How to use emoji and Tapbacks in Messages on iPhone and iPad
If you enjoy sending emoji to your text messages and iMessages, Apple makes it incredibly easy. Between Tapbacks to react directly to a message and use machine learning to know which emoji to recommend, Apple understands that these little pictograms are some of the best communication tools on the iPhone.
If you want to bring your messages to life with your friends and family, you can emoji them with whatever you want! Here’s how to do it!
How do you get emoji recommendations in Messages?
Apple’s QuickType Predictive Keyboard can suggest emoji and, you know, normal words. Predictive keyboard must be turned on in Setup and can’t be hidden, so check out our QuickType keyboard guide first if you need help setting it up.
- To start writing in the Messages text field.
- Touch any emojis predictions appearing in the prediction bar. If multiple predictions appear, tap the one you prefer.
Tap To send button. (Looks like an up arrow.)
Emoji predictions will be displayed whenever you type something with a corresponding emoji. For example, “I’m happy” will predict “(smiling face)”. Similarly, “My Car” will suggest the emoji “(car)”.
Pro-type: If you do not want the emoji to take the place of the word but appear next to it, put a space between the word before touching the desired emoji.
How do you replace words with emoji in Messages?
This “emoji” process works similarly to emoji recommendations and will work in both iMessages and standard SMS texts.
- Write to iMessage in the text field.
- Tap Emoji keyboard button.
Tap a word which is highlighted in orange to replace it with its corresponding emoji.
- Keep playing words highlighted until you have “emojified” everything you want.
Tap To send button (Looks like an up arrow).
With emoji, you can turn as many or as few words into emoji as you like.
How do you react to a Tapback in an iMessage?
Emojis are not just for answering; they are also to react. Apple calls them Tapbacks. They are similar to Slack or Facebook emoji reactions and fall directly into any iMessage bubbles sent to you.
- Press and hold (long press) or double-tap on one iMessage sent your way.
Tap Tapback want to send: heart, thumbs up, thumbs down, haha, !!, or ?.
No need to press send; Tapback reaction comes out immediately.
What do the different Tapback reactions mean?
Theoretically, these Tapback reactions can mean whatever you want. However, context is king, and a thumbs up tapback to your mom can mean something different than one to your best friend. Here’s a basic guide to all available Tapback reactions and what they might mean.
- Cor: Like, love or favorite
- Thumbs up: Happy, approved or agreed
- Thumbs down: Sad, disapproving or disagree
- Haha: Laugh, whether happy or sarcastic.
- !!: He exclaims forcefully.
- ?: Question.
How do I change the Tapback reaction in an iMessage?
If you respond with the wrong Tapback or later decide that you want a different Tapback, you can make the change easily.
- Press and hold (long press) or double-tap on one iMessage with the Tapback you want to change.
Tap Tapback do you want to switch to Heart, thumb up, thumb down, Haha, !!, or ?.
The new Tapback will replace the old one.
How do you delete a Tapback reaction in an iMessage?
You can also delete it if you accidentally send a Tapback or reconsider sending one.
- Tap a Tapback which you want to delete.
Tap Tapback you want to delete (that is, if you want to delete the heart, tap the heart).
Tapback will disappear for you and the recipient.
Using emojis has never been so easy, and Tapbacks somehow made things even easier. Use them on your best iPhone, whatever you want. Here you have vibrant and fun conversations in just a few taps.
Updated May 2022: Updated to the latest version of iOS 15.