How to Turn off Highlighted Messages in Apple Mail

Adjust Mail's rules to remove highlighting

In Mail, Apple's built-in email client, you may find that some messages in your inbox are highlighted. In particular, messages coming from Apple are often highlighted in blue. This happens because of preset rules in Mail's Preferences area. If you don't want your messages from Apple or anyone else highlighted, it's easy to turn off any previously set rules, as well as remove existing highlights.

The information in this article applies to Apple Mail 9.3 and later versions.

Hand using laptop and mouse

Turn off Message Highlighting

Here's how to find and remove any preset Mail highlighting rules, including a rule that highlights Apple messages in blue.

  1. In the Mail app, select Mail > Preferences.

    Preferences in Apple Mail
  2. Go to the Rules tab.

    Selecting the Rules tab in Apple Mail.
  3. Look for rules such as News From Apple, or Apple News, or something similar. Any highlighting rules also will be highlighted in this list.

    Screenshot of highlighting rules set in Apple Mail
  4. To remove a rule, select the rule and then choose Remove.

    Select Edit to change the rule, including using a different highlight color.

    Selecting Remove on a rule in apple mail.
  5. In the dialog that appears asking if you're sure, select Remove again.

    Screenshot of removing highlighting in Apple Mail
  6. You've removed the rule and will no longer receive highlighted messages from that sender.

Remove Highlighting in Existing Messages

If there are highlighted messages in your inbox, it's easy to remove the highlighting effect and return them to a white background.

  1. Select a highlighted message in your inbox. To select a range of messages, hold down the Shift key.

    Screenshot of turning off highlighting in an Apple Mail inbox
  2. Select Format > Show Colors from the menu bar.

    emoving highlighting in Apple Mail messages
  3. In the color box that appears, select the color palette from the top, and then select White.

    removing background color in Apple Mail messages
  4. The selected email messages will no longer be highlighted.

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