How to Mark Mail as Spam (Junk Folder) in iOS Mail

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Remove spam from your inbox and teach your email service's spam filter in iOS Mail.

If the Server Identifies Spam, What If It Does Not?

Among the great things that come, typically, with an IMAP (or web-based) email account is spam filtering right at the server. Moving mail to the "spam" or "junk" folder will teach that filter, too, when it misses the occasional unwanted email.

iOS Mail offers a way, of course, to move mail to any folder—even in bulk.

It also offers a menu item, though, that may be easier and more confidently hit when the list of folders is long.

Mark Mail as Spam (Move It to the "Junk" Folder) in iOS Mail

To move a message to an IMAP account's "Junk" folder:

  • With the 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. In iOS Mail 8+:
      1. Select Mark… from the menu that has shown.
      2. Now select Move to Junk.
    4. In iOS Mail 7:
      1. Select Move to Junk from the menu that has appeared.

Mark Mail as Spam in Bulk with iOS Mail

To move more than one message to the "Junk" folder in one go in iOS Mail:

  1. Tap Edit in the message list or search results.
  2. Now tap all messages you want to mark as spam (i.e. move to the junk mail folder) so they—and only they—are checked.
  3. Tap Mark ([number of messages]) or Mark.
  4. Select Move to Junk from the menu that has appeared.

    What Will Happen If I Tap "Move to Junk"?

    Note that iOS Mail will move mail to the "Junk" folder unless it does know about the account's spam folder (as it does for iCloud MailGmail, Outlook Mail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL and maybe others).

    If the "Junk" folder does not exist in the IMAP account, iOS Mail will create it.

    Will Marking Mail as Spam Teach the Spam Filter in iOS Mail?

    What further effects your moving messages from the inbox—or any other folder—to the "Junk Mail" or "Spam" folder depends on how your email service interprets this action.

    Most common email services—including iCloud Mail, Gmail, Outlook Mail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL, Zoho Mail and Yandex.Mail—will treat messages you move to the spam folder as junk and update their spam filter to identify similar messages in the future, sometimes specifically for you.

    Does iOS Mail Itself Include a Spam Filter?

    iOS Mail does not come with spam filtering.

    If you access an email account through POP and find lots of junk messages in your inbox, see if you can either

    • switch to IMAP access for the account (and use the method above to mark mail as junk) or
    • turn on spam filtering for POP on the server (in which case you cannot easily mark as spam and may have to forward the message to a special address).

    (Updated May 2016, tested with iOS Mail 7 and iOS Mail 9)

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