Home iOS How to make more effective use of Mail on iPhone and iPad

How to make more effective use of Mail on iPhone and iPad


If you use an iPhone or iPad to get things done, you really should make sure Mail on your device is working with you, not against you.

Use VIP for important items, that’s what it is for

The last thing anyone needs is constant notifications each time a new email lands in an account, which is why most of us disable them (Settings>Mail>Notifications). That’s fine, but some messages are urgent — which is where the VIP feature is helpful. I use it for important people such as close friends, family, work colleagues and for any business that may be in progress. That way, I get told when a new message appears from any of these people.

The simplest way to assign VIP status is to open an email from the contact, tap their email address in the “from” field to see their Contact card, and then tap Add to VIP in the options you see there. You should also ensure Notifications are active for VIP messages.

Monitor emails the easy way

When casting your eyes down your incoming email list, how many lines of text do you really need to see? How much scrolling action do you need to become completely up to date with incoming communications? Given that the first line or two of most emails tends to consist of formulaic greetings, you’ll need three lines at least to get the gist. That means you will see just a fraction of your mail when you first open the app and then you’ll need to scroll down the list.

What do you gain from this? Not a lot: just the chance to read those greeting messages.

Filter out the nonsense, open Settings>Mail>Preview and reduce the number of lines to None. Now you will see the sender and subject line of the message making it much easier to quickly scan and scroll through the list.  

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.


  1. When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the same comment. There has to be an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers. Nelia Bruis Rodl

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