What to do if the Characters palette won't appear in Safari

The palette sometimes does a hiding act due to a corrupted preference file.

macos emoji input

In some recent troubleshooting, I tried to get the Characters palette to appear by selecting the Input menu’s Emoji & Symbols item. This worked in every app except Safari: switching from, say, the Finder to Safari hid the palette. Choose Hide and Show from the Input menu didn’t fix it. Something was corrupted.

mac911 characters palette

Sometimes, this bad boy won’t show up.

If you have this problem, follow these steps:

  1. Quit Safari.
  2. In the Finder, select Go > Go to Folder or press Command-Shift-G.
  3. Now enter exactly the following: ~/Library/Preferences/
  4. You’ll now be in the Preferences folder for the currently logged in user. Find the file named com.apple.HIToolbox.plist and move it to the Trash.
  5. Launch Safari.
  6. Select Input menu > Show Emoji & Symbols.

You should now be able to see the Characters palette floating over any app you’re using.

Ask Mac 911

We’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions we get, and the answers to them: read our super FAQ to see if you’re covered. If not, we’re always looking for new problems to solve! Email yours to mac911@macworld.com including screen captures as appropriate. Mac 911 cannot reply to email with troubleshooting advice nor can we publish answers to every question.

To comment on this article and other Macworld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.