How to Postpone an Email in Outlook for iOS

Wolsztyn arrivals and departures- Godziny Przyjazdu i Odjazdu May 1991
Wolsztyn arrivals and departures- Godziny Przyjazdu i Odjazdu May 1991. © Sludge G; CC BY-SA 2.0 license

Is an old friend coming to town—3 weeks from now? Have you just promised to email a report—next year? Do you prefer not to think of and not to see this message—right now?

If you need or want to get back to an email later and keep your inbox clean and efficient, too (so you do actually get back to these emails, say the flagged ones, in time), what are your options? Archive? Delete?

Keep Your Inbox Clean and Deal with Emails in Time

What you want is the message removed from your inbox, but only until you need to return to it.

How about a tool that returns it for you to the inbox at just the right time?

Outlook for iOS’s scheduling command does just that: it moves mail to a special folder and returns it automatically to your inbox (focused or other) when you need it.

Postpone an Email in Outlook for iOS

To schedule a message for later in Outlook for iOS and have it removed from your inbox until that time:

  1. Open the message you want to postpone.
    • You can also postpone by swiping; see below for setting this up and how to do it.
  2. Tap the menu button (⠐⠐⠐) in the message’s toolbar.
  3. Select Schedule from the menu.
  4. Now choose the desired time:
    • In a few hours, This evening, Tomorrow morning and other suggested times.
    • To select a specific day and time for the message to return to your inbox:
      1. Select Choose a time.
      2. Choose the desired date and time.
      3. Tap Schedule.

Postpone by Swiping

To set up a swiping gesture for scheduling messages in Outlook for iOS:

  1. Go to the Settings tab in Outlook for iOS.
  2. Tap Swipe Options under DEFAULTS.
  3. Make sure Schedule is selected for either Swipe Left or Swipe Right:
    1. Tap the current action for the swiping gesture you would like to use for postponing.
    2. Select Schedule from the menu that appears.

Now, to postpone an email by swiping:

  • Swipe left or right (depending on which gesture you set up for scheduling) over the message in the email list.
  • Choose the desired scheduled time for the message to return.

Find a Postponed Message Before Its Due Time

To open an email that you have scheduled before it has been returned to the inbox folder:

  1. Open the Scheduled folder for the account that holds the postponed email.
  2. Find and open the desired message in the list.
    • You can also use Outlook for iOS search to find the desired email; it will include messages from the Scheduled folder.
      Note that you cannot reschedule or unschedule messages opened through search, though.

Unschedule a Message in Outlook for iOS and Return It to the Inbox Instantly

To have an email returned to the inbox instantly (and unschedule its future return):

  1. Find the message you want to move back to the inbox in the Scheduled folder.
  2. Use swiping or the message's menu to bring up the scheduling menu. (See above.)
  3. Select Unschedule from the menu.
    • Of course, you can also pick a new time for the message to be returned automatically.

(Updated July 2015)

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