Emoticons are not displaying in my instant message (IM) window

This article provides troubleshooting steps to resolve the following issues:

  • Emoticons or "smileys" are not displaying in the instant message window
  • Characters display instead of emoticons

If you are having trouble with emoticons, this article will walk you through the troubleshooting steps to fix them.

First, ensure that you have emoticons enabled:

  1. Select Messenger.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Click Messages.
  4. Ensure the checkbox for Enable emoticons is checked.
  5. Click OK.

If your emoticons still aren't working, then it's possible that the version of Adobe Flash Player installed on your computer is corrupt. Yahoo Messenger emoticons need Adobe Flash Player in order to work properly. To resolve this issue you can uninstall and re-install a new version of Adobe Flash Player.

How to uninstall and re-install Adobe Flash Player:

  1. Uninstall Adobe Flash Player: Go to the Adobe Uninstall Flash Player page.
  2. Re-install Adobe Flash Player: Go to the Adobe Flash Player page.
  3. Verify that Adobe Flash Player is working correctly: Go to the Adobe Check the status of Flash Player version page.

If after following these steps you still have problems with your emoticons, it's possible that the version of Yahoo Messenger installed on your computer is corrupt.  To resolve this you must uninstall and then re-install a new version of Yahoo Messenger. Please read the instructions in the article for your version of Microsoft Windows completely before uninstalling and re-installing Yahoo Messenger.

Note: Your contacts and message archives (or conversation history) should remain intact on your computer when performing these steps.  If you're worried about losing your conversation history archives, you can make a backup copy. For more information, see the article How to backup or transfer your Message Archive on Windows

Instructions for uninstalling Yahoo Messenger:

Re-install with the latest version of Yahoo Messenger:

  • For Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8: Go to the Yahoo Messenger download page, click Download Now, and then follow the installation prompts.


  • Was this article helpful?

  • Yes
  • No

Still need help?