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

Waiting for important email messages? Have iOS Mail notify you

The Mail program in iOS for iPhone and iPad contains a handy feature that sends notifications to you when a new message arrives—for every email or thread or specifically for those in a conversation thread you've marked. For new replies to conversations you mark, you receive the iOS alerts, banners, sounds, and notifications you choose.

Instructions in this article apply to iPhone and iPad devices with iOS 14 through iOS 8 or iPadOS 14 or iPadOS 13.

Turn on Notifications for Mail Threads

Mail notifications are not turned on by default. You can turn on notifications and specify the type of notifications for the threads in your inbox.

  1. Open Settings on your iOS device and tap Notifications.

    iPhone Settings showing the Notifications option
  2. In the Notifications screen, scroll down and select Mail.

  3. Turn on the Allow Notifications toggle switch and then select Thread Notifications.

    Path to turn on iPhone mail thread notifications
  4. In the Thread Notifications screen, turn on the Allow Notifications toggle switch.

  5. Tap the circles under Lock Screen and Notification Center to see those alerts. Choose the circle under Banners for those notifications.

  6. Choose Sounds to play a sound when an alert comes through. Choose Badges to put a notification on the Mail icon when you receive a reply.

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

Set Alerts for Replies to a Specific Thread

If you don't want notifications for all the threads in your Mail inbox, you can opt to have iOS Mail alert you about replies to a specific email thread:

  1. Open an email in the thread or start a new reply to a thread.

  2. Tap the bell icon located to the right of the Subject field. If you don't see it, tap the subject field to display the bell.

  3. Select Notify Me on the pop-up screen. When thread alerts are on, the bell icon appears filled in instead of as an outline. You'll receive a notification when a message for the thread is received.

  4. Tap the solid-color bell icon to turn off notifications for the thread.

    Notication bell for turning notifications on and off

Setting Alerts for an Existing Thread in the Inbox

You can also turn on thread notifications for specific conversations directly from the Mail inbox.

  1. Locate the email thread you want to receive alerts about in the inbox.

  2. Swipe left over the message. Tap the More option (gray box with three dots).

  3. Scroll to the bottom of the menu and tap Notify Me to turn on notifications for the thread.

    Turning on notifications for a thread from the Mail Inbox
  4. To turn off notifications, return to the thread, tap the arrow icon at the bottom of the screen and select Stop Notifying.

    Path to stopping notifications on a watched thread

How Can I Find the Threads I Am Watching?

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

If you're in a meeting and need to turn off all notifications and phone calls temporarily, open the iOS Control Center and tap the Do Not Disturb icon (a crescent moon).

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