How to Receive Mail Notifications for Important Contacts Only

How to Receive Mail Notifications for Important Contacts Only

Not all emails are created equal. Between spam and miscellaneous messages, there are a lot of emails we get notifications for that don't need to be checked right away. On the other hand, there are business emails and notes from family members we may want to reply to immediately. By turning on email notifications for only your VIP Mailbox in the Mail app, you'll receive fewer non-urgent notifications. Or, you can set a separate notification sound for your VIPs to differentiate between the two.

Related: How to Save Images, Pictures & Photos from an iPhone Message or Email

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To add a Contact to your VIP list:

  • Open your Mail app and tap Mailboxes.


  • If you have no previous VIP contacts, tap VIP and select Add VIP.


  • The list of your phone contacts will appear; select your new VIP contact. To add another, select Add VIP and repeat the steps. 

  • You can also add someone to the VIP list through their email. This can help if you don't have a contact saved to your phone contacts. Just open an email from the contact and tap their name. A contact screen will pop up. Tap Add to VIP.

  • Once you've added all of your very important people, you'll see an info icon on the VIP tab. Tap it to see your list of VIP contact names. From the contact name list, you can turn off other email notifications by tapping VIP Alerts (You can also access this menu by going to Settings > Notifications > Mail > VIP).


  • From VIP, you can change the alert sound by tapping Notification Sound and selecting from your sound library. Return to the VIP menu to change other aspects of the Alert Style.

  • To turn off non-VIP email alerts, go back one screen to Mail in the Notification Settings. Tap on an email account in the list above VIP. 

  • On the next screen, you can adjust the Notifications: To receive no notification via your lock screen, uncheck all options under Alerts. Tap Sounds and select None. Toggle Badges to OFF to not see the number notification on the app icon. Below that is Show Previews, tap Never. Repeat for each account.


With these settings, you'll only be notified of emails from your VIP contacts.

(Pro tip: Receive alerts for specific Mail threads. )


Top Image Credit: MaximP /

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Conner Carey's picture

Conner Carey's writing can be found at She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.