How to Get Alerts for New Replies in a Thread with iOS Mail

Mail Received Notification

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The Mail program in iOS for iPhone and iPad contains a handy feature that will send notifications to you whenever a new message arrives from a conversation thread you've marked. This is separate from VIP senders, which lets you mark individual email addresses and adds their message to a dedicated folder.

For new replies to conversations you mark, you'll get iOS alerts, banners, sounds, and notifications you choose.

These instructions apply to devices running iOS 8 and later.

Turn on Notifications for Mail

Before you can take full advantage of Mail notifications, you'll need to make sure you can receive them. Here's how to make sure you can.

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone, and then tap Notifications.

    The locations of the Settings app and the Notifications menu on an iPhone
  2. Tap Mail in the list of apps. Check that the switch next to Allow Notifications is set to on/green, and then tap Thread Notifications below the list of inboxes.

    Turn on iPhone mail thread notifications
  3. On the next screen, make sure the switch next to Allow Notifications is on/green. The notifications options for email threads are the same as the ones for all notifications.

    You can choose to see them on the Lock Screen and in the Notification Center. You can also turn on Banners and have them show up temporarily or stay on the screen until you dismiss them. The Sounds and Badges options let you choose to play a sound when an alert comes through and put a notification on the Mail icon when you receive a reply.

    Thread Notifications settings on an iPhone
  4. You'll receive alerts when you receive new emails in the thread according to the options you chose.

Get Alerts for New Replies in a Thread with iOS Mail While Writing

To have iOS Mail alert you about replies to an email you are writing:

  1. Tap the bell icon outline on the right of the Subject field while you're writing the message.

  2. Select Notify Me in the window that appears.

  3. When thread alerts are on, the bell icon will appear filled in instead of as an outline. You'll receive a notification when you receive another message on this thread.

    Tap the bell icon on the right of the subject line and tap Notify Me to turn on notifications.
  4. Tap the bell icon again to turn the notifications off.

Get Alerts for New Replies to an Existing Thread with iOS Mail

You can also turn on text thread notifications for conversations that already exist. Here's how.

  1. Open the email thread you want to receive alerts about.

  2. Tap the flag button, select Notify Me from the menu that appears, and then tap Notify Me again to confirm.

    Click the flag icon, and then tap Notify Me to turn on notifications and Notify Me to confirm
  3. You can also reach this menu from your inbox. Swipe left over the message, tap the More option (it's a grey box with three dots in it), and then tap Notify Me.

    Turning on notifications in iOS Mail
  4. Turn off notifications by returning to the thread. Tap the flag button, and then select Stop Notifying from the menu.

How Can I Find the Threads I Am Watching?

To spot conversations and emails that have thread alerts enabled in iOS Mail, look for the bell icon in the message list, in front of the sender or subject, or in the email to the right of the subject header line.