How to Pick Folders to Push in iPhone Mail

Sync specific email folders to your iPhone

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When you set up email on your iPhone, you may have chosen for all email folders from the server to be synced to your phone. What if you don't want every folder pushed?

Fortunately, if you have an IMAP or Exchange account set up, you have control over which folders are pushed to the Mail app. Any changes made to those folders on the server will be reflected on your iPhone, too.

These steps are confirmed to work for iOS 11 and newer versions of iOS, but they might also be relevant for older versions.

How to Sync Certain Email Folders

If you have an Exchange account set up on your iPhone, you can choose which folders to push to your device from the settings.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Go to Passwords & Accounts, or Mail, Contacts, Calendars on some older devices.

  3. Select Fetch New Data at the bottom, and then choose the Exchange account you want to edit.

    Settings, Passwords & Accounts, Fetch New Data screens on iPhone

    On some devices, you won't see the Fetch New Data option, so just tap the Exchange account and then choose Mail Folders to Push.

  4. Choose Push if you see that option. Otherwise, select all the folders whose changes you want to be sent to iPhone Mail automatically.

Make sure the folders have a check mark next to them. You can't uncheck Inbox.

To sync certain email folders on an IMAP account, you need to see if your email provider supports customizations like that. Gmail, for example, lets you pick which labels to show in IMAP accounts, meaning that if you hide those labels, they won't show up on your iPhone.

However, you can't do this from your phone. To take Gmail as an example, you have to log in to your account in a web browser and access the Labels area of your settings. From there, you can uncheck labels to prevent those folders from syncing to the Mail app on your phone.

Gmail Show in IMAP options for labels