I'm using El Capitan and I want to change emoji shortcut which is ctrl+cmd+space. I want to change it to two buttons? Is it possible?

2 Answers 2


This will work everywhere that Emoji & Symbols has a menu item...

  • System Prefs > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts
  • Click 'All Applications'
    (hidden in the picture)
  • Click +
  • Type Emoji & Symbols in the first box
  • Type your replacement trigger in the second
  • Click Add

As noted in comments, Cmd/Space is usually used for Spotlight. I chose this almost at random & discarded after the picture was taken.

enter image description here

  • 1
    ⌘Space is however used by Spotlight (and also to switch keyboard layouts priori to El Capitan) Mar 9, 2016 at 15:58
  • 1
    For sure - I just picked something almost at random & discarded it after I'd taken the shot.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 9, 2016 at 16:12
  • In spanish the Menu Title is: "Emojis y símbolos" Oct 9, 2019 at 12:12
  • 1
    Big Sur 11.1 Beta (20C5048k) ... have needed this again.. so still relevant in Dec 2020. Dec 2, 2020 at 5:56
  • The native shortcut for emojis is cmd+control+space. But, sometimes, it doesn't work well anymore, I can't figure out why. Has to do with focus or something. Jan 29 at 11:02

As a quick add-on to Tetsujin’s great answer, you could use Karabiner Elements to remap it to a single key if you wished.

Currently I’ve reassigned Caps Lock to showing the emoji picker.

  • Hey @Simon, I was looking to do the same. Can you share how you did it?
    – Farzad
    Feb 4 at 13:41
  • @Farzad As this is some time ago, I can’t remember exactly how I did it with Karabiner, since I’m not using that method anymore. But I’m pretty sure you could make a ‘complex modification’ (with some help from Google) so that one keypress triggers several others. Right now I’m using the fn key to trigger the emoji menu. That can be achieved under Keyboard in System Preferences. Look for the little globe icon.
    – Simon
    Feb 10 at 7:22
  • Thank you @Simon
    – Farzad
    Feb 10 at 20:53

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