How to Insert Emoji in macOS Emails

Spice up your emails with this easy step-by-step guide

Keyboard filled with emoji symbols

Dimitri Otis / Getty Images

Inserting emoji in your macOS Mail emails is easy because a full emoji menu is just a few clicks away.

Emoji include emoticons to express love, rage, and most things in between, and pictographs for common concepts and objects. Using emoji, you can add character, emotion, and life to otherwise bland messages.

Adding emoji to an email is easy, and you can sprinkle not only the body message with these fun images but also insert them into the Subject and To fields as well.

Emoji characters don't always look the same in every operating system, so the emoji you send over email from your Mac might not appear the same to a Windows user or someone on an Android tablet.

Insert Emoji in Emails With macOS Mail

  1. Position the cursor where you want the emoji to go.

  2. Press Control+Command+Space on your keyboard, or go to Edit > Emoji & Symbols to open the built-in emoji keyboard.

    You can call up the emoji keyboard using the keyboard shortcut in nearly any MacOs app.

    Control+Command+space brings up the MacOS emoji keyboard
  3. Search for or browse through the pop-up menu to find the emoji you want to insert into the email.

  4. Select one or more emoji to instantly insert it into the email. If the pop-up box doesn't close when you insert the emoji, use the exit button to close out of that menu and return to your email.

If you find the emoji menu too small, expand it to open the full Character Viewer menu using the small button at the top right corner of the emoji menu. Use the Emoji option on the left to find just emoji, or select any of the other menus for arrows, stars, currency symbols, math symbols, punctuation, music symbols, Latin, and other symbols and characters to insert into the email. If you go this route, you have to double-click the emoji to add it to the email.

For Older Versions of Mail

These processes were tested on Mail version 12.2. If you're using an older version of Mail on your Mac, the steps are bit different. If the above guide doesn't let you open the menu to insert emoji into the email, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Edit > Special Characters... from within Mail.

  2. Choose the Emoji section.

If you don't see the Emoji section, open the settings gear icon in the Characters window toolbar and go to Customize List... to make sure Emoji is selected under Symbols.