Using Emoji with phpList


How can I use Emoji in phpList? When I send a mail with an Emoji in it it will show like this: ???


Have you ever tried this icon?

Hi, thanks for your reply. Yes I used the smileys before, but that is not the same as Emoji. Hope someone can help me get emoji working.

I tested emoji in my environment.
It seems emoji showing well.


mail client

  • OS: CentOS 7
  • PHPList: 3.5.3

I don’t have any problems with Emoji in preview mode. When I send the mail they will change to ???

And in your image you are using/ showing the smileys. I mean the Emoji’s. So please read my question in the fist post again :wink:

@CD130 Why emojis do not display properly has been discussed before on this forum. Just search to find the earlier posts.

Thanks for reply :slight_smile: I can’t find an old discussion with the search option. Maybe I’m doing something wrong?

@CD130 Searching for “emoji” gives me several results.

Thanks, I already checked all the results and can’t find the answer how to add Emoji in a mail in phpList :slight_smile:

Hello, @CD130

At least, you needs the following steps.
(I tried the following but I can’t store emoji properly yet. I succeed to store emoji as draft. And send a mail.)

  • Use utf8mb4 character encoding in your database. (add my.cnf configuration)
  • Convert phplist DDL for using utf8mb4 instead of utf8 phpList Mantis
  • Modify DDL for avoding Specified key was too long; max key length is 767 bytes
  • modify utf8 -> utf8mb4 in public_html/lists/admin/
  • Maybe and something. I’m not sure rest of operation.

Emoji use four-bytes character in UTF-8 encoding.
You need to use utf8mb4 encoding instead of utf8 in your database.

like the following

show variables like '%char%';
| Variable_name            | Value                      |
| character_set_client     | utf8mb4                    |
| character_set_connection | utf8mb4                    |
| character_set_database   | utf8mb4                    |
| character_set_filesystem | binary                     |
| character_set_results    | utf8mb4                    |
| character_set_server     | utf8mb4                    |
| character_set_system     | utf8                       |
| character_sets_dir       | /usr/share/mysql/charsets/ |
8 rows in set (0.00 sec)
show create table phplist_message

Wow!! So this works fine?? Why the makers of phpList won’t change this in the standard version? Then can everybody use Emojis in the mails :slight_smile:

Hello, @CD130

I don’t test all features. But, I succeed to send an email with Emoji.

I’m not sure whether all user needs to use Emoji. Generally, It requires more storage space.
And, It requires a database migration. (schema change.)
It will break compatibility.


It is possible to convert a phplist installation already installed to “emoji” capable by doing the following:

  1. change the to refer to “utf8mb4” in every references to “utf8” (set names, charater set
  2. execute the change on database utf8mb4
  3. execute the change on the tables: config, template, message, messagedata, event_log
  4. optionally other tables can be changed: user_user_history, subscribepage, subscribepage_data, i18n

To change database codification method:

    CHARACTER SET = utf8mb4
    COLLATE = utf8mb4_unicode_ci;

To change tables codification method:

ALTER TABLE table_name CONVERT TO CHARACTER SET utf8mb4 COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_ci;`

For more information about this topic:

As always, be aware that you should make backups prior to any commands that make this kind of change on the database.

1 Like

Thanks @racribeiro! Definitely going to try this :crossed_fingers:

@racribeiro I really appreciate your solution!

Manually encoding stopped working recently. This is the better way.