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Did you know that 92% of the world’s online population uses emojis? These high numbers are understandable, given how boring it can be to communicate using plain text. Additionally, it is tricky to show your attitude and tone using words alone.

Thanks to emojis, getting the human touch in conversations is now easier than ever. Windows is not left behind in adding these communication aids to its operating system. If you use Windows 8 and later, you can get the emoji keyboard and add them to messages and documents. 

Continue reading to understand how to get emojis on Windows and make your text more engaging!

History of Emojis

Like computers or the internet, emojis are not modern but have evolved over the years. Humans have used pictograms to express emotions since time immemorial. Nevertheless, emojis can date their history back to the 1990s. Back then, they were mainly used as emoticons where different symbols represented a certain face. For instance, 🙂 was used to show a smiling face and 😀 was used to show a very happy face. 

The faces currently used as emojis were first developed in Japan by Shigetaka Kurita. In fact, although the word emoji may seem like a short form for the English words emotions or emoticons, it is actually a blend of two Japanese words. E means picture, and Moji means character. 

Kurita developed emojis in 1999 while working for a Japanese cell phone company. He intended to come up with a simple and clear method of communication. For instance, a symbol to show your mode instead of having to type it. To achieve this, he developed images of 12-by-12 pixels that were selected from a keyboard-like grid. Initially, he got 176 emojis, which are now part of the permanent collection at the New York museum. The mobile company he worked for, NTT DOCOMO, used these emojis on their phones. 

Other companies copied the emojis from NTT DOCOMO and included them in their products. In 2007, Google led other Software Internationalization teams in a petition to get emojis recognized by the Unicode Consortium. This is a nonprofit group that maintains text standards across computers. The proposal was accepted in 2010, opening the way for emojis to be used everywhere. 

Apple added the emoji keyboard to its devices in 2011, and Android followed in 2013. Since then, the Unicode Consortium has accepted new emojis added to the emoji vocabulary. Currently, in 2022, there are 3460 emojis. Software engineers and developers are also working hard to ensure this emoji database is as inclusive as possible. This has helped manage emoji politicization, where some people see certain people or groups of people prioritized over others through emojis. 

How Do You Use Emojis on Windows?

The Windows operating system has had emojis since 2012 when they released Windows 8. Emoji colors for Windows were introduced in 2013 in Windows 8.1. In this version, emojis were only in black and white. Windows has continued adopting these emojis and enables users to use them in almost all functions. 

There are several ways through which you can use emojis on Windows. Let’s get into the different methods below!

Method #1: Using the Keyboard and Mouse

Step 1: Open the program you want to send an emoji on and press the Windows key + period (.) or the Windows key + semicolon (;).

This will open the emoji keyboard on your screen. 

windows emoji
Pressing these key combos will open up the emoji keyboard.

Step 2: Search for the emoji you want.

For instance, if you want a smiling face, you can type “smile.”  

windows emoji
Type in what you’re looking for.

Step 3: You can also use your mouse to select the category where you want to look for the emoji.

The categories include smiling faces and animals, people, celebrations and objects, food, plants, transportation, places, and objects. 

windows emoji
Or, select from the categories below.

Step 4: Use your mouse to select the emoji you want to use.

The emoji will automatically appear where your cursor is. 

windows emoji
Select the emoji you want.

Step 5: If you select a face emoji, you can change the skin color using the options available at the top.

windows emoji
You can change your emoji’s skin color when you pick a face!

Method #2: Using the Touch Keyboard

The touch keyboard enables you to have a larger emoji keyboard. Here are the steps to access the touch keyboard and use its emojis. 

Step 1: Right-click on the taskbar and select Taskbar settings.

windows emoji
Right-click on the taskbar and select Taskbar settings.

Step 2: Under Taskbar corner icons, turn on the touch keyboard to move the touch keyboard to the corner of your taskbar.

windows emoji
Move the touch keyboard to the taskbar.

Step 3: Click on the keyboard icon on the taskbar to open the keyboard and then the emoji icon on the keyboard to open the emoji keyboard.

windows emoji
Open the touch keyboard and click on the smiling face to open the emoji keyboard.

Step 4: On the emoji keyboard that opens, select the category and the emoji that you wish to use.

windows emoji
Select the emoji you want from any of the below categories!

Method #3: Using the Keyboard Only

You can use emojis using your keyboard if you don’t have a mouse or if you don’t want to interrupt your typing by using the mouse. Follow the below steps!

Step 1: Open the emoji keyboard using the Windows key + period (.).

windows emoji
Press the Windows key + the period (.) key to open the emoji keyboard.

Step 2: After opening the emoji keyboard, use the keyboard navigation keys or arrow keys to navigate the emojis.

windows emoji
Navigate the emojis using the keys.

Step 3: Press the Enter key to select an emoji and insert it into your typing space.

windows emoji
Press Enter to select an emoji.

Step 4: To switch between categories, use the Tab key.

If this doesn’t work, use Shift + Tab.

windows emoji
Use the Tab key (or Shift + Tab) to switch between emoji categories.

Step 5: Exit the emoji keyboard using the escape key (Esc).

windows emoji
Use the escape (Esc) key to exit the keyboard.

Method #4: Typing the Emoji

Before emojis existed, people used “emoticons,” which is short for emotion icons to represent different facial expressions. These are punctuation marks, letters, or numbers. After emojis were introduced, the emoticon you type is transformed into an emoji. Therefore, you don’t have to open the emoji keyboard to insert the emoji if you master the emoticons. 

EmoticonEmojiMeaning
🙂 or 🙂😊Smiling face
😀 or 😀😀Excited
:’C😢Crying
😉😉Winking face
:O😮Surprised
8)😎cool
O:-) or O:)😇Angel (halo) 
<3Heart
:-/😕Irritation or disappointment 
😛 or 😛😝Mischievous smirk
🙁 or 🙁Sad face

Method #5: Using Chrome Extensions

If the document you are typing is on a Chrome browser, you can get emojis through Chrome extensions. To get these extensions, follow the below steps!

Step 1: Click on Menu and scroll down to More tools.

windows emoji
Click on Menu then More tools.

Step 2: Under More tools, select Extensions on the extended menu.

On the display that opens, click on the three horizontal lines at the top left corner. 

windows emoji
Click on Extensions to open the page, then click on the three horizontal lines in the top right-hand corner.

Step 3: Under Extensions, select Open Chrome Web Store.

windows emoji
Click on Open Chrome Web Store at the bottom of the page.

Step 4: On the search field, search for “emoji keyboard.”

windows emoji
Search for “emoji keyboard.”

Step 5: Select any of the options and then click on Add to Chrome.

windows emoji
Click on Add to Chrome after finding an extension you like.

Step 6: If the extension isn’t on the Chrome toolbar, click on the extension’s icon to open the extensions and click on the pin next to Emoji Keyboard.

windows emoji
Click on the pin option next to the emoji keyboard you want.

Step 7: When using an emoji on Chrome, click on the emoji extension to open the emojis, select the emoji you want to use, copy it, and paste where you want to use it.

windows emoji
Search for the emoji you want and copy and paste it.

Method #6: Using GetEmoji or iEmoji 

GetEmoji and iEmoji are websites that you can use to get emojis and paste them on the document you want to insert the emoji. 

To use GetEmoji on your Windows computer, open the GetEmoji website on your browser.

Select the emoji you want to use on the emoji keyboard. Right-click on the emoji you select to copy. Alternatively, use Ctrl + C to copy. You can also search for your emoji on the search bar. 

windows emojis
Open the website on your browser, select the emoji you want, and copy and paste it!

To use iEmoji, open your browser and search for iEmoji. Then, select the emoji you prefer and click on copy. The keys Ctrl + C will also work. After, paste the emoji you copied where you need it.

windows emoji
Open the website in your browser, and copy and paste!

Final Thoughts

Communication has never been easier than when you have emojis. Thankfully, you can also use these emojis on your windows computer. Click on the Windows key + period (.) to open the emoji keyboard and select any emoji you want. However, this feature is only available if you use Windows 8 and later. 

Up Next:

How to Get Emojis on Windows (with Photos) FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can you use emojis to save a document on Windows?

You can save files, folders, and drive names using emojis.

To do this, open the save us option and simultaneously click on the Windows icon and period (.). Select the emoji you want to use on your file, folder, or drive, and hit Enter to save.

Emojis used to save these documents are usually in black and white. Moreover, drives, folders, or files saved using emojis cannot be linked to a command prompt. If you need to use them this way, save them without emojis.

Why do flag emojis not work on Windows?

Windows emoji keyboard lacks flag icons for specific countries to avoid being biased against certain countries and ignoring others. This helps avoid emoji politics.

Can you use emojis on Microsoft Teams?

You can use emojis on Microsoft Teams. You add them through the Teams emoji panel in a channel or chat below the message tray.
Alternatively, you can add emojis to your Microsoft Teams chat through emoticons, parenthesis, or by opening the Windows emoji keyboard through Windows + period(.). However, for you to use emojis, the account admin must enable emojis.

Can you use emojis on Windows 7?

Windows 7 does not have emojis since Windows introduced emojis from Windows 8. Nevertheless, if you received a document with emojis and opened it on a Windows 7 computer, you can see them. In Windows 7, you might have to use emoticons to communicate your emotions.

Are emojis professional?

Emojis are now acceptable even in professional documents. However, when using them sparingly, use the appropriate emojis and ensure they fit the context where they are used.

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