How to Receive Mail Notifications for Important Contacts Only

* This article is from our Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

This article will tell you how to only receive notifications from your VIP contacts on your iPhone. 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 read right away. On the other hand, there are business emails and notes from family members that 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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How to Add a Contact to Your VIP List

In order to get alerts for your VIP emails, you need to have your VIP mailbox set up. If you already have it set up, skip to the next section on how to set up Mail notifications for only VIP emails.

  1. Open your Mail app and tap Mailboxes.
  2. Tap VIP. (Don't see the VIP inbox? Read our article on adding email mailboxes to learn how to add a VIP inbox)

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

  4. The list of your phone contacts will appear; select your new VIP contact. To add another, select Add VIP and repeat the steps. 
  5. 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.

How to Turn on Alerts for Only Your VIP List

Once you have your VIP mailbox set up, you can set up alerts for your VIP emails. (Pro tip: you can also set up and receive alerts for specific Mail threads. )

  1. Tap the i symbol next to your VIP mailbox to access the contact list. 
  2. 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).

  3. You can change the alert sound by tapping Notification Sound and selecting from your sound library.
  4. Return to the VIP menu to change other aspects of the Alert Style.

  5. 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. 
  6. 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 enabled, you'll now only be notified of emails from your VIP contacts.

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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

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.