If emoji don‘t match or display unexpected characters on the recipient‘s device

You might notice that some emoji look different on the recipient's device than they do on the iOS device or Mac that sent them. Find out why.

Some emoji characters might not display correctly on these devices:

  • An iOS device or Mac that's not up to date
  • An iOS device that's on another carrier's network
  • A non-Apple device (such as an Android, Windows, or BlackBerry tablet or phone)

If recipients have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 8.2 or earlier, or a Mac with OS X 10.10.2 or earlier, they might see an unexpected alien character. This can happen when the sender changes the skin tone of emoji in iOS 8.3 or later. Or recipients might see boxes with a two-letter country code when the sender uses some of the flag emoji in iOS 8.3 or later.

If recipients have a non-Apple device, they might see blank spaces, boxes, equal signs, question marks, or line breaks when they get a message from someone using an Apple device. This depends on how the recipient's device handles emoji.

If you get a message with unexpected characters instead of emoji, try updating your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac.

Learn more

Find out why SMS messages might be split up or display unexpected characters.

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