How to type emojis on a computer

Updated: 12/30/2021 by Computer Hope
Emojis on the Windows and macOS operating systems.

Emojis have become a popular feature for online communication. It's not always obvious what tone you're trying to convey when writing a tweet, social media post, or direct message. Throwing in a smiling, frowning, or laughing emoji is a quick way to add emotion and personality to an otherwise dry message.

While emojis are easily accessible on smartphone keyboards, many users don't know that they can also be generated on Windows or macOS computers. Choose your operating system below for instructions on using emojis on your computer.

Using emojis on Windows computers

The emoji keyboard is automatically included in Windows versions 8.1, 10, and 11. To insert emojis, follow these steps:

  1. Access the emoji keyboard by pressing Windows key+. (period).
  2. Navigate through emoji category tabs at the bottom of the window, or type a word (e.g., smile) to search for an emoji.
  3. Click any emoji to insert it.

or, for a larger emoji keyboard:

  1. Right-click the taskbar.
  2. Ensure the Show touch keyboard button option is enabled.
  3. On the right side of the taskbar, in the Windows notification area, click the touch keyboard Touch keyboard icon in Windows notification area icon.
  4. When the touch keyboard opens, click the smiley face icon to the left of the spacebar.

Touch keyboard - smiley face icon for emojis

  1. Browse through the emoji category tabs at the bottom of the keyboard.
  2. Click any emoji to insert it.

While there isn't a built-in emoji keyboard in Windows 7, emojis are still supported, meaning you can see, copy, and paste them. Third-party websites like GetEmoji include a full keyboard of emojis that can be copied and pasted to your text.

Using emojis on macOS computers

On macOS, you can insert emojis with the following steps:

  1. Use the shortcut control+Command+spacebar to display the emoji keyboard.

macOS character viewer

  1. Navigate through emoji category tabs at the bottom of the window, or type a word in the Search bar to search for an emoji.
  2. Click any emoji to insert it.

If you're using a MacBook with a Touch Bar, emojis sometimes appear there when you're typing in a specific app. These are suggestions based on the words you're using.