How to Get VIP Email Alerts in iOS Mail

Set up special email alerts for certain contacts

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VIP notifications are Apple's Mail app alerts for select recipients. You might want to set email alerts for certain recipients if you don't want notifications for every single email that reaches your iPad or iPhone.

For example, you may set up your boss as a VIP sender to ensure that each email from her generates a special notification on your device so that you don't miss them. This is easy with VIP notifications.

These directions apply to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices running at least iOS 6.

How to Set Up VIP Email Alerts

The option to create VIP notifications is in the Settings app.

  1. Add a VIP sender if you don't already have one set up.

  2. Open the Settings app from the home screen.

    The iPad Settings app
  3. Tap Mail in the left panel to open the Mail settings. Tap Notifications.

    Mail settings on iPad
  4. Turn on Notifications by moving the slider next to Allow Notifications to the green/on position. Tap VIP in the middle of the Notifications screen.

    Notifications settings for Mail on iPad
  5. Pick an alert style for very important emails. Your choices include Lock Screen, Notification Center, and Banners.

    To turn off visual notifications for VIP emails, tap each of those options to remove the blue checkmark.

    Notifications checkmark in iOS settings
  6. Select Sounds to pick a distinctive sound for VIP emails.

    Sounds item in VIP Mail settings in iOS
  7. Select a notification sound from the Sounds screen. It should be different from other alerts your use. Tap any sound to hear a sample of it.

    Sounds screen in iPad settings
  8. Tap < VIP at the top of the Sounds screen to return to the VIP notification settings.

    VIP header in iOS Settings
  9. Optionally, enable previews from the Show Previews setting.

    Show Previews heading in iOS VIP notifications
  10. Tap the frequency you want to receive previews of emails from VIPs. Your options are always, when your device is unlocked, and never.

    Show Previews screen in iPad Mail app

Some devices might have only a toggle called Show Preview that you enable to receive previews for VIP emails.

Don't forget to change the Push settings on your device to ensure that new mail comes quickly. The alternative is to have your iPad or iPhone check for new mail less frequently, which might be what you prefer.