How To Enable Emoji Icons In iOS 5 [Without Jailbreaking]

Japanese users make extensive use of emoticons in their text messages and web pages. The use of these emoticons, called Emoji, is so prevalent that a standardized set of emoji icons are built into all the wireless handsets – including the iPhone.

Though Apple is known to have built the standard emoji keyboard into the iPhone since the firmware 2.0 update, this has not been made available to users outside Japan. So users outside Japan had to rely on hacks to use emoji icons on their iOS device.

However, with iOS 5, Apple finally allows users outside Japan to also use the Emoji keyboard. You can enable the Emoji  by following these simple steps:

  • Launch the Settings app
  • Then go to General -> Keyboard -> International Keyboards
  • Tap on Add New Keyboard
  • And then tap on Emoji from the list of International Keyboards
Once done, you simply have to tap on the globe icon beside the space bar on the keyboard to switch to the Emoji keyboard to use the Emoji icons.
Emoji icons - iPhone
The emoji icons can be accessed while typing text messages and emails or while accessing the Notes app etc.. However, do note that these icons can only be viewed on iOS devices, so if you send it to your friend who doesn’t have an iOS device then he/she won’t see it.
Reader Remy tells us in the comments that most (not all) Emoji icons work when he sends them to his friend who owns an Android based smartphone and he can view the ones sent by his friend as well. Thanks Remy!
As always, let us know how it goes.
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  • Stan

    I thought it is already available in iOS 4 as well?

    • Not unless you had enabled it before using one of the hacks.

      • Eric

        I’ve been using it since iOS 4.

      • Eric

        Did not use a hack. It was all ready there

    • Kenny

      You’re right!!!
      I’ve enabled it on my iPhone 4 and my daughters 3G… I’ve been using it over a year now… its been there and I just can’t figure out why the heck apple doesn’t enable it by default…

  • Remy

    “However, do note that these icons can only be viewed on iOS devices, so if you send it to your friend who doesn’t have an iOS device then he/she won’t see it.”

    Not true. I can send these to my friend on her Android phone and she can view them. She can also send me emoji icons and I can view them. However, there are a few that don’t work.

    • Thanks Remy, we’ve have updated the post accordingly.

    • That’s actually cool, who thought there’d be a standard for smileys? 😛

    • vic

      anyone know if it will display the iphone emoji for blackberry users too, and vice versa?

    • Jonalyn

      I tried to send it to my friend who has an iOS 4.1 but she can only see boxes. But when she send me emoticons i can see it on my phone. How is that?

  • JoHnNy bRaVo


    • JoHnNy bRaVo

      Oh, and im also loving my iPhone 4S even without the jailbreak… starting to get used to not having a jailbreak 🙂 Good stuff though!

  • Kiwiholden

    Get ur shit together. It’s all ways been there for anyone and has never needed a jailbreak just by downloading a free app from the app store. I’ve always had it.
    Also it is built in to whatsapp Massager me and the miss’s use it every day she has android.

    What the have added though is it automatically changes txt symbols to emoji in iOS 5

    • Good for you 🙂

      What we meant was, it is natively available in iOS 5 without the need to use a hack like downloading one of these apps that enabled it.

      • Kimk69


  • Kiwiholden

    ☮ ✈ ♋ 웃 유 ☠ ☯ ♥ ✌ ✖ ☢ ☣ ☤ ⚜
    ❖ ❤ ❥ ❦ ❧ ♡ ✗ ✘ ⊗ ♒ Ω ♦ ♠ ♥ ♣ ♢ ♤ ♡ ♧ ✦ ✧ ♔ ♕ ♚ ♛ ★ ☆ ✮ ✯ ☄ ☾ ☽ ☼ ☀ ☁ ☂ ☃ 
    ☻ ☺ ۩
    ♪ ♫ ♬ ✄ ✂ ✆ ✉ 
    ∞ ♂ ♀ ☿ ▲ ▼ △ ▽ ◆ ◇ ◕ ◔ ʊ ϟ ღ 回 ₪ ✓ ✔ ✕ ☥ ☦ ☧ ☨ ☩ ☪ ☫ ☬ ☭ ™ © ® ¿¡ №⇨ ❝❞ ∃ ⊥ ∀ Ξ ∞ Σ Π 
    ❢ ❣  ‼ ‽
    ☼ ☀ ☁ ☂ ☃ ☄ ☾ ☽ ❄ ☇ ☈ ⊙ ☉ ℃ ℉ °  ❅  ✺ ½ °

    Copy and paste then send to other phones or PC then see what uses symbols and what is auto emoticon

    If you send some emoji’s to nokias they come up as txt emoticons atleast with old nokias maybe the new ones have full emoticons

  • Kimk69
  • Kiwiholden

    Ok if you put any of theses in the text field on iOS 5 they come up as emoji and that’s what I see well I’m writing it
    ✈♋♥✌❤♒♦♠♥♣☀☁☂☺✂ .

  • anonymous

    They’ve been there for a while and they suck. Yahoo im has the bast emoticons.

  • fas

    Looks like Apple is taking a lot from devs already!

  • Jap

    Shame they aint got adult ones yet lol

  • Jackie

    I’ve been using these for a long time and love them.

    Why don’t the people that make these emoji icons UPDATE THEM with new ones???
    They are fun to use, but they havent been updated in years!

  • CBH

    I just upgraded from 3GS to a 4GS. My husband has 4G and can send me emoticons but only gets small boxes from me. My son gets them on his 4G and his girlfriend receives and sends them to me and she has Verizon. Any suggestions?

  • Sysel

    How to use them on what’s app?