How to Flag Emails Using Different Colors on iPhone and iPad

In iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, Apple's Mail app retains the swipe gestures of previous iOS versions that help you reduce the amount of time you spend managing messages in your inbox.

The basic inbox gestures still involve swiping right or left on an email to reveal tappable actions that you can perform instantly, without having to call up additional menus.

One of the default options that appear is the Flag action, which you might use to categorize a message that requests information needed by a certain date, for example.

Using only the swipe gesture, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the Mail app provides only one color to use when flagging emails, but ‌iOS 13‌ actually introduces support for multicolor flags – it's just hidden away in the menu that appears when you hit the Reply button.

mail
Tap the Flag button there, and you'll reveal a submenu that allows you to choose one of seven colors, including the option to remove a flag. Note that whichever color you select here subsequently becomes the default color when you tap the Flag action or the More -> Mark... option via the inbox swipe gesture.

Did you know that you can customize the actions that appear when you use the Mail app's inbox gestures? Click here to learn how.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS
Tag: Mail


Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
11 weeks ago
"it's just hidden away in the menu that appears when you hit the Reply button."

Who thought of that? iOS 13 developer meeting:

"Oh, let's move most of the options, including move and archive, behind an arrow that makes people think they're going to reply to an email."

"Shall we also remove loads of icons from the bottom so that it's just wasted space?"

"Sure! hahaha"

"OK, I'll get right on it after I've messed up notifications, gMail access, and actually displaying mails in the combined inbox".
Rating: 21 Votes
Avatar
11 weeks ago
remember when Apple just worked? Now we got options being „hidden“ behind the most unintuitive areas.

Two more things come to mind: the AA icon in Safari hiding everything from desktop view to content blockers. Maybe it’s just me but that icon implies font sizes to me.

also really hidden is the drawing tool on images. Literally no one I know even knows about it existence.

Of course the iPad gestures over the years take the cake



Rating: 11 Votes
Avatar
11 weeks ago


"it's just hidden away in the menu that appears when you hit the Reply button."

"Oh, let's move most of the options, including move and archive, behind an arrow that makes people think they're going to reply to an email."

"Shall we also remove loads of icons from the bottom so that it's just wasted space?"


This is probably the most annoying thing about iOS 13 for me. Why hide commonly used actions inside a menu (that doesn’t even look like it could be used for such actions “reply”) when there’s plenty of space for an archive or move command? So incredibly dumb. I just can’t understand how this is their solution.
Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
11 weeks ago
For once, the crappy news outlets are spot on: iOS 13 is a complete mess. If I could go back to 12, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
11 weeks ago
The Mail App on iOS 13 is a buggy mess. Since the update it’s constantly showing me unread E-Mails (red badge over the icon) even though there are none. Will have to make the switch to outlook I guess.
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
11 weeks ago


I hate to be one of those people who says Apple is losing their touch, but Apple is really losing their touch.

Well, they've lost their 3D touch.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
11 weeks ago


For once, the crappy news outlets are spot on: iOS 13 is a complete mess. If I could go back to 12, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

I’m sticking to iOS 12 on my phone because of these mail issues. I’m too dependent on getting emails on my phone to have that function disrupted.

If you hurry, and download the iOS 12.4.x .ipsw, you may be able to put your device into DFU mode and restore back to iOS 12. You’ll have to hurry though, as Apple will stop signing this version of iOS soon, forcing everyone to 13.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
11 weeks ago


I honestly thought would be able to filter emails create rules directly from iOS. Seems they missed giving us that feature.


Yup - and I feel like there was rumours of ‘smart’ mailbox features coming. Kind of like what a lot of other mail apps have been adding for triaging mail items.


Apple design is astounding stupid here. We should have icons for common functions on a mail message. We do have delete and move. We also have an icon for reply, another very common function. But it doesn’t reply. Nope. Rather it hides a bunch of features including reply. Why on earth would they not have a reply, reply all, and forward icon? There are well established icons for those functions. In fact those icons do show on the sheet when you touch the reply icon. So the reply icon has two meanings on a mail message. I don’t know much about design theory but this certainly is at odds with the most common of sense.


And it’s not like they don’t have space for it. Look at the bottom of an email (screenshot attached)



Why not have a few icons like reply, reply all, forward, flag, and then maybe usual 3 dots for more options (basically what the current reply arrow is showing).

Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
11 weeks ago
Hiding everything behind a (reply) button is a dumb idea... I though iPadOS was suppose to utilise the power and size of these devices and instead they just create loads of wasted space.

If they are going to hide everything why can’t they allow you to swipe and then long press on flag to chose a colour.


The new simplified way... all hidden under one accessible button:

1. So I swipe a message
2. Press flag... oh dam wrong colour.
3. Swipe to unflag
4. Press on a reply button :rolleyes:
5. Change colour... sigh!

I really like some of the features introduced but there are also so many irritating and unnecessary steps backwards!
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
11 weeks ago


Those icons (Reply, Reply All, Forward and Delete) are there ... right at the top of the share sheet. Are you even using iOS13/13.1.1? Better yet: Are you using an Exchange/ActiveSync supported account or iCloud? What you imply is Apple fully screwing over thousands of Business clients that got ActiveSync support since iOS3.x ~ that would be a VERY idiotic move of them.

That said ... I have to ask who the hell is in charge of end user UI in iOS13 at Apple? How can SOOO many inconsistencies be overlooked, ignored, or even missed? The care in polish is lacking ... as if kids of university that grew up on Slack have NEVER USED email.

PS: Will all those social media registration (register with Google/FB and now with Apple), collaborative chat based app/ui (Slack, and now Box, etc) they all collectively nor individually have fully replaced email use in ANY business Corporate/Incorporate regardless of the size. fascinating.


I think he's saying why are basic mail functions now buried under a submenu? See below from iDB from iOS12 look

What was wrong with the action buttons across the bottom of the email (flag, move, delete and THEN an action button for "more") window like they used to be and is intuitive to have the functions for that email right there?

And why is there now a trash icon and then in the submenu a trash icon again (to the right of reply/reply all/delete in the submenu)? Lol. It's SUCH a mess whoever designed this.

This app was not redesigned by someone who is a heavy email user. They tried to make it more minimalistic which wasn't needed or asked for


Rating: 3 Votes
[ Read All Comments ]