How to Mark Mail as Spam in iOS Mail

Marking spam as junk instructs email clients to update their spam filters

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The Mail app on Apple's iOS mobile devices isn't limited to handling only Apple email addresses. It handles mail from any of the mail clients you configure to run with the app. Mail is preconfigured for use with many of the most popular email clients, including AOL, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Outlook, and Exchange accounts. If your email program of choice isn't on the list, you can configure it manually. Each account is given its own inbox, and its folders are copied from the email provider so that you can access them on your iPhone or another iOS device. You can check each of your accounts separately using the Mail app on your iPhone or iPad.

When the email accounts are properly configured, you can send and receive email through all your accounts separately. In most cases, you can create or edit folders for individual accounts you access in the Mail app. You can train the email accounts to recognize and prevent spam from ever reaching your iOS device by marking it as spam in the Mail app. To do that, you send the offending email to the Junk folder on your iOS device.  

Moving Spam Emails to the Junk Folder

The iOS Mail app offers a couple of ways to move mail to a Junk folder—even in bulk. Among the convenient features that come with ​an email account that is web-based is spam filtering right at the server. Moving mail to the Junk folder in iOS Mail notifies the spam filter at the server that it missed an unwanted spam email, so it can stop it next time.

To move a message to an account's Junk folder in iOS, open the inbox that contains the email:

With the spam message open:

  1. Tap the flag button.

  2. Select Move to Junk from the menu.

In the message list:

  1. Swipe across the message from the right to left just enough to reveal the More menu. 

  2. Tap More.

  3. Select Mark… from the menu that appears.

  4. Now select Move to Junk.

Mark Mail as Spam in Bulk With iOS Mail

To move more than one message to the Junk folder at the same time in iOS Mail:

  1. Tap Edit in the message list.

  2. Tap all messages you want to mark as spam so that they—and only they—are checked.

  3. Tap Mark.

  4. Select Move to Junk from the menu that opened.

When you instruct iOS Mail to move a spam email to the Junk folder, it does just that, as long as it knows about the account's spam folder as it does for iCloud MailGmail, Outlook Mail, Yahoo Mail, AOL, Zoho Mail, Yandex.Mail, and some others. If the Junk folder does not exist in the account, iOS Mail creates it.

The Effect of Marking Mail As Junk

The effect of moving messages from the inbox or any other folder to the Junk folder depends on how your email service interprets the action. Most common email services treat messages you move to the Junk folder as a signal to update their spam filter to identify similar messages in the future.

Does iOS Mail Include a Spam Filter?

The iOS Mail app does not come with spam filtering. 

How to Block Individual Email Senders on iPhone or iPad

Spam filters aren't perfect. If you end up receiving spam email in the iOS Mail app even after you mark the sender or email address as Junk, the best solution is to block the sender entirely. Here's how:

To block a sender or email address, tap Settings > Messages > Blocked > Add New and then type or paste in the sender's email address to block all email from that address. This same screen can contain phone numbers to block phone calls and text messages as well.