How To Add or Edit WhatsApp Custom Emoticons

Bharat Khatri // November 28, 2017 // 61 Comments

WhatsApp one of the most used App for instant messaging. And yes it is for this app only that most of the smartphone brands started making good sales.

This is the only reason that old way of text messaging is finished. To use this app you just need internet data/WiFi and you can make an instant chat with any person around any corner of the world. It allows you to chat, share images, videos, locations and even voice call too.

No doubt about it, that it will keep on updating with new features time to time. While chatting we all use emoticons for different moods, puns or jokes it is an amusing thing to use while chatting.

WhatsApp already offers a large number of default emoticons in its chat window but still, you can add/edit custom Emoticons for your chat window.

Uses of Adding Custom Emoticons:

– You can use your brand/company logo with your promotion message.
– You can have fun by adding old Disney characters to it.
– Amaze others with this trick and be a Pro.

Screenshot_2015-07-28-02-18-17[1]Step-by-Step Guide to Add/Edit Custom Emoticons into your WhatsApp:

What will you need:

  • An android phone
  • A system running mac or windows.

Software for Mac/Windows:

All freeware software required (links in the description). Download 7zip freeware to extract your WhatsApp backup. To compile extracted and later, edit WhatsApp we will use apk tool freeware. Also, download imagemagick (explained below).

Also Read: How To Run Two WhatsApp Accounts In One Android

Make a backup of WhatsApp on your android phone. To do so, download an application which lets you make backups, I use ES File Explorer.

– After Installing, Open menu:- APP

Open menu and select APP

– Search for WhatsApp backup, wait for it to create the backup.

Search for WhatsApp backup

– After creating backup your backup will be located in /backups/apps/ and it should be named as Whatsapp.apk


– Now Connect your android phone to your computer and copy the backup file. Or you move it to your SD card also.


– Extract WhatsApp.apk using WinRAR or 7zip extractor. The extracted folder should look like this:

Extract whatsapp.apk using winRAR or 7zip extractorThese emoticons in WhatsApp are nothing but .png images of resolution 48X48 located inside res\drawable-hdpi

Open drawable-hdpi folder, you will see a number of WhatsApp emoticons. I don’t use the emoticon which is named “e31a.png” so I’m going to replace this emoticon with my customized one.

Using Photoshop I created this emoji:

funny right?

Then I replace this created emoji with the one located inside drawable-hdpi folder i.e “e31a.png” with the same resolution (48X48) then if I compile the folder with apktool I get an error saying resources are interchanged.

It just means that the new file (Photoshopped one) is bigger in size than the older “e31a.png” to overcome this, I used ImageMagick software which compresses the image by scraping unnecessary database off the image.

– All we have now is our customized new emoji. To reduce the size of new edited .png, open imagemagick.

Go to open-> select image -> save..that’s it!!



Your file is reduced to a few kilobytes. Rename the file to “e31a.png” copy and paste it in folder drawable-hdpi and replace it with the old file.


paste in drawable-hdpi folderNow your folder should contain:

1. Your backed up whatsapp.apk
2. apktool
3. Extracted and edited WhatsApp folder.

– Extract apktool, you will get this inside you apktool extracted folder.

Extract apktool

– Go to the explorer and delete the location and type “cmd“.



– Command window will pop-up, Type java -jar apktool.jar b AppFolder, where app folder is the name of your extracted folder, mine would be “WhatsApp_2.12.158”. So I will type “java -jar apktool.jar b WhatsApp_2.12.158“, then press Enter.

If it shows any error check your java installation.

Now you have successfully compiled the edited version of WhatsApp. The WhatsApp_2.12.158 which was previously backed up application is now the compiled version of our edited WhatsApp.

– Now copy WhatsApp_2.12.158.apk on your phone.

– Don’t install it, it’s unsigned right now. it will show parsing error. To sign it, install zip signer from Google Play Store.

– Once installed. Open it, select input file as your edited WhatsApp.apk, select output file as

– Select auto-testkey and then press sign the file. Its almost done.

– Open ES File Explorer. Go to the newly signed file, rename it to “whatsappedited.apk” instead of

Install it. and enjoy.Custom Emoticon Custom Emoticon Custom Emoticon

Got any questions? drop it in the comment section.

The downside of this method: The customized WhatsApp application file you will create after following these steps must be installed on the receiver’s end too otherwise the receiver will see gibberish emoji.

About the Author Bharat Khatri

An engineer, TV buff, tech Geek, curious about stuff that matters.

Alok Rana founder of LoudTechie. Like to share his blogging experience and resources with readers. Offering best money making blogging opportunities to new bloggers. He loves to talk about how to blog, SEO, Traffic Strategies and Marketing.

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