Apple’s Mail app is really useful now: 10 things to try

Apple has slowly but steadily improved its Mail app over the past few years. Recent updates to the operating system have introduced new formatting options, added the ability to include scans and other attachments, and strengthened the Reply menu.

For iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, Apple has finally introduced a way to change the default email app on your device. Now, iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 bring new privacy features to better protect your email account. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of Apple Mail on your mobile device.

First of all, make sure you have updated your device so that you can take advantage of all the latest features. Go to Settings> General> Software update. You will be notified that the operating system is up to date or you will be prompted to download and install the latest update.

Protect your messaging activity

By default, businesses and advertisers who email you can get certain information about your activity in the Mail app. For example, they can determine if and when you are reading a specific email, and even determine your location. However, Apple’s new Protect Mail Activity privacy feature can stop this.

If enabled, this feature hides your device’s IP address and loads the remote content of an email privately in the background. To enable this feature, you must be running iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 or later. Go to Settings> Mail> Privacy protection and turn on the switch to Protect email activity.

Hide your email address

mail settings

Available only with a paid iCloud + subscription, Hide My Email lets you sign up for apps and websites using an anonymous, random Apple ID. The goal is to reduce the amount of spam your current email address receives when you sign up for different online accounts. To use Hide My Email, you must be running iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 or later.

hide my email

Open Settings> [your name] > iCloud> Hide my email to see any random addresses you may have already used with Apple’s old Sign In with Apple feature. Tap an address that you want to use again to hide your real email address, then confirm that the random address is forwarded to your real address.

You can also press the Create a new address link to generate a new random address. If you agree with the suggested address, press To continue. Otherwise, press Use a different address to find another address. Once you’ve chosen one, enter a label and notes to help you remember where it was used. Then press Ended.

deactivate messaging

The next time you need to create an account to access a website or fill out an online form, use your random address. All emails generated through this account are forwarded to your current address.

You can always turn off the anonymous address if you start receiving spam. Come back to Settings> [your name] > iCloud> Hide my email and select the random address. Faucet Disable email address, then tap Deactivate to confirm your request.

Change fonts and formats

formatting menu

The Mail app makes it easy to change the formatting of your emails. If you’re composing a new email, tap the body of your message and tap the arrow icon to the right of the predictive text bar. You will then have a variety of icons that can help you personalize your email.


If you press the Aa icon, you can open the formatting menu of the application. You will be able to apply attributes such as bold, italics, underline and strikethrough. Tap the small A or large A to enlarge or reduce the font, the circular palette icon to change the color of the text, and Default font to select a new font.


The formatting menu also lets you align the current paragraph left, center, or right, and add bullets or numbering. You can tap the icon with the right arrow and four horizontal lines to indent the entire paragraph or tap the icon with the left arrow to indent the paragraph. Indent your current paragraph with vertical quotation marks by tapping the icon with three vertical lines, or lower your current paragraph by tapping the icon with a vertical line.

Add photos and files


Tap the picture icon on the keyboard toolbar to add photos or videos from your library. Thumbnails of your photos appear in the lower half of the screen so you can always see your email. Drag your photo gallery up to see more images. Tap the photo or video you want to add and it’s inserted into your message.


Tap the camera icon in the keyboard toolbar to take a photo or video to insert into your message. Tap the file icon to access the Files app, where you can insert a document, picture, or other file from any of your online services. Tap the scan icon on the toolbar and you can scan a printed document and then add it to your email.

Use markup tools

markup tools

Need to tag an image or document? Tap the pen icon in the keyboard toolbar to access the markup tools for your attached media. You can then select different drawing tools to draw, write notes, or highlight words on existing media.

Access the answer menu

answer menu

Open an email you want to reply to and press the To respond icon at the bottom right. You will receive a variety of commands which will allow you to reply, reply to all, forward or archive the message. Other options allow you to mark the message as important, mark it as unread, move it to a specific folder, or move it to the Junk Mail folder and mark it as spam.

Stop receiving notifications for a specific message thread by tapping the Mute or press the Tell me option if you want to be alerted of any follow-up message. Press the To print icon to print the e-mail.

Tap contextual controls

Contextual menu

Apple Mail has a pop-up command menu that appears if you tap an email. It offers specific quick actions, allowing you to reply, reply to all, forward, mute, move, delete, etc.

Block a sender

block sender

Do you no longer wish to receive emails from a certain contact? Block them. Open a junk email and tap the sender’s name. Press the Block this contact link, and then tap Block this contact again in the confirmation message. If you ever change your mind, press Unblock this contact.

Select multiple emails

multiple emails

The Mail app also makes it easy to select a batch of messages. Press the Edit at the top right of the inbox, then tap the circle next to the messages you want to select. You can also select multiple messages by swiping the circles you want to select.

Faucet Edit> Select All to choose all messages in the folder. Once your selections are made, you can mark, move or delete / archive all selected messages at once.

Change the default messaging app

default messaging app

However, if you’re still not crazy about the Mail app, Apple makes it easy to set a new default. Go to Settings and select the app you want to use by default, such as Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo Mail. Tap the setting to Default messaging app and change it to the app of your choice.

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