Whether you're drafting an important email, engaging in social media banter, or adding flair to your documents, accessing the emoji keyboard in Windows 11 is a breeze. Here's a simple guide on how to access and use the Windows 11 emoji keyboard.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

  1. To launch the Windows 11 emoji keyboard, press the Windows key + . (period) or Windows key + ; (semicolon) on your keyboard. These shortcuts will instantly summon the emoji panel on your screen, no matter what application you're currently using.
  1. The default view of the emoji panel shows you an emoji search bar, along with a quick view of the recently used Emoji, GIF, Kaomoji, and Symbols.
  2. To view all emojis, click on the Emoji icon at the top bar, and you'll see a categorized view of all emojis.
  3. To insert an emoji into your text field, simply click on the emoji of your choice. If you want to add multiple emojis, keep the panel open and continue selecting as many as you like.

Using Touch Keyboard

For devices with a touchscreen, or if you prefer using the on-screen keyboard, accessing the emoji keyboard is even more convenient.

  1. Open the Touch Keyboard by clicking the keyboard icon on your taskbar. This will bring up the virtual keyboard on your screen.
  1. Locate and tap the emoji panel icon (a board with a heart) at the top left corner of the keyboard.
If the touch keyboard icon isn't already visible in your taskbar, right-click on the taskbar and select ‘Taskbar settings’. Under the 'System tray icons' section, find the ‘Touch keyboard’ option and set it to 'Always' or 'When no keyboard attached' option.

Emoji Panel Features

🔎 Search. If you're looking for a specific emoji, use the search bar at the top of the emoji panel. Simply start typing the name or theme of the emoji, and relevant suggestions will appear.

👯 GIFs: Besides emojis, the Windows 11 emoji panel also allows you to insert GIFs into your messages. Switch to the GIF tab within the emoji panel, and you can either browse or search for the perfect GIF.

🔣 Symbols and Kaomoji: The emoji panel also includes symbols and kaomoji (face characters) for more variety. These can be accessed by switching to the respective tabs within the emoji panel.

Creating Custom Emojis in Windows 11

On Windows 11, users can create their own multi-person emojis by mixing and matching different face types (genders) and skin tones to craft a personalized emoji.

For emojis like 'family' 👨🏻‍👩🏽‍👧🏻‍👦🏼, users can now freely select genders, face types, and skin tones with over 100,000 possible combinations available.

Identifying Eligible Emojis. Emojis that are compatible with this new feature are marked with a circle in their lower right corner. Currently, eight emojis, including “handshake,” “couple with heart,” and “family,” are eligible for customization.

How to Create Your Custom Emoji

  1. Click on an emoji marked with the customization circle to bring up a pop-up menu.
  1. Click the “+” button in the pop-up to access the customization interface, where you can select the desired face type and skin tone.
  1. After making your selection, click the 'Done' button to add your newly created emoji to the list. It will then be available for use in the Emoji panel, just like any other emoji.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  • Emoji Keyboard Not Opening. If the emoji keyboard isn't opening with the shortcuts, check your system settings to ensure the keyboard shortcuts are enabled. Additionally, restarting your computer can sometimes resolve this issue.
  • Missing Emojis. If certain emojis appear to be missing, your Windows 11 might need an update. Check for any pending updates in the Settings app under Update & Security.
  • Slow Performance. In some cases, the emoji panel might load slowly or be unresponsive. This could be due to system performance issues. Closing unnecessary applications and clearing temporary files can help improve performance.