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How To Enable Emoji For Free & Without Jailbreaking

I recently came across a way to enable the Japanese emoji characters on a 3.0 iPhone for free, and all without jailbreaking. It seems there is an app, called Spell Number, that has a hidden feature that when you type a specific number into it, enables the emoji keyboard option in the iPhone’s settings, and all one has to do is simply toggle it to “On” and that’s it – instant emoji! No hacks, no cracks, and no jailbreaking. To enable emoji on your iPhone with OS 3.0, follow these steps.

1) First, open the App Store and download the free app titled “Spell Number” (iTunes link)

2) Once the app is installed, launch the app, and enter the number “91929394.59”. No need to press any button after the last digit is entered. Simply enter the number and then exit the app back out to the home screen.

3) Now launch the Settings app, and navigate to General -> Keyboard -> International Keyboards -> Japanese, and then simply flip the toggle switch to enable emoji.

Once emoji is enabled, you will see the International Keyboard key (the little world looking symbol, next to the 123 numeric keyboard button) on the virtual keyboard when in an app that supports it. There are six categories of emoji, each with several pages of fun symbols and pictures (swipe left or right to move through the pages).

Keep in mind however, that even though the Mail app and other IM and messaging apps may allow you to insert emoji into a message, the recipient’s device must also support emoji for the special characters to display. From my testing, various desktop email apps handle the emoji characters differently, displaying bullets in Microsoft Outlook or gibberish characters in Gmail. If the recipient is also using an iPhone running OS 2.2 or higher including OS 3.0, then they should be able to see the emoji characters just fine.

Enjoy adding these fun symbols and pictures to your messages! πŸ™‚

Update: One of our readers, Wayne, has discovered that the emoji remains enabled even if you remove the Spell Number app. Thanks Wayne, for this tip!

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  • n3l

    didn't work for me

    • Sorry to hear that, n3l. πŸ™

      Here's a few tips to try to get it to work:

      1) Uninstall the spell number app if you have it installed.
      2) Do a full shutdown of your iphone.
      3) Reboot your iphone
      4) Without going into any other app first, go back into the app store and reinstall spell number.
      5) Then open it up, enter the number exactly as shown in the directions, close the app with the home key
      6) Then go into the settings app and enable the emoji keyboard.

      You should be running a non-jailbroken, gold 3.0 iPhone. I hope this works for you. Let us know! πŸ™‚


  • Wayne

    This developer was the original creator of CHOS back in palmOS era. His developments have benefited hundreds of thousands in the PDA community. Kudos to another gem of his!

  • Thanks for the tip!

    It worked for me quite well, now I have to convince my friends to install it as well so I can share the joy!

  • Wayne

    Turns out the emoji remains even after you deleted the app

    • Great observation, Wayne. I'll update the post with this note! πŸ™‚

  • Cool tip. Works great! just found one problem on my 3GS so far. Globe icon to swap to/from the emoji disappears with the phone in portrait mode, you can only see it again if you turn you iphone on it's side (landscape). This works fine in sms & email, but the twitter & facebook apps do not currently support landscape yet, so the minute to swap to emoji, you cant swap back to normal characters. πŸ™

    • Hey K4RL, thanks for the comment!

      I've also noticed a few places where I've gotten myself into the emoji keyboard and unable to get back out. I think it's a 1.0 implementation, and hopefully Apple will tweak it with some updates soon. I've also noticed, that the placement of the globe icon has caused the 123 button to shrink to half its size, which is causing me to continuously hit the globe and pull up emoji when I was intending to pull up the numeric keypad to type a number. It's going to take some retraining my fingers to tap more to the left to avoid the globe when I'm wanting a number. πŸ™‚


    • Wayne

      In facebook, you can tap the greyed out area on bottom left corner to get yourself back to qwert

    • Guest

      In non-landscape keyboard where the globe icon should be its a gray box. Hit that and it will switch you to and from iemoji. THe gray box on left is globe and on the right is delete. Hope this helps!

  • Stephen

    I downloaded an APP store app called "emoji Icons" and it enable the emoji keyboard with out any hacks. The app was free.

  • TOC

    Thanks for the tip. Worked perfectly! I'd been wanting those icons for a while. I didn't realize they were just a hidden preference and now I'm very glad I didn't pay just to enable something that was already on my phone in the first place. I don't understand why this option isn't available to toggle on or off at will in the first place.

    • ξˆ’ξˆ”ξŒ¬ξŒͺξŒ­ξŒ¨ξŒ«ξ€’ξ—ξ—

      Apple only wanted the ξˆ’ξˆ” emoji for the Japanese iPhone/iPod touch. Nuff said. Oh by the way those were emoji.

  • I am trying to use the Emoji icons to brighten up my calendar. Specific icons for birthdays, haircuts, dinners etc. However when I sync to Outlook, the icons appear as "?". This is not a large problem. However, on the next sync, the Emoji icons on my iphone become the "?" since the iphone calendar sees these as changes in Outlook that are then synced back to the phone. This renders the Emoji icons useless in any app that syncs to a device other than the iphone. Is there any way to install these icons on a desktop that would preclude this? Does anyone have any other idea?

    • Thanks for the comment blade444!

      What you're experiencing is a problem that you'll face with any app that doesn't support the emoji character set. You may also notice that if you include any emoji icons in an email and send it to someone who will read it on a desktop app or even in gmail for example, they will not see the emoji. These characters are handled differently by different apps, from the "?" in Outlook to a box in gmail.

      As far as I know, this is just a limitation of using a foreign character set in apps that don't have support for them. By enabling emoji on the iPhone, it's allowing you to use these characters, but other apps may not not support them.

  • abc

    some of my icons don't show up. they look like this: fj fb fh ffk ….. mostly some of the hands. anyone know how to make them show up?

    • ken

      Hi abc, I am having the same problem. Did you find any solutions?

  • Maya02

    The alternate keyboard is available to me in texting but not in email. Is that normal or did I miss a step?


  • Aminah786

    OMG it worked…….ur da besttt!!
    i been trying for ages…..gr8 explaination……once agen thankuuu

  • Sam Freedom


  • Sam Freedom

    Ps I know this might seem minor but if you're somewhere without a pen and want an easy way to remember the code number to enter it's as simple as the sequence: 91 92 93 94 then .59 — it's broken down in a way easier for the brain to recall.


  • BigBuedro

    I have a 16GB 3Gs and I had the same problem as n3l when i first tried but the un-install re-install solution worked.

  • jean

    thanks, love it. lol

  • Ingrid

    It worked for me fine, But in mail application from Iphone. Emoij is not working. Is this normal?

  • nacho

    i have a jailbroken iphone i have try to install emoji but i cant receive and when i send emoji no one gets them i have downloaded the emoji from the app store and i have cydia and i try yo uninstall and it stays in my phone in the keyboard section, how do i make it work or do i have to tweak my phone more.. please help…

  • Pete

    To enable Emoji for FREE, you could also do this: (works 100%)

    1. Download Todew Lite
    2. Create a task called "Emoji" (without quotes).
    3. Follow on-screen instructions.

  • Kylie

    Great tip – thanks very much. It didn’t work for me at first but I just rebooted my phone without doing anything else and then it was all good.

  • diana

    Okay this didnt work for me because i had iOS 4.0 or higher! so what you do is go to general then international, go to keyboards then addd new keyboards and then go to dutch and look under EMoji will be there click it and it will be installed!!!:)