How to View and Type Emojis on a Computer

Emojis aren't just for phones anymore

Keyboard with emojis instead of keys

Dimitri Otis/Getty Images

The popularity of emojis is growing. Some desktop messaging services include an emoji gallery where you can choose an emoji to add to a message. But, not all services have an emoji list and not all websites display emojis properly. If the service you use doesn't supply an emoji list or if emojis don't appear in web pages, there are third-party services you can use to send emojis in a message and to convert the hollow boxes on websites into emojis.

Use Emojis on Messages for Web

If you have an Android phone, enable Messages for Web to text from your computer. In addition to regular text messages, the web interface contains an emoji gallery you can use to send emojis from your computer to any phone.

Messages for Web emoji gallery

Messages for Web also displays emojis sent to you and replaces the blank boxes with the corresponding emoji.

Look for an Emoji Button

Many web-based messengers and desktop-based texting platforms support emojis. Twitter is one example. In the past, to insert an emoji in a tweet required a service such as iEmoji. Twitter now contains an emoji gallery. To insert an emoji in a tweet, select the face icon in the tweet to open the emoji gallery.

Emoji gallery on Twitter

Facebook and Messenger have emoji galleries that make sending emojis over Facebook super easy. You don't have to use these emoji galleries. You can use a third-party service to copy an emoji and paste it into a Facebook post or a Messenger message.

Facebook Messenger emoji gallery

Other online texting platforms such as 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 may include emoji support. To access the emoji gallery in Gmail, for example, compose a new message, then select the face icon from the bottom toolbar.

Emojis in Gmail

Install an Emoji Extension in Your Web Browser

If a website or messaging services doesn't support emojis, you'll see a hollow box instead of the emoji in a web page and you won't find an emoji gallery in the messaging service.

To get emojis on your computer, use a web browser extension. Some extensions display emojis as they appear on mobile devices and others provide a gallery of emojis.

Chromoji for Google Chrome detects any hollow boxes on web pages and replaces these boxes with the emoji icon. Chromoji also comes with a toolbar button you can use to type out emoji characters. Emojify is a similar extension.

Chromoji extension in Chrome

In the Firefox browser, use Emoji Library to paste emojis into text boxes. Emoji Library works with emails, messages, and other types of text boxes. To replace the Unicode emojis with their normal images in Firefox, install Emoji Everywhere.

In Safari on a Mac, use Emoji Free to see and type emoji in social networking sites and in your Mac emails, folders, contacts, calendar, and more.

To learn more about emojis, go to Emojipedia to find the emoji categories, their meanings, and the different image interpretations by platform (for example, Apple, Google, Microsoft, HTC, Twitter, or Messenger).