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'Mail' How Tos

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. 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

How to Create an 'Unread' Folder in the iOS Mail App

In iOS 7, Apple introduced the option to add an "Unread" mailbox to the iOS Mail app, giving users a place to aggregate all incoming email for quick access. The feature was never widely publicized, and as a result, many iOS users today are unaware that it exists. Adding an "Unread" mailbox takes just a few taps, but it's highly useful, especially when you've got a lot of incoming emails. We've created a video that shows how to enable the Unread mailbox on your iPhone or iPad, and below that, you'll find step-by-step instructions on the process. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Steps to enable the "Unread" Mailbox: Open the Mail app. Tap "Edit" in the upper right corner. Scroll down beyond the currently enabled mailboxes, and check the "Unread" box. Use the hamburger button to move the Unread box to a spot that's most convenient for your usage habits. Tap "Done." Each incoming email will be filtered into the "Unread" mailbox as its received, and when read, the email will be removed from the box so you can always keep tabs on what hasn't been read. You can also filter emails by other parameters using specialized boxes found in the Mail app, including total emails received in a day, emails with attachments, flagged emails, and more. For more quick tips on hidden iOS features, make sure to check out and subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel.

How to Use the Mail App on Apple Watch

Dealing with daily emails on Apple Watch is probably low on the list of things you want to do with the wrist-worn device, especially since you can't actually write or respond to emails in the Apple Watch Mail app. However, Mail can be a useful way to clean out your inbox without pulling out your iPhone. Plus, if you need to address an email right away, you can always use Handoff with your iPhone or Mac. We've got some basics for how to use the Mail app on Apple Watch, plus some useful tips on customizing the app to suit your on-the-go needs. Reading Email If you are out and about and want to know if that email you have been waiting for has finally shown up, you can use Apple Watch to help you out. Mail for Apple Watch supports data detectors, so you can tap on phone numbers or addresses to automatically launch the appropriate app right from an email, a convenient feature when you're out and about.

'Mail' Guides

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

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.

'Mail' Articles

Apple to Fix macOS Mail Vulnerability That Leaves Text of Some Encrypted Emails Readable

There's a vulnerability in the macOS version of the Apple Mail app that leaves some of the text of encrypted emails unencrypted, according to a report from IT specialist Bob Gendler (via The Verge). According to Gendler, the snippets.db database file used by a macOS function that offers up contact suggestions stores encrypted emails in an unencrypted format, even when Siri is disabled on the Mac. In this email, Gendler demonstrates that the private key has been made unavailable in Mail, rendering the message unreadable. It continues to be available in the database, though. Gendler initially discovered the bug on July 29 and reported it to Apple. Over the course of several months, Apple said that it was looking into the issue, though no fix ever came. The vulnerability continues to exist in macOS Catalina and earlier versions of macOS dating back to macOS Sierra.Let me say that again... The snippets.db database is storing encrypted Apple Mail messages...completely, totally, fully -- UNENCRYPTED -- readable, even with ‌Siri‌ disabled, without requiring the private key. Most would assume that disabling ‌Siri‌ would stop macOS from collecting information on the user. This is a big deal. This is a big deal for governments, corporations and regular people who use encrypted email and expect the contents to be protected. Secret or top-secret information, which was sent encrypted, would be exposed via this process and database, as would trade secrets and proprietary data.Apple told The Verge that it has been made aware of the issue and will address it in a future software

PSA: Apple Mail Bugs Can Lead to Data Loss in macOS Catalina

Michael Tsai, the developer of EagleFiler and the SpamSieve plug-in for Apple Mail on Mac, has written a blog post warning macOS users about potential data loss in Mail when upgrading to macOS Catalina 10.15.0 (build 19A583). According to Tsai, he's heard from several users that updating Mail's data store from Mojave to Catalina sometimes says that it has succeeded, when in fact on closer inspection it turns out that large numbers of messages are incomplete or missing entirely. In addition, users have reported the loss of message content when moving emails between mailboxes. From Tsai's post: Moving messages between mailboxes, both via drag-and-drop and AppleScript, can result in a blank message (only headers) on the Mac. If the message was moved to a server mailbox, other devices see the message as deleted. And eventually this syncs back to the first Mac, where the message disappears as well.Tsai warns that these issues are particularly pernicious because users may not realize anything's wrong unless they look at affected messages or mailboxes. Since the data is synced to the server, these problems can also propagate to other computers and devices, and relying on backups is difficult because Mail data is continually changing and there's no easy way to merge restored data with messages received since the last backup. Despite the latter risk, it's still good practice to make backups, but Tsai notes that Apple Support appears to be erroneously advising users that lost Mail data in Catalina can't be recovered from a Time Machine backup made using macOS Mojave.

iCloud Mail and Notes Down for Less Than 1% of Users [Resolved]

Apple has updated its System Status page to reflect that iCloud Mail and Notes may currently be unavailable for approximately 0.86% of users. Apple says "users may be unable to send or receive mail and may also be unable to use Notes" until the services are restored. The outage began shortly after 5:00 a.m. Pacific. This article will be updated when new information becomes available. Update 9:41 AM: According to Apple's System Status page, the issue was resolved shortly after 9:00 AM Pacific