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How to Use Emoji on Android



This quick guide will explain how to use emoji on Android. Over the past year Google has added hundreds of emoji, and users now have plenty to choose from. Read on to find out where they are, what options are available and how to use them.

Emoji characters while typing have become increasingly more popular on Android and iOS. Android 6.0 Marshmallow added over 200, and Nougat has even more. Both Apple and Google continue to improve their offering, which is good for everyone.

Read: How to Use Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge Emoji

Below is a quick guide explaining where they are, and the easiest way to use Android emoji while typing. You won’t need a new keyboard either, they are built right into stock Android. Additionally, multiple 3rd party keyboard add even more.


Many manufacturers like Samsung have additional emoji for its smartphones. Our guide above covers Samsung.  Then, third party text apps like Textra have add-ons that will deliver iOS characters for Android users. None of that is needed if you run Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow or newer. Which, almost everyone should be.

With that out of the way, here’s how to find and use all of the Android emoji. Ars Technica has a nice list of all the new ones, and what’s changed.


In order to take advantage of the new Android emoji images and characters that were added to our phones or tablets users will need to be running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Once they are, they’re built right into the stock Google Keyboard. If you have an older phone, other methods are required.

Read: Android Nougat vs Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Users can simply head into their text message application of choice, the messenger app on Nexus smartphones, or even Google hangouts and start typing. Same rules apply to an email. Users just need to hit the emoji “smiley face” on the keyboard, or long press for access. Swipe between them to find what you want, as there are a lot of them.

While using Google Keyboard, depending on the application you are in the emoji icon will automatically appear in the bottom right. Alternatively it will be the secondary action under the “return” key. In Google Hangouts and many messenger apps, it’s there by default. Tap the bottom right corner smiley, and flip through all the emoji. From tacos, smiley faces, hand gestures, flipping the bird and hundreds more.


As you can see above (left) the emoji face is present by default while writing on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Tapping will show everything in our screenshot to the right. Then, there are countless different columns (in black and white) to choose from. Scroll through and find what you’d like.

Other Details

With other apps, like Textra or text message applications, this may not be present. Instead, there is a return key like most keyboards for typing. Users just need to press and hold the return key, and the same smiley face as above will pop-up above it. From here just let go and the emoji keyboard appears full of the same options.


Shown above is how Google keyboard looks in use. Long-pressing the return key pops up a smiley face and then grants users access to the over 200 new emoji characters. That app is now called GBoard, but the same options remain.

It’s worth noting that the small three dots under the period or comma (on either side of the space bar) can also be long-pressed for additional options.

No matter what you’re doing on an Android smartphone or tablet, as long as the keyboard is available, users can access and use any of the emoji characters that were added in Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Considering most users have been updated to Android 6.0 or 7.0, everyone should have these options. If you have any questions, drop us a comment below.



  1. Robertrsilvia

    12/13/2015 at 5:17 am

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  2. Nadia

    12/15/2015 at 10:02 pm

    My nexus 6 claims to be up to date with Marshmallow but i am only able to access the old emojis?

  3. Derrickphalit

    12/21/2015 at 10:38 pm

    Will the emojis be diverse?

  4. Chae Park

    01/07/2016 at 8:13 am

    What if I want the old emojis back? I don’t like these…. How can i do it?

    • sy2j

      01/28/2016 at 3:01 am

      Chae Park, did you find a solution? I saw you post about this elsewhere.

  5. sy2j

    01/28/2016 at 2:59 am

    I want my old emojis back too. The new ones are rubbish!

  6. Jim

    02/04/2016 at 2:59 am

    You shouldn’t be bigging up these crap emojis, marshmallow as ruined my m8 HTC, blinkfeed is now crap, I don’t use it anymore, downloaded ITV news, don’t use SMS, because my old good quality emojis have been replaced my cheap nasty emojis, so I use wattsapp, they look the same as the new crap one’s, but when you use them, they change to the old good quality one’s, I’ll never update on android again, am going to get a iPhone. what a load of crap, Jim.

    • Sharre

      04/30/2016 at 4:57 am

      Over emojis? People are getting more pc about things than ever 😂😂

  7. Lara

    02/07/2016 at 10:03 am

    I hate these emojis!!!!!!

  8. Me

    02/07/2016 at 7:53 pm

    I think these new horrible blobs are really awful!!! There must be a way of getting back the ‘proper’ ones!!

  9. Shaun

    02/09/2016 at 5:29 pm

    I dislike the new emoji too. They look rather like a five year old drew them .

  10. Lucy

    02/11/2016 at 1:59 pm

    Agree, hate the new emoji style, look like jelly. Anyone find out if and how to change back to the old? Hated the white keyboard and dialled too but sorted that!

  11. Roxanne

    02/18/2016 at 11:56 am

    Has anyone found a way to get the old emoji’s back….. hate these new ones!

  12. CK

    02/20/2016 at 5:15 am

    Can’t believe how rubbish the new emoji’s are and no choice to disable or replace them. Bad move! BIG THUMBS DOWN! I purposely stayed away from iphone but can now honestly say that it’s [email protected] like this that will make me change. Will never have an Android again. (Sad face – because I can’t bear to use those fugly jelly blobs – they represent no emotions that I recognise!). The Whatsapp ones are better by far!

  13. EMS

    03/04/2016 at 9:53 pm

    Emojis have become essential for textîng, no matter if you are joking, sad or serious. WHY would they replace the great emojis and create these crappy things without define shape and so horrible looking. Somebody please help us find a way to the other emojis.

  14. Mel M

    03/15/2016 at 2:16 am

    Ditto. The blobs are awful!!!

  15. lana

    03/17/2016 at 9:01 am

    People so do you advise me not to update to this new software??

  16. Frank

    04/12/2016 at 5:13 pm

    Hate the new emojis

  17. Kelly

    04/14/2016 at 10:09 pm

    New emoji are rubbish. What marketing genius approved the this decision? They’re flat with no character. I used to love my note 5….I never understand why updates are always worse than the things they’re updating. Horrible decision. Horrible horrible decision. Boooo!

  18. Rachael Hall

    04/30/2016 at 12:54 pm

    What I’m trying to figure out is how to edit/ view a list of emoji shortcuts? When I type “heart” for example in swype messenger a heart appears but I don’t know what the full list of word shortcuts are. Very annoying because on the Facebook app there’s no where for me to see all emojis and pick what I want. Word shortcuts are my only option. Can anyone help? I have the latest software marshmallow and am using a galaxy s6 edge

  19. denisegreenhastings

    05/02/2016 at 7:00 am

    The new emojis don’t show up in the text that I sent to the recipient !! HATE them !! How do I get the old ones back ??

  20. Andy

    05/31/2016 at 1:05 pm

    @Google: I DO want to have my old emojis back! #fail

  21. Lauren

    06/02/2016 at 1:47 pm

    I have an HTC One M8 and it did update to Marshmallow 6.0… but I’m not getting any of the new emojis…. Contrary to seemingly everyone else I like the google emojis much better than the HTC ones, so I really want to get the google ones. I’m not sure why I didn’t, is 6.0.1 a completely different update than 6.0?

  22. Dave

    09/08/2016 at 11:06 pm

    The greatest feature on my old phone WAS the ‘hand wave’ to silence the phone ringer. PLEASE bring it back!

  23. William

    11/08/2016 at 12:50 pm

    Will These nej emojis be on Moto G4 Play?

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  26. Mike

    03/27/2017 at 10:07 am

    Does anyone now how to disable ALL emoji’s from incoming and outgoing messages?

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