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How To Enable the Emoji Keyboard on Android 4.2 and Up

An Emoji keyboard is available in Android 4.2, although it’s somewhat hidden. It allows you to express yourself using various symbols and it’s easy to enable, too. Here’s how to do it.

Enable Emoji Keyboard on Android

First, go to your Android smartphone or tablet’s Settings menu and tap Language & input, under Personal. Here I’m using a Nexus 7, but this should work with most devices that have Stock Android. Samsung devices might differ.

Emoji keyboard Android 4.2

Find the iWnn IME input and make sure it’s enabled.

Emoji keyboard settings

Now whenever you’re using the normal Android keyboard and you want to use an icon, long press the space bar. Then tap Emoji Input method.

Emoji Input

You’ll get a keyboard filled with a ton of fun emoticons like Android robot faces.

Emoji keyboard faces

Symbols for sports, activities, nature, and a lot more. Have fun!

Emoji keyboard activities

What is an Emoji? According to Wikipedia:

Emoji (絵文字, or えもじ?); Japanese pronunciation: [emodʑi] is the Japanese term for the ideograms or smileys used in Japanese electronic messages and webpages. Originally meaning pictograph, the word literally means “picture” (e) + “letter” (moji). The characters are used much like emoticons elsewhere, but a wider range is provided, and the icons are standardized and built into the handsets. Some emoji are very specific to Japanese culture, such as a bowing (apologizing) businessman, a face wearing a face mask, a white flower used to denote “brilliant homework” or a group of emoji representing popular foods: ramen noodles, dango, onigiri, Japanese curry, and sushi. The three main Japanese operators, NTT DoCoMo, au, and SoftBank Mobile (formerly Vodafone), have each defined their own variants of emoji. Although originally only available in Japan, some character sets have been incorporated into Unicode, allowing them to be used elsewhere as well. As a result, some phones such as the Windows Phone 7 line and the iPhone allow access to the symbols without requiring a Japanese operator.

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81 Responses to How To Enable the Emoji Keyboard on Android 4.2 and Up

  1. Fadi July 13, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    I have android 2.3.6
    how can I use this emoji ??? ^_^

    • Brian Burgess July 14, 2013 at 12:12 am #

      It’s not included in Android 2.3.6 by default no. But there are plenty of Emjoi apps you can install from the Google Play Store:
      http://goo.gl/dSWtc

    • Genene Elliott August 31, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

      To get these exact emojis, install wnn keyboard lab , enable it, click on the app, go to change settings, click display, at the bottom u will see emoji pallet, select it and choose unicode 6-emoji, also make sure the wnn keyboard lab is selected in you settings, hope this helps

      • flor October 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

        I did exactly what you said and when I go to my keyboard and try to use it, nothing shows up only wnnkeyboard lab menu and change settings and input method under. where am I supposed to click to?

      • Steve Krause October 10, 2016 at 6:58 pm #

        Test Thread

  2. Fall July 26, 2013 at 12:12 am #

    i can’t find that emoji on play store android, where i can find that emoji ? or emoji app name ?

    • Bogdan Bele July 29, 2013 at 7:42 am #

      You could try some of the apps Brian has mentioned.

  3. mikep July 27, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    I just recently got a galaxy s4. New to android. Came from the dark side (apple). Some of my friends still have Apple. & they’ll send emoji in messages. & I can clearly see them. & supposedly droid doesn’t let u see them. I’ve tried looking for the settings patted here, but the song here doesn’t show up. I know there’s 3rd party messages. But I’m used to keyboard on my s4. Thanks

  4. Ammar August 1, 2013 at 3:45 am #

    guys pls help .. cant find iWnn IME on language input to active Emoji ! whats the probs pls.. use PA 3.90

  5. andy August 2, 2013 at 7:15 am #

    When in text just hit the menu button and itll give options. Insert smiley. Done.

  6. ksks August 6, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    It did work, but recently updated my galaxy nexus to 4.3 and it’s gone may want to review it.

    • Bogdan Bele August 6, 2013 at 8:33 am #

      I have 4.3 on a Nexus 7 and it still works fine.

  7. marvin August 6, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Does this only work on nexus phones?

    • Bogdan Bele August 9, 2013 at 5:34 am #

      What version of Android are you running? If it’s not 4.2 or later, it won’t work.

  8. Haley August 8, 2013 at 12:42 am #

    So android 4.1.2 doesn’t show this option 🙁 My galaxy s3 supposedly won’t update to 4.2 until late fall/early winter.

    • Bogdan Bele August 9, 2013 at 5:33 am #

      You need 4.2 and up, unfortunately.

      • Gabriel August 14, 2013 at 6:54 am #

        So I have Google keyboard installed on my galaxy s4 with 4.2.2 and can’t find the iWnn IME input method?

        • MeMyselfAndroid August 17, 2013 at 9:13 am #

          Me neither. I installed iWnn Keyboard Lab and had them for a little while but all of a sudden they just disappeared. Now all i have is tiny boxes.

          • Gabriel August 18, 2013 at 7:10 am #

            I think its only available on nexus devices 🙁 I hope I’m wrong. Hopefully I can find mods soon.

  9. Heartie August 15, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    Where i can Download the Emoji Keyboard? (Just like the Sample Screen Shot)

    • Bogdan Bele August 16, 2013 at 12:58 am #

      If you’re using an Android 4.2 (or up) device, you can find it as explained in the article.

  10. MeMyselfAndroid August 17, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    I have iWnn Keyboard Lab and had the android emoji’s without a problem but all of a sudden all I have are tiny boxes. Is there a fix or what is the problem?
    G

  11. MeMyselfAndroid August 17, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    I used to have the ANDROID Emoji’s wthout a problem(using iWnn Keyboard Lab) but all of a sudden it’s just tiny boxes. I’m on AT&T Galaxy S4 4.2.2.
    What’s the problem or fix for it?

  12. angela August 17, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    I didnt get it. can you do a video example pls starting the download/

  13. huniia August 26, 2013 at 12:54 am #

    I have the s4 which is 4.2 but I can’t find it!

  14. krawd August 30, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    Not all devices with Android 4.2 have the iWnn IME keyboard installed by default. I have a Nexus 7 with Android 4.2.2 and I also have a Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.2.1. The Nexus 7 DOES have the ability to use emoji the way your article says. However my Galaxy Nexus DOES NOT. On the Galaxy Nexus you can install the emoji dictionary. Go to Settings>Language&Input>Google Keyboard settings button>Add on dictionaries. Then click on Emoji for English words. However this still does not allow me to long press the space bar and input emoji on the Galaxy Nexus. Having said that, I don’t know if the method in the article works on the newer Nexus devices like the Nexus 4. If anyone knows what I am doing wrong please post.

  15. tracey September 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    For some reason whenever I use the emoji keyboard, the person I’m sending too, can’t see it. Suggestions?

  16. Sherol September 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Will this allow you to use emoji’s to personalize contacts and will it be available to use in apps where u can type text? Or is it going to be limited to just text messaging?

    • Bogdan Bele September 29, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

      In my experience, it can be used just like you would use a normal keyboard. It worked in an text box and I could add an emoji to a contact’s name.

  17. Moshope Onafuwa October 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    I have the samsung galaxy ace 2 and i cant see the emoji on my keyboard

  18. Muriatic October 6, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    follow what Genene Elliott said, it is working for me i have GS4

  19. yellow October 9, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    I use xolo 5OOs android version 4.2.2 but I Don’t hv iwnn IME setting.please help

  20. yellow October 9, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    Is there any other ways of getting the robotic emojis.I am not talking about the Smiley’s.I already have them

  21. bunni October 9, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    how do I know if I have 4.2 and if not how do I upgrade I don’t think I have 4.2 because my settings don’t look the same but I’ve been trying to upgrade and I can’t find the right one help please

  22. Julie Mason October 10, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    What about android 4.0.4?

    • Bogdan Bele October 11, 2013 at 1:29 am #

      It won’t work on it, unfortunately.

  23. Kaleisy October 14, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    Can I just say I love u? hahaha thank u so much…I’m an emoji freak and this is exactly what I wanted ♥ 😀 yayyy!!

  24. Bogdan Bele October 23, 2013 at 2:03 am #

    Of course you can! 🙂 You’re most welcome!

  25. Maddi M October 30, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    Thank you sooooo much!!!!! I was about to delete the app until I found this. Yayyyyy

  26. t.t November 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    I have 4.2 but all I see is boxes

  27. GranPaSmurf November 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    my Galaxy Nexus just upgraded to 4.2, but this option is not available. I downloaded Wnn Lab keyboard, but have to make it default to get the Emoji.
    I love my SwiftKey keyboard too much to switch. Haven’t had Emoji so I can continue to do without them.

  28. Bogdan November 9, 2013 at 4:52 am #

    i have htc one, with android 4.3… in the message menu (when i write a mesage to a friend or i receive a mesage) i don;t see the emoticons, i see only “:-)” for example… why is this?
    the article above doesn;t help me because the Settings menu is not the same as in the exemple above…

  29. Amin November 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    I have the htc one and i cant find the iWinn input on there. can i still get them?

    • Troy December 9, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

      I have the HTC One as well and I figured out how to enable it.

      Follow these steps:
      1.) Download the Wnn Keyboard Lab from the Google Play store
      2.) Go to settings>language and keyboard>turn on Wnn Keyboard.
      3.) Go to the app and go to change settings, click display, at the bottom you will see emoji pallet, select it and choose unicode 6-emoji.
      4.) Exit out the app and open the app again, click on the bottom button where it says switch input methods or enable app. (My phone died and I’m doing this on top of my head)
      5.) Exit out and there you have it!

      Hope this helps. This applies to all HTC One users on 4.2 or higher

  30. Amber November 21, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    I have an android 4.3 but I don’t have these options when i go to language and input.

  31. alisha January 7, 2014 at 1:51 am #

    Bless your soul. I think i finally got emoji to

  32. Kyozaki January 18, 2014 at 3:49 am #

    I have a note 3 running android 4.3. The emojis are actually under the stock samsung keyboard. Not all of them are compatible with the facebook though. Anyway this is how you enable it with a samsung phone running 4.3 (i don’t know for any other phones/os):

    Go to settings > controls > Language and input > Tick the samsung keyboard

    Tap default > select samsung keyboard

    Now when you actually want to insert an emoji while using the keyboard to type,

    click sym (in the bottom left corner) > click the smiley face (2nd from the left on the bottom row of keys) > voila! start using emojis

  33. Em January 26, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

    so i have an HTC one and its in emoji mode, but how do i enter my password to unlock my phone ; every time i type my password it doesn’t unlock and because my phone is on emoji it wont let me enter it -.-
    can someone please tell me how to get rid of emoji mode, from the lock screen!?

    • leanne February 16, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

      thast the same with me, any idea?@

  34. mimi February 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    Hi can you tell me how to use smileys on the HTC one m7
    a couple of them show up when i type 😉 this one pops up as a smiley winking face. but is there others or something else i can use?

  35. leanne February 16, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    so i have an HTC one and its in emoji mode, but how do i enter my password to unlock my phone ; every time i type my password it doesn’t unlock and because my phone is on emoji it wont let me enter it -.-
    can someone please tell me how to get rid of emoji mode, from the lock screen

  36. Angelica February 19, 2014 at 11:14 pm #

    I have the galaxy s4, why doesnt the wnn keyboard lab app work for me? I dont know why the emojis dont show

  37. Jaimil February 19, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

    I DO NOT HAVE THIS OPTION AND I HAVE THE LATEST SOFTWARE.

  38. Nicky February 27, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

    I have samsung s3 running android 4.3 but i couldn’t seem to find the android keyboard options in my phone. I can view emojis but i can’t type them ?

  39. Rose July 8, 2014 at 12:55 am #

    I have a Samsung tablet.I installed emoji keyboard. I can type it but I cannot see them and just a square with a question mark.

  40. Adriel July 10, 2014 at 12:04 am #

    Pls help how to enable this on samsung device 🙁 really wanted to. I have samsung grand duos

  41. Vaibhavi July 14, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    I hav sony xperia c.. It’s android 4.2.2. So vll emoji work? If yes then how to download it. Bcz language n input doesn’t show the iWnn IME!! Help please I want to use it on fb comments…..

  42. zyx August 8, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    search on google play “Wnn keyboard Lab”
    download the app, open it, and go follow the instructions there
    works well for me. 🙂

    this keyboard doesn’t make you pay to unlock the other emoticons — unlike the other apps. doesnt have a really good layout (since space bar is too short) but it’s something that you could just shrug off

  43. valeria flores August 20, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    I have a galaxy s3 & my emojis looks black & white. & its android 4.3
    Even on instagram on fb & twitter the emojis looks black & white. Isnt it supposed to be colored emojis?

  44. Yahya August 28, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    Please help me…. I followed all the steps.. But then, after i set iWnn IME as a default, it always popped up as “unfortunately, iWnn IME has stopped” .. Guys, please help me..

  45. paul October 21, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

    im not find iWinn IME on my device, my device is 4.3 jelly bean xperia tx

  46. Safa October 25, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    Okay so I have a BLU phone(, that is android basically. I got installed google keyboard through play store and I installed the ‘Emoji for English’ and the only emojis I got are: 🙂 or 🙁 like those. And I had those before. I see when I type in certain words like “Woman” it’ll give me the ♀ symbol. It has Android 4.2(jelly bean) in it so its updated. Im just not sure how to get Emojis!! Please help!

  47. adri November 25, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    What do I do if I don’t have iWnn IME?

  48. wrizzy January 1, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    I have android 4.2.2 but when I try to download iWnn IME it says “Your device isnt compatable with this version”
    Pleade help me

  49. Viliamu May 29, 2015 at 2:13 am #

    My wife and i has the S4 and both updated to 5.01 i think..my phone has the emoji and hers doesnt…

  50. pratik June 9, 2015 at 11:53 pm #

    there is no option iwnn ine in my device……… my device is karbonn titanium s7 hw shud i enable emoji in my device??

  51. edigar July 12, 2015 at 7:21 am #

    Iam using a TECNO with Android version 4.2.2 but the keyboard operates and mater shuts its self leaving a notification unfortunately emoj keyboard stopped report a problem

  52. alice D September 10, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

    what about LG phones? will it work on there too? i just got a new lg g stylo phone and i really like the look of the adroid robot emojis and i want to switch my current emojis to the android ones…..is there a way i can do that? i could do it on ny galaxy s3 i had but i dont if i can do it on my lg g stylo. is there a way i could ?

  53. Atharva Savvasher September 13, 2015 at 2:33 am #

    I am using micromax canvas A63 I do not have the option iwnn IME what should I do for this ?? I want to use emoji on this phone.

  54. Lavina October 1, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

    I have samsung s4 4.2.2.. and my phone doesnt support emoji on instagram.
    All i see is sqare boxes… & I dont have iwnn me in my phone. i have tried using swiftkey keyboard and also downloaded iwnn me and other app.. still it does not support. How can i fix this?

  55. Christina October 12, 2015 at 8:42 am #

    Have Alcatel one touch. And I can’t get my emoji to work. I see in on long press and I can see the them on my end but my friends I send them to can not see them…help!!!

    • Christina October 12, 2015 at 8:44 am #

      And I don’t have an iwnn option either

  56. Nasira November 22, 2015 at 10:29 pm #

    It is not there

  57. juma July 14, 2016 at 5:57 am #

    Where I can find IME Input?

  58. Emily July 16, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

    I got a Alcatel one touch and every time I text my emojis are black and white can somebody please tell me what to do

  59. lora bettencourt July 23, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

    I’ve have installed my theam it used to work now it is black and white in wear I tex what us going on

  60. Isabelle wilsea September 25, 2016 at 12:58 am #

    Doesn’t work because I have a hudl 2 and when I press on language and input it doesn’t have IWnn IME

  61. Cat November 25, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

    I’m really frustrated I have an Alcatel and every time I select iOS 9 it says its downloaded an then I reboot and nothing…also do u have to have an emoji app already or will an emoji app interfere… Never the less y’all need to fix that first problem fast

  62. Harshil Patel December 8, 2016 at 11:28 pm #

    Thanks a lot for the guide! It’s working for me finally!

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