How to Mark Email Unread in iPhone Mail

Use the iPhone Mail app's features to tame your inbox

One unread e-mail message concept with computer keyboard and e-mail symbol on wooden cube

adrian825 / Getty Images

What to Know

  • Mark an open email: Select the Reply button then choose Mark as Unread.
  • Mark multiple emails: From mailbox folder, select Edit. Tick each email you'd like to mark, then choose Mark > Mark as Unread.

Unread email in the iOS Mail app for iPhone and iPad appears with a blue circular indicator next to it in the mailbox. You can manually mark messages as unread in the Mail app. Here's how to mark individual or multiple messages as unread using any iOS device running iOS 10 or later.

Mark an Email as Unread in iOS Mail App

Follow these steps to mark an email message in your iPhone or iPad Mail inbox (or another Mail folder) as unread:

  1. Open the Mail app, go to the inbox, and tap a read message to open it. Messages that have been opened or read do not have a blue indicator next to them.

  2. Select the Reply icon. In older versions of iOS, the message toolbar may appear as a Flag icon. The toolbar is at the bottom of the iPhone and at the top of the iPad Mail app.

  3. Select Mark as Unread.

    iOS Mail mark as unread

When you return to the inbox, the message has a blue indicator that identifies it as unread. The message remains in the mailbox until you move it or delete it. It displays the blue indicator until you open it.

Mark Multiple Messages as Unread

You don't have to deal with emails one at a time. You can batch them and then take action:

  1. Go to the Mailbox inbox or folder that contains the messages you want to mark as unread.

  2. Tap Edit to display an empty circular button next to each email.

  3. Tap each circular button in front of the read messages — those without the blue unread indicator — that you want to mark as unread. A white check mark appears in the circular button.

  4. Tap Mark.

  5. Select Mark as Unread to mark the selected emails as unread.

    Edit button, checkbox, Mark as Unread button in iOS Mail

    If all the emails in the inbox have been opened, you don't need to make a selection. Scroll to the bottom of the inbox, select Mark All, then tap Mark as Unread. All the emails are assigned a blue indicator showing they are unread.

Was this page helpful?