See Unread Emails in iOS Mail App

I don’t aim for Inbox Zero, but I aim to read all the emails I receive, however, with default setting the iOS Mail app does not make it easy.

For a while, it seemed that the only way to find unread emails and get that red badge to disappear was to scroll through the inboxes and try to find the emails with a blue dot to their left.

Turns out there’s a better way and that indeed the iOS Mail app has a folder aka smart mailbox which tracks all unread emails across all your accounts.

To enable this mailbox:

  1. In the Mailboxes screen (the one with all the folders), tap the Edit button up in the top-right corner;
  2. The screen switches to edit mode, displaying a list of current (visible) and available mailboxes. From this list select the Unread mailbox; I also like to drag it all the way up to the top.
  3. Tap the Done button and you’re done!

Here’s a visual that shows these steps:

Steps to enable smart mailbox

The configuration does not sync across devices, so if you also have an iPad, you’ll need to repeat these steps on those other devices.