I've got my hands on Apple Emoji TTC from Sierra and I'd like to install it on El Capitan, but since Apple Emoji TTF on el Capitan is a system file, it cannot be moved into trash, disabled or updated. Is it a possible operation at all? I cannot upgrade to Sierra, but I'm also fed up with seeing symbols instead of emojis because my OS does not recognise them.

1 Answer 1


Even if you replace the system emoji font, this won't help with all emojis. This is because some emojis are combinations of characters and this may not be interpreted correctly if the codepoints are new.

If you still want to replace the emoji font, you need to disable System Integrity Protection to replace system files.

To disable System Integrity Protection, you can do the following:

  1. Boot into the Recovery HD by restarting whilst holding ⌘R.
  2. Open Terminal (from the Utilities menu).
  3. Run the following command in Terminal:

    csrutil disable
  4. Restart.

Source: Disable OS X El Capitan Rootless and permit write actions to System Integrity Protection locations

  • I think the interpretation of those character combinations is done by the font itself, so replacing that should do the trick even for those. Or have you found otherwise? Jul 21, 2017 at 22:37
  • This SuperUser answer has confirmed that replacing the system emoji font also works if you put the replacement in ~/Library/Fonts, which oughtn't be protected by SIP. That's probably a more sensible idea, as it leaves the original intact if the questioner wants to revert the change. Font Book reports a conflict, but it doesn't look like a big deal.
    – jimjamslam
    Nov 30, 2017 at 6:42
  • EmojiOne 2.x is way behind Apple and is no longer developed, though, so there'll def. be some missing ones!
    – jimjamslam
    Nov 30, 2017 at 6:43

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