How to Change the New Mail Sound in iOS Mail

You can pick special sounds for VIPs and threads on iPhone or iPad

Man using a smartphone

Uwe Krejci/Getty Images

You can set up unique sounds for each email account on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Another option is to have your device make a unique sound when VIP senders email you or when you get emails from certain threads.

Sounds are built-in to your device, and you can pick any of them for new email sounds. Just open the Mail settings to select an alert tone or ringtone for new emails, or to buy new sounds for email alerts.

With all the different sounds you can use, and the rich customizations you can make to your email settings, you'll know whether that email sound you hear is important and needs addressed right now, or if you can leave it be until later.

These steps should work for any iOS device that's running a modern version of Mail, including devices running iOS 11 and iOS 12.

How to Pick a New Email Sound in iOS Mail

  1. Open the Settings app on your device.

  2. Go to Notifications > Mail.

    Notifications, Mail icons in iOS Settings
  3. Choose the account you want to make changes to, and then select Sounds.

    VIP settings, Sounds, Thread Notifications in iOS Settings

    You can change the email sound to three types of accounts:

    • Select an email account to change its new email sound.
    • If you have VIP senders set up, you can make Mail create a different sound to distinguish those senders from other recipients. To do that, choose VIP instead of any specific email account.
    • Or, pick Thread Notifications to make a different email sound for the messages you've enabled notifications for.

    If you don't see any accounts listed and the Allow Notifications option is white, then Mail notifications are disabled. Tap the button to make it green and enable Mail notifications.

    Custom sounds for VIP and Thread Notifications will work even if other Mail notifications are disabled.

  4. Select the new email sound you want to use for this email account, all your VIP senders, or all email threads that have notifications enabled.

    Tone Store, Note, Alert Tones store in iOS

    Each tone you select will play a preview sound. You can also choose Tone Store at the top of the screen to shop for new sounds.

  5. Press the home button to save and exit the settings, or repeat the steps to change the email sound for a different email account.