How to enable the Windows 10 emoji picker on non-US versions of the OS

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a brand new emoji picker, which gives keyboard and mice users easy access to the large emoji catalog available in Windows 10. Unfortunately, Microsoft made the decision to disable the picker on devices that aren't running an en-U.S. version of Windows 10, which sucks. Lucky, it turns out there's a way to enable it on Windows 10 devices that aren't running an en-U.S. install.

This workaround only works on certain non-U.S. versions of Windows 10, so you'll have to give it a go and let us know in the comments if it works for you. We can confirm this works on en-GB and nl-NL installations. It will boil down to your keyboard layout more than anything, as the key-combination to enable the emoji picker might not work on your keyboard.

It's also worth noting that enabling the picker on non-US devices will mean that translations are wrong, and as such the search function within the emoji picker doesn't work. You can still use the picker to find emoji manually, however, which is more than fine for most.

Open the Windows Registry

First, you need to open the Windows Registry to be able to edit the values necessary to enable the emoji picker on your device.

  1. Right-click on the Windows Start button.

  1. Select Run.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type "regedit."

  1. Select OK.

Enable the emoji picker

Now that you're in the Windows Registry, you need to navigate to the folder that allows you to enable the emoji picker on your device.

  1. Navigate to:Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Input\Settings
  2. In the Settings folder, right click and select "New > DWORD (32-bit) value."

  1. Name the DWORD, "EnableExpressiveInputShellHotkey"

  1. Double-click the newly created DWORD.
  2. Set its "Value data" to 1.

  1. Select OK.
  2. Restart your computer.

And there you have it. Now whenever you're active in a text field, pressing either the Windows key and period key or Windows key and semi-colon key on your physical keyboard will popup the emoji picker! If it doesn't then, unfortunately, this workaround likely doesn't work on your particular language installation.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

63 Comments
  • Thanks for this, I'll check it out. I'm using EN-GB. Why MS can't make these features work worldwide is beyond me, especially on English language editions
  • Can confirm that it works here on my EN-GB keyboard
  • Because Microsoft shortened its vision. Actually Nadella, but he pushes down the whole company.
  • How is this still a thing? Jesus, make this stuff available worldwide at once!
  • Absolutely, restricting useful features to US is pathetic
  • They wonder why they lost the mobile OS war...
  • Thanks. In PT-BR (Brasilian Portuguese) keyboard work awesome. But the Keys to access the function is Windows + End Dot. (Windows e ponto final). And you can't put an QWORD (64 bits) value because your system will freeze, same if your system are a 64 bits version. Once Again, Thanks. Now I can remove the virtual keyboard of my task bar.
  • There's no reason why this is US only
  • MS clearly aren't interested in users outside their home country
  • and this is why their mobile market failed  
  • Tried it, but still isn't working for me on build 17025, and I am on enGB keyboard.
  • Yup, same here - 17025 Slow ring, en-GB and it's not working
  • Can we can we disable this in the US without a registry hack?
  • Why? Don't use it an you're fine
  • How to enable it in the US version?
  • Btw, absolutely NO ONE that isn't following news about Windows won't know about the emoji picker. How will people find out about this stuff?
  • What is the point of this? They killed integration with Skype and your phone. Emoji's in email? :/
  • Yes, absolutely. And in social media status updates. And in comments. Like this one. 🐶 Emoji's everywhere.
  • Ok, guess I'm just not seeing it.😒
  • Sadly not working with a Swedish version of Windows 10 but then again we dont have Cortana either.....
  • I didn't have to edit the registry. I just installed the English software keyboard language (doesn't change the hardware keyboard's input). In the taskbar I now switch the keyboard language to English and then WINDOWS+. calls up the emoji picker.
    I'm from Switzerland, by the way.
  • But I want the autocorrect to work on German (Swiss) or English (Australia) and not English (US). And I don't want to have to change my language the whole time...
  • this is why I always switch my windows region to US.. pathetic
  • Does anyone find it retarded that they have implemented a way to easily input emoji, but still have no intuitive solution for typing foreign/accented characters?
  • Thank you very much for shearing! Don't know why stupid microshaft still doesn't realize there's more than just the US on Earth...
  • Confirmed, working great with English (Canada), US Keyboard 👍
  • I'm totally happy to corroborate. 😃
  • All you need to do is to install English - United States language pack/keyboard. I'm on en-AU, and country is set to Australia for the region, On the task bar when I switch to English - US keyboard then emoji picker works properly.
  • I can do the same thing in Switzerland. :)
  • No, that's not enough because then you must switch every time on English US keyboard if you want to use emoji. But if you do what Zac told you to, you can use emoji without switching or use US keyboard. 
  • Confirm works in en-AU.
  • Nivin Jose ... not getting this on my en-AU. Have en-AU as the default and US English as the secondary language pack installed. I'm not able to access the emoji popup. Have the region set to Australia default keyboard US English. Tried WIndows 'period' and Windows 'semicolon'. none of which are working. Any other setting I may have missed? (have added the regkey).
  • Nice. But what is the shortcut? Win+. doesn't work for me neither in Russian nor Vietnamese.
  • You need to have a text field selected for the picker to appear.
  • Just Win and period  without +
  • Works with hu-hu too.
  • Szuper. I'll try it 
  • Europe, Croatia, my region is set on Ireland, language English US, I have installed English US keyboard and Croatian standard keyboard and must change every time when I want to put emojis, but not anymore. It works on Croatian keyboard now.  Thank you so much , Zac! ❤😎👌😍💋
  • It worked for me.
    Region -India,
    Display Language -English (India),
    Keyboard Layout -English (India)
    Hotkey is Win+. (Period)
    Thanks a ton for the tip Zac ✌👍
  • So easy to implement with a registry hack yet MS made the feature for US users only. Absolutely ridiculous
  • Ah, one of the reasons why all of my devices are always set to the US settings. Nice to have everything working like Cortana for example. It's sad to see how features are still not available world-wide... you'll end up with a stripped down version of what's being advertised. But... this applies to most manufacturers I guess...
  • Worked even without rebooting - thanks!
  • Someone should tell this company to STOP acting like A TINY LOCAL COMPANY they are Not they are a GLOBAL COMPANY who pretend not knowing anything about the world
  • De-DE dosnt works :-(
  • DE-de works for me
  • France doesnt work !!
  • It worked for lv-LV 👌🏻 Even the search seems to be working EDIT: the search works in English. Also, you don't need to restart after editing the registry
  • Would be more useful if the picker stayed onscreen but you have to activate it for each emoji
  • this is genius, finally.
  • Reboot not required !!!!!
  • Done that (fr-FR), no reboot required. The only problem is that sometimes it appears on the first screen... having a dual screen setup and using the 2nd screen for chats, that's really annoying. It happens with slack, discord, battle.net, chrome or firefox, but works fine with twitter, skype, mail, disqus, edge...
  • It's working with Belgian french keyboard!
    Thanks Zac, I was waiting for it! 😁
  • Didn't work for moi. On the latest Fast ring as well. Ah well!
  • my windows set to us but still don't get this feature, finally someone have this work, thanks.
  • es-ES working like a charm!
  • not work in Japanese and chinese keyboard
  • This emoji thing is getting stupid, i thought we have got past the days of using pictures to communicate.  i do not mind the basic ones that have been around for years, but if anyone sent me a message with a load of emojis i would no idea what most of them mean and i do nto want to know. Even the company I work for used them on a a bit of communication to try get us to use yammer.    
  • en-GB...not working for me. Is it app specific or should be available to any text entry location?
  • Tried, Not working for me.
  • Can confirm it works on it-IT
  • Finally! Works even without a reboot. This was the main thing I was looking forward to from Fall Creator's updated, but yet again Microsoft's US Only™ philosophy has nearly sc****d us over.
  • Works fine without reboot on swedish
  • Thank you very much, it worked like a charm without need to restart the computer