How to assign the emoji picker to the Globe key on your external iPad keyboard

Apple’s onscreen keyboard on the iPad features separate Emoji and Globe keys. This makes it a lot easier to quickly switch between languages and select the emoji you need. But what if your physical keyboard doesn’t have a dedicated Emoji key? In that case, you can assign the iPad emoji picker to the rarely used Globe key, and we walk you through the whole process.

How to assign Globe key to iPad emoji picker

If you’d like to bring up the floating emoji picker on your iPad with a simple press of the Globe key on your physical keyboard, you’ll first need to enable that option in your keyboard settings.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPad.
  2. Choose the entry “General” from the root list.
  3. Touch the option “Keyboard”.
  4. Now touch “Hardware Keyboards”.
  5. Slide the switch next to “Press Globe key for Emoji” to the ON position.

Now pressing the otherwise useless Globe key will show the handy emoji picker no matter where you are in iPadOS. To quickly find the right emoji for the moment, press the Globe key when you’re in a text field. Just just like that — the emoji picker pops up. Even with this setting enabled, you can still access your input switcher at any time with the Control – Space combo.

The setting to use the Globe key for the emoji picker only applies to hardware keyboards.

A screenshot showing the keyboard settings on iPad with the option to use the Globe key for the emoji picker turned on

The Globe key can be assigned to the emoji picker on your Mac, too.

Emoji keyboard won’t show up?

If the emoji keyboard won’t show up, be sure that it’s turned on in the first place. You can add the emoji keyboard to there list of your onscreen keyboards by going to Settings → General → Keyboard → Keyboards → Add New Keyboard, then choose “Emoji” from the keyboard list.

If you have remapped the Globe key to serve as the Escape key (or another modifier key), then the emoji picker obviously won’t show up upon pressing the physical Globe key.

A screenshot of the Settings app on the iPad showing the interface to change the modifier keys

To fix that, go to Settings → General → Keyboard → Hardware Keyboard → Modifier Keys, then touch the “Globe Key” option and set it to perform the function of the Globe key.

Accessing the emoji picker on the Mac

macOS has long provided the system-wide emoji picker that lets you browse emoji by category, favorite your commonly used characters so you can get to them faster and more. In addition, it also provides a similarly helpful shortcut for quickly accessing the emoji picker on your Mac.

As per Apple, go to System Preferences → Keyboard and click the Keyboard tab, then hit the popup menu next to “Press Fn key to” and choose the option “Show Emoji & Symbols”. Now you can press the Fn or Globe key to invoke the emoji picker on your Mac! Although Mac keyboards normally lack a Globe key, but you’ll get one when using Apple’s iPad keyboard with your Mac.

Assigning the Fx key on the Mac to show the emoji picker

You can also set the Globe key or the Fn key on the Mac to change your keyboard language, start dictation or do nothing. Assigning the emoji picker to the Fn key is the fastest way to get to your emoji on the Mac in the absence of a physical keyboard with a dedicated key.