How to View & Type Emojis on a Computer

Emojis aren't just for phones anymore

Keyboard with emojis instead of keys

Dimitri Otis/Getty Images

With the popularity of emojis, you'd think their visibility would be supported everywhere. Unfortunately, not all websites display emojis properly and most desktop website text boxes don't let you choose emojis from a list.

However, some desktop messaging services include an emoji gallery that you might not be aware of. If not, there are third-party services you can use to send emojis in a message and even translate those little hollow boxes that should be emojis into their true form.

Use Emojis on Messages for Web

Messages for Web emoji gallery

If you're an Android user with a supported phone, you can enable Messages for Web to text from your computer. In addition to regular text messages, the web interface also lets you use an emoji gallery to send emojis from your computer to any phone.

Messages for Web also displays emojis sent to you, so you don't have to worry that you'll see the white boxes in place of the real emojis.

Look for an Emoji Button

These days, most web-based messengers and even desktop-based texting platforms support emojis. This wasn't always the case but as more and more services are released to provide a communication platform between computers and phones, emoji support is rising.

Twitter is one example. You used to need a service like iEmoji to compose a tweet with an emoji, but now you can just select the face icon in your new tweet to access a massive gallery of emojis you can tweet.

Emoji gallery on Twitter

The same is true for Facebook and Messenger. While you can absolutely use a third-party service to copy emojis to send through those services, they both actually have their own emoji galleries that make sending emojis over Facebook super easy.

Facebook Messenger emoji gallery

Other online texting platforms — like WhatsApp Web and Skype for Web — have emojis support, too, so you can send emojis from your computer and view emojis sent to you.

Your email provider most likely includes emoji support, too. With Gmail, for example, while composing a new message, select the face icon from the bottom toolbar to access that emoji gallery.

Emojis in Gmail

Install an Emoji Extension in Your Web Browser

It's inevitable that not all websites and messaging services will support emojis. Maybe they'll display white boxes instead of faces, or they might not have a selection box to choose an emoji to send.

A workaround to getting emojis on your computer despite these limitations is to use a web browser extension. Some let you view emojis as they appear on mobile devices and others provide a whole gallery of emojis you can pick from to send.

Chromoji for Google Chrome detects any hollow boxes on web pages you're browsing and replaces them with the right emoji icon. It also comes with a handy toolbar button you can use to type out emoji characters. Emojify is similar.

Chromoji extension in Chrome

Firefox users might like Emoji Library for pasting emojis into text boxes in Firefox, whether they be emails or messages, etc. To replace the unicode emojis with their normal images in Firefox, install Emoji Everywhere.

If you're using Safari on a Mac, Emoji Free not only lets you see and type emoji in all your favorite social networking sites, but you can also do so in your Mac emails, folders, contacts, calendar, and more.

Want to know more about emojis? Emojipedia is a great place to look for all the emoji categories, their meanings and even the different image interpretations by platform (e.g., Apple, Google, Microsoft, HTC, Twitter, Messenger).