How to Mark Emails as Read or Unread on iPhone

mark emails as read or unread on iphone

With the dozens or hundreds (or more!) of emails we get every day, keeping your iPhone inbox organized can be a challenge. With such high volume, you need a quick way to handle your mail. Luckily, some features built into the Mail app that comes with the iPhone (and iPod touch and iPad) make that easier. Marking emails as read, unread, or flagging them for later attention is one of the best ways to manage the email inbox on your iPhone.

How to Mark iPhone Emails as Read

New emails that have not yet been read have blue dots next to them in the Mail inbox. The total number of these unread messages is also the number displayed on the Mail app icon. Whenever you open an email in the Mail app, it's automatically marked as read. The blue dot disappears and the number on the Mail app icon declines. You can also remove the blue dot without opening the email by following these steps:

  1. In the inbox, swipe from left to right across the email.
  2. This reveals the blue Read button at the left edge of the screen.
  3. Swipe all the way across until the email snaps back (you can also stop swiping partway across to reveal the Read button). The blue dot will be gone and the message will now be marked as read.

How to Mark Multiple iPhone Emails as Read

If there are multiple messages that you want to mark as read at once, follow these steps:

  1. Tap Edit at the top right corner of the inbox.
  2. Tap each email you want to mark as read. A checkmark will appear to show that you've selected that message.
  3. Tap Mark in the bottom left corner.
  4. In the pop-up menu, tap Mark as Read.

Marking Emails as Read with IMAP

Sometimes emails are marked as read without you doing anything on your iPhone. If any of your email accounts use the IMAP protocol (Gmail is the account that most people have that uses IMAP), any message you read or mark as read in a desktop or web-based email program will be marked on the iPhone as read. That's because IMAP syncs messages and message status across all devices that use those accounts. Sound interesting? Learn how to turn IMAP on and configure your email programs to use it.

How to Mark iPhone Emails as Unread

You may read an email and then decide you want to mark it as unread. This can be a good way to remind yourself that an email is important and you need to come back to it. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the inbox of the Mail app and find the message (or messages) you want to mark as unread.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Tap each email you want to mark as unread. A checkmark will appear to show that you've selected that message.
  4. Tap Mark in the bottom left corner
  5. In the pop-up menu, tap Mark as Unread.

Alternatively, if there's an email in your inbox that's already marked as read, swipe left to right across it to either reveal the Unread button or swipe all the way across.

How to Flag Emails on iPhone

The Mail app also lets you flag messages by adding an orange dot next to them. Many people flag emails as a way to remind themselves that the message is important or that they need to take action on it. Flagging (or unflagging) messages is very similar to marking them. Here's how:

  1. Go to the Mail app and find the message you want to flag.
  2. Tap the Edit button.
  3. Tap each email you want to flag. A checkmark will appear to show that you've selected that message.
  4. Tap Mark in the bottom left corner.
  5. In the pop-up menu, tap Flag.

You can Flag multiple messages at once using the same steps as described in the last few sections. You can also flag an email by swiping right to left and tapping the Flag button.

To see a list of all of your flagged emails, tap the Mailboxes button in the top left corner to move back to your list of email inboxes. Then tap Flagged