How to Disable Emojis in WordPress

How to Disable Emojis in WordPress

While emojis are a great little tool for extending what and how you can communicate in spaces usually reserved for the written work, they’re usage isn’t always welcome or needed. There’s little use for emojis in technical documentation, for example, or in other types of formal writing.

It won’t matter to WordPress, though. The native emoji support that was launched in 2015 added scripts to help older browsers display emojis – whether you want them or not. Those same scripts now do little good. Browsers typically support emojis, so WordPress’ support really only adds to the load, slowing the website down.

This article will explain to you how to disable emojis – or at least take care of that bloat code. You’ll learn about:

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What Are the Ways to Disable Emojis in WordPress and Which to Choose?

What Are the Ways to Disable Emojis in WordPress and Which to Choose

An early lesson you learn about WordPress is that there are two major ways of making things happen in the CMS. One is with the use of plugins – the best thing about WordPress is the community that’s creating these plugins that let you do incredible stuff even if you can’t write a single line of code.

The other will require you to use code. It’s a more complicated way of getting things done, and it can also be perilous if you’re not sure what you’re doing, or if you don’t have a safe environment to practice first.

Not that using plugins is a foolproof way of doing anything – plugins come with a whole set of issues of their own, including security vulnerability and poor resource management. When disabling emojis in WordPress, you’ll be able to use a plugin, but you’ll also be able to do it with code. Which one you choose will mostly depend on how comfortable you are with altering code on your website.

For our part, we’ll show you how to do both. But the decision is up to you.

How to Disable Emojis in WordPress Using a Plugin

Disable Emojis

With a five-star review and over seventy thousand active installations, Disable Emojis (GDPR Friendly) is arguably the best choice you have when you want a plugin that disables emojis in WordPress. You should note, however, that the plugin doesn’t remove emojis completely from your website – it just removes the code that’s responsible for displaying emojis in older browsers. Newer browsers, which don’t rely on that code and have native emoji support, will still be able to display emojis on your website.

The plugin is also very simple to use. All you need to do is navigate to Plugins > Add New, perform a search for “Disable Emojis,” and install and activate the plugin you find. The plugin doesn’t have any settings – you’ll find no bells and whistles here, no ads either. Just a plugin that, after you’ve installed and activated it, stops some bloat code without any further input from you.

Disable Emoji Add Plugin

How to Disable Emojis in WordPress Using Code

If you’re set on disabling emojis manually, using code, there are a couple of things you should know. The first one is that you’ll be making changes in your theme’s functions.php file – a place where you can do some awesome things, but also mess up your website pretty badly.

That brings us to the second thing you’ll need to know – it might be best that you use a child theme when you’re adding any code to functions.php. Alternatively, you can rely on Code Snippets, a plugin that’s often used when adding custom code to WordPress. Just don’t do both at the same time.

Either way, here is the code you could use to disable emojis manually in your WordPress website:

function disable_emojis() {
remove_action( 'wp_head', 'print_emoji_detection_script', 7 );
remove_action( 'admin_print_scripts', 'print_emoji_detection_script' );
remove_action( 'wp_print_styles', 'print_emoji_styles' );
remove_action( 'admin_print_styles', 'print_emoji_styles' ); 
remove_filter( 'the_content_feed', 'wp_staticize_emoji' );
remove_filter( 'comment_text_rss', 'wp_staticize_emoji' ); 
remove_filter( 'wp_mail', 'wp_staticize_emoji_for_email' );
add_filter( 'tiny_mce_plugins', 'disable_emojis_tinymce' );
add_action( 'init', 'disable_emojis' );

For the filter function to remove the tinymce emoji plugin, add these lines of code:

function disable_emojis_tinymce( $plugins ) {
if ( is_array( $plugins ) ) {
return array_diff( $plugins, array( 'wpemoji' ) );
} else {
return array();

With that, your website should no longer have any bloat issues from undesired emojis.

Let’s Wrap It Up!

Emojis can make communication more fun, expressive, and sometimes even efficient. However, there are lots of situations when they’re not needed, and the support WordPress has for them might actually do more harm than good. So if you’re looking to make your website the leanest, meanest, fastest-loading website out there, you might consider one of these methods to disable emojis.

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