Get Notifications for Specific Email Threads in iOS Mail App
The iOS Mail app has long included a variety of ways to be notified of new emails, whether it’s the standard notification for all new messages, or having a unique alert set to specific VIP contacts. Perhaps even better is a feature added to recent versions of iOS that allow for individual email thread alerts, meaning you can be notified when a single designated email conversation gets a reply from any of the recipients.
These email conversation alerts can be enabled in a new mail composition, a reply, or a forward. You’ll need iOS 8 or newer on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to have this great feature available to you, though it does not matter if others in the email conversation have a recent version of iOS let alone an iPhone. At the moment, email thread notifications are not available in the Mac Mail app of OS X, though a reply sent from a Mac will still trigger the individual thread alert.
Enable Notifications for a Specific Email Thread in Mail for iOS
- Compose a new email in Mail app as usual
- When typing a subject, make note of the little bell icon that appears to the right of the subject text – this bell icon is what determines whether that specific email thread will have notifications or not
- Tap on that bell icon so that it fills in dark blue to enable Notifications for that email thread
- Confirm that you want to receive notifications when anyone replies to that email thread by choosing “Notify Me” when asked
Now when you get a response from anyone in that email thread, you will get a notification from the Mail app indicating a response to that specific email. This is a really great way to keep track of an important email conversation that is time sensitive or just otherwise important for whatever reason.
Any email responses to that thread will now have a filled blue bell icon in the subject, indicating that notifications will arrive for that thread.
Enabling Email Thread Notifications with a Reply
Much like enabling the email conversation alert for a new email composition, you can also toggle the feature on during a specific email reply:
- Reply to an email in Mail app for iOS as usual
- Tap into the “Subject” section and tap on the blue bell icon to make it fill in solid blue, indicating that notifications are to be enabled for this thread
- Confirm you want to receive notifications for that email thread
This means that even if an existing email conversation has been going on for quite some time, you can choose to elevate it’s alert level at any time during a reply if you deem necessary.
Turning Off Email Thread Notifications in iOS Mail
You can disable the specific email thread notification by tapping on the Blue Bell icon again, which will become just a blue outline as the default option.
If you’re regularly overwhelmed by tons and tons of email (and who isn’t?), this feature can be used in conjunction with VIP contact lists and unique alert sounds to help make particularly important messages and senders visible in the ocean of never-ending email noise.
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