How to Set Up Mail VIP Contacts in macOS, iOS 11, and iCloud Mail

by

In Apple Mail, finding email messages from certain contacts can be made easier by giving them a "VIP" status. Short for Very Important Person, VIPs are identified in your inbox by a star next to the person's name in any messages you receive from them. Messages from the same VIP are also displayed in their own folder in a special VIP smart mailbox that sits in Apple Mail's Favorites bar.

You can assign up to 100 VIPs, and if you use iCloud Contacts, your VIPs are available on any other Apple devices signed in to the same account. Moreover, you can choose to be notified of emails only when the messages are from people in your VIPs list, thanks to Apple Mail's custom alerts feature. Keep reading to learn how to set up VIPs on macOS, iOS 11 (including Apple Watch), and iCloud Mail.

How to Add a Contact to Your VIP List in macOS
How to Revoke a Contact's VIP Status in macOS
How to Set Up VIP Alerts in macOS

How to Add a Contact to Your VIP List in iOS 11
How to Revoke a Contact's VIP status in iOS 11
How to Set Up VIP Alerts in iOS 11 and Apple Watch

How to Add a Contact to Your VIP List in iCloud Mail
How to Revoke a Contact's VIP Status in iCloud Mail

How to Add a Contact to Your VIP List in macOS

  1. Launch the stock Mail app on your Mac.

  2. Select a message in your inbox from the sender that you want to make a VIP.

  3. Move your mouse cursor next to the person's name in the message header and click the star that appears so that it turns opaque. Alternatively, click the down arrow next to the name or address and select Add to VIPs in the dropdown menu.

With at least one contact in your VIPs list, a special VIP inbox will appear in the Favorites bar. If you click the VIP inbox and select a VIP, only messages from that person will be shown in the message list.

How to Revoke a Contact's VIP Status in macOS

In Mail, you can right-click on a person's VIP mailbox in the sidebar and select Remove from VIPs. Alternatively:

  1. Select a message in your inbox from the person whose VIP status you want to remove.

  2. Click the star next to the person's name so that the symbol is no longer opaque. You can also click the down arrow next to the name or address and select Remove from VIPs in the dropdown menu.

How to Set Up VIP Alerts in macOS

  1. Launch the Mail app.

  2. Select Preferences... from the Mail menu bar.

  3. Stay in the General pane, and select VIPs from the dropdown menu next to New message notifications.

How to Add a Contact to Your VIP List in iOS 11

  1. Launch the Mail app on your iPhone or iPad.

  2. Tap Mailboxes in the upper left corner of the screen.

  3. If you've not created any VIPs before, tap the VIP inbox, which should appear below your regular mailboxes. If you're adding to an existing VIP list, tap the circled 'i' icon next to the VIP inbox.

  4. Tap Add VIP. This option will appear either at the center of the screen if you have no VIPs yet, or at the bottom of your existing VIP list.

  5. Select the person from your contacts that you'd like to add to your VIP list. (Note that the contact card needs to include their email address, otherwise you won't be able to add them as a VIP.)

How to Revoke a Contact's VIP status in iOS 11

  1. Launch the Mail app on your iPhone or iPad.

  2. Tap Mailboxes in the upper left corner of the screen.

  3. Tap the circled 'i' icon next to the VIP inbox.

  4. Swipe across the name of the person you want to remove from your VIP list, tap Delete, and you're done. Alternatively, if you want to remove several contacts, tap Edit in the upper right corner of the screen.

  5. Tap the red minus symbol next to the contacts that you wish to remove from your VIP list.

  6. Tap Delete.

  7. Tap Done in the upper right corner of the screen.

How to Set Up VIP Alerts in iOS 11 and Apple Watch

You can set custom notifications using the VIP alerts button on the VIP list screen. To change your custom VIP alerts at any time, open the Settings app and tap through to Notifications -> Mail -> VIP.

Similarly, you may find email alerts on your Apple Watch aren't worth your time unless the messages are from specific people. So add these to your VIP list, and you can disable all watch Mail notifications except for VIP alerts. You can find these settings in the iOS Watch app in Notifications -> Mail.

How to Add a Contact to Your VIP List in iCloud Mail

  1. If you haven't already, navigate to icloud.com in a web browser, sign in using your Apple ID credentials, and select Mail in the web app list.

  2. Select a message in your inbox from the sender you want to make a VIP.

  3. Click the sender's name or email address in the message header.

  4. In the dropdown menu, tick the checkbox next to VIP and click Save.

Note that you can also make a sender a VIP by dragging a message from the sender to the VIP folder in the iCloud Mail sidebar.

How to Revoke a Contact's VIP Status in iCloud Mail

  1. In iCloud Mail, select a message from the person whose VIP status you want to remove.

  2. Click the sender's name or email address in the message header.

  3. In the dropdown menu, untick the checkbox next to VIP and click Save.
Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Tag: Mail
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
32 months ago
they should pay much more attention to mail app, they've been ignoring it for a long time .. it's ok for a personal usage, but I'm missing some important features for a work related mail handling - especially more advanced text formatting/highlighting, issues with tables, not possibly to schedule emails etc etc. But Apple has been ignoring MacOS as a whole for quite some time (I blame Cook) which is sad
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago
macOS has a limit of 100 VIP, but iOS doesn’t, so you can add 100+ via your iDevice and these will work as will on the macOS mail app. Been using the “trick” for a few years, no problem so far on macOS Sierra.

You can also add VIP to contacts who aren't in your address book on iOS. When you receive an email in the iOS mail app, just click on the email address in the open email and there will appear a window overlay on top. In one of the first fields, you can choose "add to VIP".

Wish apple would remove the limit, since I like using it for important clients
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories: iOS 14 Feature Tour, 'iPhone 12 mini' Rumors, Apple Watch Band Controversy

Saturday September 26, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch. On top of all of that, we heard...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

iOS 14: 'Phoenix 2' Space Shooter Delivers Playable Demo via App Clips

Saturday September 26, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
One of the new features that arrived in iOS 14 is called App Clips. App Clips is described by Apple to be a "small part of your app" that can be available to users at just the right moment.App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly. An ideal App Clip experience allows users to open and complete a task in seconds. Instead of requiring an App Store download, they can be loaded and run via...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...

Upcoming Xbox App Update Will Let Xbox Users Stream Games to iPhone and iPad

Friday September 25, 2020 11:58 am PDT by
Microsoft is testing a new version of its Xbox app that will let Xbox users play games remotely on their iPhones and iPads using streaming functionality. The new feature was rolled out to TestFlight users this morning. The Xbox streaming option is distinct from Microsoft's xCloud service, which it has been clashing with Apple over. xCloud is designed to stream games from Microsoft's servers, ...

Microsoft Internally Worked on a Mac OS X Aqua Inspired Windows XP Theme

Saturday September 26, 2020 10:51 am PDT by
Microsoft tested a Windows XP theme that closely resembled Mac OS X's Aqua GUI, reports The Verge. A recent Windows XP source code leak has revealed various unreleased themes that Microsoft developed in 2000, at a time when Microsoft was in heated competition with Apple regarding desktop operating systems. One of the themes, codenamed "Candy," mirrors the design of Apple's Aqua...

Video Offers Closer Look at Apple Face Mask

Friday September 25, 2020 5:25 am PDT by
YouTube channel Unbox Therapy has today shared a new video giving a closer look at Apple's reusable face masks for corporate and retail employees. Apple's own face mask was designed by the company's Engineering and Industrial Design teams amid the global health crisis for corporate and retail employees, and the boxes include Apple's famous "Designed by Apple in California" text. The...

iPhone 12 May Launch Earlier Than Usual in South Korea

Monday September 28, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 12 lineup may launch earlier than usual in South Korea, reports The Korea Herald. South Korean telecoms firms speaking to The Korea Herald have said that the iPhone 12 lineup will launch ahead of its usual schedule. Normally, the release of new iPhones in South Korea comes about one month after launch in the United States. Last year, the iPhone 11 arrived in South Korea ...

New Version of Microsoft Office Coming Next Year That Won't Require a Subscription

Thursday September 24, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Microsoft will next year offer a new perpetual release of Microsoft Office for Mac and Windows that doesn't require a subscription to use, according to the software giant (via Windows Central). "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021," said Microsoft in a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange server,...

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...