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Emoji are playful graphical representations of emotions, things, symbols, or ideas. Sometimes while using Windows 10, you’d like to quickly find the perfect emoji, but there are hundreds to choose from. Here’s how to quickly find the emoji you’re looking for with a text search.

First, open the app you’d like to insert the emoji into. Focus on a text input area in any Windows application by clicking on it, and when you see a cursor, press either the Windows+. or Windows+; key combination (i.e., the Windows key and a period or the Windows key and a semicolon).

The emoji picker panel will pop up.

The Emoji Panel in Windows 10

With the emoji panel open, begin typing a word that corresponds with what emoji you’d like to find. For example, you could type “Cat” if you’re looking for a cat emoji, or “Cry” if you want to find a crying emoji.

If your search is more on the general side (such as “Fruit”), the results will match all applicable emoji, not just a single one, so you can pick the exact one you’d like to use the most.

Type a word to search for its emoji in Windows 10

If you switch away from the search results by clicking on another category symbol at the bottom, click on the magnifying glass to see them again.

Now you’re ready to express your thoughts perfectly—with no words required!

The emoji picker and its Search feature work in basically any Windows desktop application, from Notepad to Google Chrome.

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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