iOS smart mailboxes

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One of the killer additions to the Mail app in iOS 7 are Smart Mailboxes, which help arrange all sent messages, messages with accessories, and more. The VIP mailbox is displayed by default, however you’ll want to tap on the Edit button on the top-right corner of the Mail app to disclose the other Smart Mailboxes.

What Do They Do?

If you are familiar with the unified inbox (the inbox that shows mail from all your inboxes), then you are currently acquainted with what a Smart Mail box can do. Conventional mail folders tend to imitate physical folders do: mail that you put into a basic folder is not available in any other folder. So if I put Patrick’s email with the lyrics of “O, Canada” into my “Patrick” folder, I will not find it anywhere else.


Smart Mailboxes, on the other hand, are more like saved searches. They search for certain requirements and reveal all of the messages that fit that criteria in one location. Here are the various Smart Mailboxes currently offered on iOS 7:

  • Flagged
  • VIP
  • Unread
  • Attachments
  • All Drafts
  • All Sent
  • All Trash

These are all fairly self-explanatory, and although you couldn’t want all them showing simultaneously, it can be really handy to have a few of them showed. I personally kep Flaged, VIP, Unread, and All Sent visible at all times.

Folder Shortcuts

There’s also another little trick that the Mail App’s Edit button enables: folder shortcuts. Simply below all of the Smart Mailboxes is a button labeled “Include Mailbox …”. Tapping on that’ll permit you to select any folder from any account to display on top level of the Mail app, together with the Smart Mailboxes. If you have got a specific set of folders that you gain access to often (e.g. Travel, Mail from Mom, Contests I’ve actually Won), then you’ll probably wish to set up a folder shortcut.

Mail in iOS 7 is now so great that it’s truly my chosen iOS e-mail customer, even ousting the Gmail app for first place. I am really delighted the addition of Smart Mailboxes, and ideally you’ll get some excellent use from them, too.