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Windows 10: How to type emoji on your PC using the Fall Creators Update

Mark Hachman | Sept. 15, 2017
Why should smartphones have all the fun?

How can I type emoji on my PC keyboard? It’s a question that you’ve probably asked, given up on, shrugged, and then pulled out your smartphone. Now, with Windows 10 and the Fall Creators Update, a new emoji keyboard will make adding emoji to Twitter, Facebook, and other apps a snap. 

While there’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned smiley-face :) or GIF, an emoji is a simple way to add a bit of fun to your communications. That’s the whole point of emoji, after all! And while they’ve been part of smartphone culture for years, you’ll have to wait until the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update drops on Oct. 17 for Microsoft to add its easy emoji command and emoji keyboard to Windows 10.

For now, we’ll show you how to bring up emoji under the current version of Windows 10, and how it will become easier once the Fall Creators Update drops. (We used Insider Build 16215 for testing.)

emoji primary Windows 10

A selection of the emoji available on Windows 10.


How to type emoji under Windows 10

What’s so annoying about the current state of emoji in Windows 10 is that Microsoft almost, but not quite, has it right. A tool called the On-Screen Keyboard is actually an accessibility app that you can launch using the Start menu, or, via the Control Panel, trigger to launch whenever you boot Windows.

The On-Screen keyboard is not an emoji app, however, and trying to type a smiley-face simply types in text: a colon and a closed parentheses symbol. Given that the on-screen keyboard is rather detailed, you would think that emoji could be built right in. Nope.

on screen keyboard windows 10 

So close, yet so far. Predictive typing is a nice feature, though.

If you’re lucky enough to have a tablet, emoji are accessible only if you undock the tablet and put it into tablet mode. In tablet mode—and only in tablet mode—you’ll see an on-screen keyboard icon appear in the lower right-hand corner of your taskbar. It’s this keyboard that allows you to type in emoji—if you enjoy typing on glass while trying to tweet or send email.

Discovering that Microsoft allows emoji in one on-screen keyboard but not in the other is the sort of design decision that, as a user, makes you want to tear your hair out. Fortunately, Microsoft has resolved that issue with the Fall Creators Update.

emoji keyboard on tablet Windows 10


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