How To Turn Off Auto Emoji On Messenger? (Complete Guide!)

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The apps that we use in our everyday life like to update from time to time.  Most of the time, these updates are to fix bugs, improve security, or keep up with advancing operating systems. 

How To Turn Off Auto Emoji On Messenger? (Complete Guide!)

However, there are times when the powers that be in the world of app software development decide that a new feature is necessary, regardless of whether people asked for it or not. 

One such update involved the auto emoji in the messenger app. 

What Is Auto Emoji?

Auto emoji is a feature in which any and all emoticons that you type are automatically converted into their relevant pictogram, smiley, ideogram, or logogram emoji. 


This means that if you were to type a colon followed by a closing parenthesis, it would automatically convert into an open-eyed smiley emoji.  

If you swap the colon for a semi-colon, you will be greeted with a winking emoji.  This feature has evolved over the last few years and now encompasses the words that you type in your messages. 

If a word or phrase matches an emoji, the word may be replaced with the relevant emoji which is often less than ideal. 

While this may not seem like a huge inconvenience, and if you are someone who likes emojis, you are probably wondering what the problem is at all. 

However, there are some people who love retro classics such as punctuation emoticons or just using words. 

Why Does Auto Emoji Exist?

The auto emoji update was first introduced in Facebook Messenger in 2016 as part of a bigger emoji update that introduced around 1500 new emoji options to users. 

Within the update, there were additional skin tones to choose from which helped better reflect the global user base of the app. 


There were also additional “empowering” female emojis such as women police officers and runners.

The update also made the experience of Android and iPhone users more universal by making the emojis look similar on either operating system and equalizing the access to various emojis.  

It was decided by Facebook that emojis had changed the way that we communicate with one another and provided an option outside of words to convey our emotions through text. 

It was also clear that people loved using emojis with the company claiming at the time that 10% of messages included the use of emojis. 

If these statistics were true, it is obvious why the auto emoji was invented.

Additionally, in more recent times, auto emoji have spread to predictive text on almost every operating system. 

If you didn’t like your emoticons being changed to emojis, you probably aren’t a fan of your words being automatically changed to emojis and want to know how to make it stop.

 If you are one of those people, you’re in luck, as the feature is quite easy to disable. Below, we will look at how this feature can be disabled on both iPhone and Android operating systems.

How To Turn Off Auto Emoji On Messenger? (Complete Guide!)

How To Turn Off Auto Emoji On Messenger – iPhone

If you are an iPhone user, there are a few easy steps that allow you to live a life free from the auto emoji.  

Facebook Messenger Auto Emoji

If you want to simply turn off auto emoji within the Facebook messenger app, you can do so within the app itself.

From the app homepage, click on the “Me” button located at the bottom of the screen. 

From the page that you are taken to, select the “photos and Media” button.  

Slide the messenger emoji option to the off position 

It really is as easy as that, you will now be free from the messenger emoji within the Facebook Messenger app.

Auto Emoji Within iPhone Messenger

If you want to be able to avoid the feature that replaces your words with emojis on your iPhone, but like the suggested emojis on occasion, that is just as easy to do as the steps we went through above.

The first step in ensuring that words are no longer replaced by emojis involves having to make sure that predictive text is turned on.  To do this, we have to open the Settings app on your phone to start.

Once you are in your phone settings, click on the “general” option which is located towards the bottom of the screen.

Within this page, you will find a “keyboard” option.  You do not need to scroll to find this option.

When you are on the “keyboard” settings page, make sure that predictive text is turned on.

Once you have confirmed that predictive text is turned on, you need to go into your messenger or messages app.

Select a message thread in your app and begin to type a word that is often replaced by an emoji. 

If you click the emoji as soon as it is suggested, it will replace the word that you have written.  However, to avoid this, type the word, then press the spacebar. 

The emoji will remain in the predictive text field.  If you click the emoji now, you retain the word that you wrote and insert the emoji.

How To Turn Off Auto Emoji On Messenger – Android

If you are an Android user, things are slightly different when trying to turn off auto emojis. 

Turning Off Auto Emoji In Facebook Messenger Android

Unfortunately for Android users, there is no option to alter the emojis that are used within the Facebook Messenger app. 

If you are keen to use old-school punctuation emoticons, it will be necessary to insert a space between the punctuation that is making the face.  For example, a colon, space, a parenthesis. 

Auto Emoji Within The Android Messages App

The process of preventing the automatic replacement of words with emojis is extremely similar to the one detailed above. 

To avoid the replacement of a word with an emoji, a space is needed between the written word and the auto-suggested emoji.