I would like to search for Emojis using text when using an Emoji keyboard on iPhone. I have seen some people using this (also, I guess WhatsApp keyboard supports it?), and was wondering how to enable this, does anyone have a clue?

  • AFAIK, that's not a search box for searching for Emojis.
    – Nimesh Neema
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 19:58
  • All I have seen is GIF search in WhatsApp. Also there can be emoji suggestion in English word suggestion bar. For eg water, lol, okay, etc show emoji suggestions
    – anki
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 19:59

3 Answers 3


You can't use search when looking for emoji in the stock iOS keyboard.

iOS uses predictive text to determine what emoji to offer you based on the words you're typing. While this isn't what you're asking for, you can see this iPhoneLife article for more info.

To search by emoji, you need to install and use a 3rd-party keyboard. Many developers offer keyboards that incorporate emoji search. I use SwiftKey (not associated with the software or developer) for typing on all my iOS devices.

enter image description here

Apple has indicated that the upcoming iOS 13 will offer:

Word and emoji suggestions

If you need to correct a word, simply ask and you’ll be presented with a list of suggested replacements.

  • Thank you fab! Do you happen to know if swiftkey collects data about all the keystrokes? I read a comment on the AppStore reviews. Are there any alternative apps to swiftkey that only offer emoji search that you know of? Thanks! Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 22:04
  • 1
    I can’t speak to its data collection. For all third-party apps, you would need to see the developers privacy policy.
    – fsb
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 1:22
  • 1
    Any third party keyboard can basically define its own policy for collecting data. SwiftKey is developed by Microsoft (through the TouchType Ltd subsidiary company), so I think that answers the question about data collection. I used it myself until I came across a section on my MS profile that included almost every word I’d written since install. On Android you can opt out, but... Unfortunately, SwiftKey on iOS doesn’t function at all until the user grants it full access. The user needs to trust SwiftKey that they won’t send data off the mobile device unless SwiftCloud is enabled.
    – Sederqvist
    Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 23:06

Another alternative is Searchmoji.

It's a free keyboard that allow to search emojis with keyword. The best part is that Searchmoji doesn't require full-access to work (like all the other third party keyboard out there), therefore there's no way you data will leave your iPhone.

I am a developer of this app.

More info here: Emoji keyboard app


According to this article on iPhoneTricks.org, iOS 14 brings the emoji search bar as a default option:

enter image description here

I assume the same goes for iPadOS.

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