Overcome With Emoji – The New York Times

Q. My iPhone running iOS 11.3 has more than 2,600 emoji characters. Is there a way to edit those down besides the “frequently used” ones?

A. In the default iOS settings, using the emoji keyboard is an all-or-nothing affair, which means turning off the keyboard entirely is the only way to remove unwanted characters. If you want to do that, go to the Home screen, open the Settings icon, select General and then Keyboard. At the top of the next screen, tap Keyboards, then Edit in the top-right corner so you get a Delete icon to tap next to Emoji.

If you only use a few emoji characters but want to keep them, you can also create text shortcuts for them before you turn off the Emoji Keyboard. To do that, open the Settings icon, select General, then Keyboard and tap Text Replacement. On the Phrase line, enter the emoji character you want to use, and on the Shortcut line, enter a few text characters that will convert to the desired emoji character when typed.

For example, select the television emoji on the top line and enter “:tv” (without quotation marks) as the text shortcut to type. The addition of the colon punctuation helps prevent accidental emoji insertion into conversations.

Apple tries to make managing the huge collection of emoji less unwieldy by placing small gray shortcut icons to each emoji category (like food or sports) underneath the rows of characters. The clock icon on the left end represents your most often-used characters. You may find more flexibility with a third-party emoji keyboard like EmojiXpress or augmented-reality emoji apps like AR Emoji Custom Keyboard that somewhat mimic the Animoji feature on the iPhone X.

As many emoji as there are for iOS already (and Android and other platforms), more are on the way. The Unicode Consortium, which maintains the standards for emoji, has 157 new characters on the way later this year.

Personal Tech invites questions about computer-based technology to techtip@nytimes.com. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually.