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11 Tips on How to Better Use iOS 7 Mail App

While there are plenty of Mail apps that are available for the iPhone such as Gmail, most folks will still end up using the stock iOS 7 Mail app since it comes pre-installed in the system. With that said, we will be giving you some tips and tricks so you get more out of the iOS 7 Mail app and overall get a better experience.

11 Tips on How to Better Use iOS 7 Mail App

iOS 7 Mail Icon

Natively Open Zip Files

Natively Open Zip Files iOS 7 Mail

With iOS 7, Apple has added the ability to open zip files natively to the stock Mail app. This means that you don't have to subject yourself of downloading the file and unzipping it using a third-party program. Just simply open the zip file straight from the attachment section, provided that the contained files are supported by iOS.

Use Short Names & Nicknames

Use Short Names & Nicknames

The iOS 7 Mail defaults to displaying only the first name of your contacts. This can of course become counter-productive if many of your contacts share the same first name. To modify this behavior, got to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > scroll down and tap Short Name > disable the Short Name toggle. While here, you can may also enable Prefer Nicknames so it'll use nicknames whenever it's applicable or you can disable it so that full names will be shown.

Search Mail

Search Mail iOS 7

iOS 7 Mail app has a search feature that searches all of your mailbox by default. However, if you wish to simply search the current mailbox, scroll all the way up and tap the “Current Mailbox” tab found on tap.


Apple added plenty of new gestures to iOS 7 and the Mail app is no exception.

  • To go back one screen, instead of using the back button, you can swipe from the left edge of the screen to the right. This is also a pretty neat way to take a quick peek at your inbox without leaving the current screen.
  • To access the Trash (delete) and More options, do a horizontal swipe from right to left on any of the mail entries. Tapping more will give you access to options like Reply, Forward, Flag, Mark as Read, Move to Junk, and Move Message.
  • Gestures iOS 7 Mail

  • In case you want to undo the deleting, archiving or moving of an email, all you need to do is shake your device.

VIP Mailbox

VIP Mailbox iOS 7

One of the new features in iOS 7 Mail is the inclusion of the "VIP" mailbox. With hundreds upon hundreds of email you receive daily, it can be tricky to know which entries you should take action on right away. However most often, there are certain emails like from significant other, loved ones, employer and so on, that need immediate attention. Basically VIP mailbox is your own priority mail list. It collates all the emails from contacts that you choose so you can see them first without wading through your entire email.

You Can Arrange, Remove & Add Mailboxes

For some reasons that you don't fancy the VIP mailbox, you can opt to remove it. Or you can rearrange your mailbox according to your preferences.

  • To rearrange your mailbox, simply tap the Edit button found at the top right corner of the screen. This will put you on editing mode where you can customize your mailbox through rearranging, deleting and adding mailboxes.
  • iOS 7 Edit & Rearrange Mailbox

  • To add a Mailbox while on the main screen, tap the “Add Mailbox…” option found at the end and you will see your list of accounts. Select the account that you want, choose the label and tap Done.

Quick Access to Drafts

Quick Access to Drafts

To quickly view all of your current mail drafts, all you need to do is to long tap the compose button which is located at the bottom-right of the screen. Doing this will display a new list that contains all of your drafts. This is definitely a faster alternative than the usual way of accessing your drafts.

Add Attachments While on Compose

Add Attachments While on Compose iOS 7 Mail

As it is, the iOS 7 Mail app doesn't have a straightforward way to insert attachments straight from the compose window. But this can be remedied by simply tapping the compose text field which will bring up several options including the Insert Photo or Video button (tap the right arrow until you see the option). Tapping the option will bring you to the standard photo picker.

Only Reply to Selected Quotes

Only Reply to Selected Quotes

When you tap the reply button, iOS will only let you reply to the entire contents of the email. There are times that you only want to reply to a portion of the email. In iOS 7 you can easily do this by selecting a certain portion of the email via the standard iOS text selection and then tapping the reply button. This will bring the selected texts to the compose reply windows.

Change Flag Types

Change Flag Types iOS 7 Mail

As part of the iOS 7 design overhaul, messages are now flagged with an orange dot by default. Sure it fits with the new look of the system but there are folks who are not really fans of this design change. If you want to bring the old flags back, just go to Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Flag Style > and from here you'll a preview of each option so you can switch to whatever tickles your fancy.

Text Formatting

Text Formatting iOS 7 Mail

Wondering how you can format your text while in the compose window? First you will need to type your message, then select the texts you want to format by standard text selection, then tap the BIU button. Here you can bold, italicize or underline your texts.

You have more iOS 7 Mail tips to share? Please do share it in the comment section below.

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