Most of us use emojis on our iPhones, but until recently finding the right one was difficult. Luckily, starting with iOS 14, you can now search for emojis directly within the Emoji keyboard in any app on the iPhone. Here’s how.
First, open the app where you want to type emojis. Tap any text input area, and when the on-screen keyboard appears, tap the emoji keyboard button.
(If you don’t see the emoji button on the on-screen keyboard, it means the emoji keyboard has been disabled in Settings. To restore it, go to Settings> General> Keyboards> Keyboards. Tap “Add New Keyboard”. Select, “Emoji.”)
When the emoji keyboard appears, tap the “Search Emojis” text input area. If you don’t see the “Search Emojis” area, you’ll need to first update your iPhone to iOS 14 or later.
Type in a word that describes the emoji you’re looking for, and you’ll see potential matches displayed horizontally in the area just below the search box. And you can also search by category. For example, typing “fire” will bring up emojis for fire, fireball, fire truck, and more.
If you type a word that has a large number of potential matches (such as “animal” in this example), you can scroll it by sliding your finger left or right along the search results bar. When you swipe, more emojis will be revealed.
When you find the emoji you want to use, tap it, and it will be inserted into the app you are using.
As of this writing, this technique only works on iPhones, but an emoji search bar may be coming to iPad soon in a future update. For now, if you want to search for emojis on iPad, you’ll need to use the older “predictive text” technique.