How To Enable Emoji Icons on your iPhone

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Emoji is the japanese name for pictorial characters, smileys and emoticons. The characters are similar to the commonly used emoticons but Emoji contains over 461 icons. These icons are standardized and built into most japanese handsets.

Don’t be disheartened if you do not live in Japan. The iPhone 2.2 firmware update will allow anyone to take advantage and use emoji in their text, email and even tweets.

Emoji in Text Messages

To enable emoji in text messages, we need to enable the international keyboard. Go to Settings>General>Keyboard>International Keyboards>Japanese and enable “Emoji.”

When typing a text message, tap on the globe icon and you will see the grouped listings of emoji available. There are pages upon pages of icons (461 icons in all) so “flick” sideways to navigate to the next page.

Wasn’t that easy?

Emoji Everywhere

You must be wondering if it’s possible to use emoji in your email, IM or Twitter updates. Well, the answer is YES!

Unfortunately, Apple has not enabled this and we need to do it manually. These are steps for a jailbroken iPhone.

SSH into your iPhone and navigate to User/Library/Preferences/ Edit it using a PLIST Editor and create a new boolean string KeyboardEmojiEverywhere. Set the boolean to True.

Most people don’t jailbreak their iPhone so a workaround has been discovered. This is a slightly different implementation but people who desperately want emoji can give it a go!


Do realize that not all devices support emoji so don’t be surprised if your friends see a strange character on their phones.

Make sure you have a recent backup of your iPhone before fiddling around the filesystem. Both methods have been tried and tested so you shouldn’t encounter any problem.

Have fun with the emoji icons! I bet your colleagues and friends will be impressed and wonder how you did it.