How to Save a Message as a Draft in iPhone Mail

Finish a message later by saving it as a draft on your iPhone

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Save an email as a draft in iOS Mail on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad and finish it later.

Instructions in this article apply to iOS 12, iOS 11, and iOS 10.

How to Save and Reopen a Message as a Draft in iPhone Mail

To save a message draft in iPhone Mail or iOS Mail on an iPad:

  1. In a new email message, tap Cancel, then tap Save Draft. The message disappears, but a copy is saved in the Drafts folder.

  2. To continue the message, go to the folders list, then select Drafts.

    Save Draft, Drafts folder in iOS Mail
  3. Tap a message to open it.

  4. Finish composing the message, then tap Send to transmit the message.

    Draft email subject line, Send button in iOS Mail

What Happens When You Save a Draft in iOS Mail

When you save a message as a draft, its current state — including the recipients (in the To, Cc and Bcc fields), the email subject text, and text and images in the email body — is saved in the Drafts folder.

With an IMAP account set up to synchronize (which is the default for most accounts), the message draft is saved on the server, and you can continue to work on the draft on any computer or device connected to the same email account using IMAP or a web interface, for example.

How to Move an Email Out of the Way in iOS Mail

To move an email you are composing out of the way so that you can read emails or start another email in iOS Mail, swipe down from the email subject line. To continue composing the draft, go to the bottom of the screen and tap the email subject line.

The iOS Mail app does not save messages to the Drafts folder or the IMAP server automatically. The out-of-the-way message draft is saved locally on the device. If you close and reopen iOS Mail or restart the device, the message will still be there, but you could also lose it if the device has a critical error.