How to Add or Remove Additional Smart Inbox Folders in iOS Mail

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You can concentrate on unread mail, VIPs, attachments and more with smart mailboxes in iOS Mail.

Are You Looking for Clarity and Order?

So much mail! So many folders! Such numerous accounts!

Some emails are important—and flagged; some senders are, too—and marked VIPs. Many messages are new—appearing unread; some are addressed to you personally—and show it in their To: or Cc: lines. Some emails contain important documents—as attachments; some emails wait, patiently one hopes, in their inbox—across all those accounts.

iOS Mail Smart Folders Collect All Messages of a Type

iOS Mail can help you collect and focus on these message types. Ready-made smart folders show only unread messages, for instance, or messages with attachments, or drafts from all the "Drafts" folders.

Enabling these folders is easy, and they can make life much easier if you are looking, say, for recently flagged emails. If you tire of them, though, or find you use any too little to warrant a place in iOS Mail's Mailboxes list for easy access, you can disable them individually, of course.

Add Additional Smart Inbox Folders in iOS Mail

To enable smart folders that focus on certain types of messages in your iOS Mail email inboxes:

  1. Swipe in from the left edge until you are on the Mailboxes screen.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Makes sure all smart folders you want available are checked.
    1. Tap to toggle checked status for the following folders:
      1. All Inboxes: with multiple accounts, collects mail from all inbox folders.
      2. [Account name]: the account's inbox.
      3. VIP: messages from VIP senders in all inboxes.
      4. Flagged: flagged or starred emails from all inboxes.
      5. Unread: shows just the unread emails in all inboxes.
      6. To or CC: messages in your inboxes that have one of your email addresses listed as a direct To: or Cc: recipient (instead of your receiving the email as a mere Bcc: recipient).
      7. Attachments: all inbox messages that have one file attached at least.
      8. All Drafts: collects your email drafts from all accounts' "drafts" folders.
      9. All Sent: messages you sent, drawn from your every iOS Mail account's "sent" folder.
      10. All Trash: deleted messages from the "trash" or "deleted items" folders for all accounts set up in iOS Mail.
    2. (You can now also add regular folders from any account to the Mailboxes screen's quick access list, of course.)
  1. Tap Done.

Remove Smart Inbox Folders in iOS Mail

To remove a smart folder from your iOS Mail's Mailboxes screen and list:

  1. Swipe from the screen's left edge in (repeatedly, if necessary) so the Mailboxes sheet is visible.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Make sure all smart folders (and, of course, all other folders) you want to remove from Mailboxes are not checked.
    1. Tap checked smart folders to uncheck them.
  4. Now tap Done.

(Tested with iOS Mail 7 and iOS Mail 9)