Use mailboxes to organize emails on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

With Mail, you can create mailboxes to organize your emails or use Smart Mailboxes that sort emails automatically. You can also create shortcuts for mailboxes, reorder them, and more.

What's a mailbox?

A mailbox is a folder that you can use to sort your emails in. In the Mail app, you can use standard mailboxes—like Inbox, Sent, Drafts, and Trash—or you can create custom mailboxes. If you want the Mail app to sort your emails automatically, you can also use Smart Mailboxes.

To find, create, and manage mailboxes for your email account, open Mail and go to the Mailboxes list. If you're in the Inbox, tap  in the upper-left corner to see your Mailboxes list.


Sort emails automatically with Smart Mailboxes

A Smart Mailbox gathers all emails that meet certain criteria, like unread emails or emails from VIPs, so you can find them in one place. The Mail app automatically sets up Smart Mailboxes for you to use.

To show or hide Smart Mailboxes, tap Edit in the upper-right corner of the Mailboxes list. Then tap the Smart Mailboxes that you want to see and tap Done.

Tap a Smart Mailbox, like Today, to see emails that meet that criteria.


Create custom mailboxes

Create custom mailboxes to sort your emails into categories like work, family, and more. Here’s how:

  1. In the Mailboxes list, tap Edit in the upper-right corner, then tap New Mailbox. 
  2. Give your mailbox a name. If you have more than one email account set up on your device, tap Mailbox Location and choose the account where you want to create a mailbox.
  3. Tap Save, then tap Done.

You can find your new mailbox in the Mailboxes list under the account where you created it. You can also create a shortcut for a custom mailbox so you can find it at the top of the Mailboxes list.

Move emails to a mailbox

After you create a custom mailbox, you can move emails to it. Here's how:

Move an email

Swipe left over an email in the Inbox and tap More. Tap Move Message, then choose a mailbox to move the email to.

Move multiple emails

Tap Edit in the upper-right corner of the Inbox. Tap the emails, tap Move, then choose a mailbox to move the email to.

Use 3D Touch

Press deeply*on an email in the Inbox, then swipe up and tap Move Message. Then choose a mailbox to move the email to.

*3D Touch is available on iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus.

Manage your mailboxes

Quickly access mailboxes by creating shortcuts for them, reorder mailboxes, and delete the mailboxes you don't want.


Add a shortcut for custom mailboxes

You can create a shortcut for mailboxes you create so you can easily find them at the top of the Mailboxes list.

  1. Tap Edit in the upper-right corner of the Mailboxes list.
  2. Scroll down and tap Add Mailbox. 
  3. Tap the mailbox that you want to create a shortcut for. If you have multiple accounts set up, tap the account that has the mailbox, then tap the mailbox.
  4. Tap Done.


Reorder mailboxes in your Mailboxes list

  1. Tap Edit in the upper-right corner of your Mailboxes list.
  2. Touch and hold  next to the mailbox and drag it up or down the list.
  3. Tap Done.


Delete a custom mailbox

When you delete a custom mailbox, it permanently deletes all the email inside of the mailbox and from your account. Before you delete a mailbox, you can move the emails to another mailbox.

To delete a mailbox:

  1. Go to your Mailboxes list and tap Edit in the upper-right corner.
  2. Tap the mailbox you want to delete.
  3. Tap Delete Mailbox.
  4. Tap Delete, then tap Done.

You can only delete custom mailboxes.

Learn more

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