How to Turn Off Emoji in iMessage and Instead Use Text Smiley Faces

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Don’t you just hate it when you type a text smiley face such as :-) and your chat program insists on turning your text emoticon into a graphic emoji? Here’s how to turn off emoji in the Mac instant messenger program Messages (formerly known as iChat and iMessage), so that it will instead send and display text-based smiley and other faces.

Here is the reason that you may have had trouble figuring out how to do it – because it’s not where you would expect the setting to be, such as in, you know, your Preferences pane.


It’s not here!
imessage messages preferences

Instead, you need to go to your Messages menu, to the “Edit” option, and select “Substitutions”.

turn off emoji ichat imessage messages substitutions mac

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See that entry that says “Text Replacement”?

how to turn off emoji ichat imessage text replacement messages mac

You want to select “Text Replacement”, which will toggle it to be checked:

 

how to turn emoji off in mac messages ichat imessage

Now when you type :-) it will be sent as “:-)” instead of an emoji emoticon.

use plain text instead of emoji

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

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Summary
How to Turn Off Emoji in iMessage and Instead Use Text Smiley Faces
Article Name
How to Turn Off Emoji in iMessage and Instead Use Text Smiley Faces
Description
Don't you hate it when you type a text smiley face and your chat program turns it into an emoji? Here's how to turn off emoji in Mac Messages (iChat).
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