10 solutions to fix the predictive emoji keyboard not working on iPhone

The keyboard of your iPhone or iPad has a useful feature that suggests emojis as you type. As part of the Predictive text feature, and based on your past conversations and writing style, the keyboard will suggest emojis that match the words you are typing in the predictive input field right above the keyboard.

For example, when you type the word pizza, the Predictive feature will show the pizza emoji. At that point, you can tap that emoji to add it to your conversation. This is a great feature that makes using emojis much easier.

But it doesn’t always work as expected and in some instances, might not even work at all. If the emoji prediction of your iPhone or iPad keyboard is not working for you, I’m going to show you how to fix that.

Predictive emoji keyboard on iPhone

My keyboard isn’t offering emoji suggestions! Why?

Since upgrading to my new iPhone, I noticed that I hadn’t seen any emoji prediction in any of the apps I use. After thinking a bit about it, I came up with the reason why. And most importantly, the fixes for it.

To understand the cause of the issue, you must first understand how the Predictive feature works.

The Predictive feature learns from your typing habits and writing style. If you’re a very formal person, it will make formal suggestions. If you’re more of a laid-back person, the text predictions might be a little more laid back in its text suggestions too. And if you haven’t really used emojis inside an app, the Predictive keyboard might not offer any emoji suggestions thinking you’re not an emoji kind of person. This is the real trick, I believe.

How to fix predictive emoji not working on iPhone or iPad

Follow these solutions to ensure emoji predictions appear at the top of your iPhone keyboard as you type.

1. Make sure you’re using Apple’s keyboard

Are you using SwiftKey, GBoard, Grammarly, or one of the other third-party keyboards on your iPhone? If yes, you won’t see the emoji predictions (unless that keyboard app has built-in support for this feature).

Follow these steps to switch to Apple’s keyboard on your iPhone and iPad:

  1. Open Settings and tap General.
  2. Tap Keyboard > Keyboards.
  3. Tap Add New Keyboard and pick one of the keyboards, except those listed under Third-Party Keyboards.
Add Apple keyboard to your iPhone

Now, open Messages, Notes, or other such app and type the word pizza. You should see the pizza emoji suggestion at the top of the keyboard. This indicates the feature is working, and now you should have no trouble even with other words.

2. Emoji predictions may not be available in all languages

While you get emoji predictions in the English keyboard, the same can’t be said about keyboards from other (not very popular) languages. Plus, even in a keyboard that suggests emojis, if you misspell or type the equivalent of a word in a different language, it may not show the emoji suggestion. For example, let us assume Pizza is called Puzzu in a language you speak. Now, if you type Puzzu using the English keyboard on your iPhone, it obviously won’t show the emoji prediction.

3. Add the emoji keyboard

Emoji predictions will appear at the top of your keyboard while typing only if the Emoji keyboard is added to the list of keyboards on your iPhone. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Go to Settings > Keyboard > Keyboards.
  2. If you don’t see the Emoji keyboard here, tap Add New Keyboard, search for Emoji, and add it.
Add Emoji keyboard to your iPhone

4. Enable Predictive text

Once you have added the Emoji keyboard, go back to the previous screen and make sure the toggle for Predictive is enabled.

Enable Predictive for your iPhone keyboard

Note: You may not see the Predictive toggle for all keyboard languages.

5. Restart your iPhone

Sometimes, emoji predictions may not work due to temporary glitches, which can be easily fixed by simply turning off your iPhone and turning it back on.

6. Reconfigure apps to predict emoji

In order to get emoji suggestions in the Predictive keyboard again, you need to teach the keyboard that you like to use emojis. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much.

  1. Launch the app that doesn’t offer any emoji suggestions. In the example, you can see that Twitterrific just won’t show me a football despite typing the word “soccer.”
    Fix emoji prediction for an iPhone app
  2. Start typing a random sentence. What you type doesn’t really matter at all.
  3. Bring up the emoji keyboard, and start typing a bunch of emojis. Again, it doesn’t matter what emoji you are using. Simply enter a dozen or so emojis.
  4. Delete the emojis you just typed, and as a test, type the word pizza. The keyboard should suggest the pizza emoji.

In my experience, I have had to repeat the process with all applications I want to use emoji in, including Messages, Mail, Tweetbot, Slack, etc. It’s a pain, but at least it’s quick to fix.

Next time you’re into an application that doesn’t offer any emoji suggestions, try that trick and see if it makes a difference.

7. Delete and re-add the emoji keyboard

Still not seeing the emoji predictions while typing on your iPhone or iPad? Follow these steps to remove and re-add the emoji keyboard:

  1. Go to Settings > Keyboard > Keyboards.
  2. Swipe left on Emoji and tap Delete.
  3. Restart your iPhone.
  4. Once again, go to Settings > Keyboard > Keyboards and tap Add New Keyboard. Now, re-add the Emoji keyboard. After this, emoji predictions should work like a charm.
Delete and re-add Emoji keyboard on iPhone

8. Update your iPhone

In rare cases, your iPhone keyboard may not show emoji predictions due to software bugs, which can be fixed by updating your device from Settings > General > Software Update.

9. Reset your keyboard dictionary

In case the problem continues, follow these steps to reset your iPhone’s keyboard dictionary:

  1. Open Settings and tap General.
  2. Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset Keyboard Dictionary.
Reset Keyboard Dictionary on iPhone

Once that’s done, the predictive emoji keyboard not working on iPhone should be a thing of the past.

10. Reset all iPhone settings

At last, if nothing works, go ahead and reset all iPhone settings. This will ensure that all the settings you have ever changed or added are erased and restored to the default state. Doing so is a reliable solution to fix several such problems on your iPhone and iPad.

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