)

  • Monita Le Roux

    You, my friend, are a genius. thank you

    • Andrew


  • Pearl

    I migrated from android to iOS, thank you so much was missing my emoticons

  • Virgilio Troncoso Junior

    Thank you from Brazil

  • Merle Shah

    Great help. Thanx

  • Gaurav

    thanks buddy for this useful tip

  • Tebogo Iris Rabatsimako

    Thanks a lot!! Been looking for this for a year now!!!

  • Ranjit Singh

    thank you so much. what a relief.

  • Cerina Williamson

    Brilliant! Had my phone for 5 months and been so frustrated lol. THANK YOU! ????

  • eli

    I already knew this. Now all i want are new animated emojis to add to the emoji keyboard. Where can i get them, download them or add them??Please!!! Someone help mee!!! ????????????

  • Livewith Abdul Halim

    thanks friend!

  • Nobita

    Thank you so much…..
    I was so annoyed with my phone just for emoticons…
    Now I’m feeling awesome..
    Thank u once again

  • Karthik

    Andrew I dont find > international keyboards > option on my IPHONE 4 :-( please help me

  • Karthik

    Got it thank you so much

  • Mahnoor

    Owesum man u did lots of for me ;) thats amazing!

  • manali

    thank you so much .. just saved my life

  • Romenros

    Thank u, i was wondering for this for a very lonf time. Anyway thnkz a lot..????

    • Andrew

      Pleasure, bud.

  • Nicole Becker

    Thanks!! Super easy!!

  • Kyrgwyn Sikazwe

    Thanks man! I struggled for a month, but now i have it within a minute. Thanks alot.

  • Adeel Shams

    This post is as useful as it was 3 years ago.. Hats off dude.. Thanks

    • Andrew

      Pleasure, bud. Enjoy :)

  • Rajeev Ramachandrakurup

    i cant find ’emoji’ after selecting add new keyboard. what to do?

  • Sandhya Ramachandran

    tanx so much Andrew… I wud c all chats except mine hvng these emojis !!! s, itz a grt addition !