Quite some time ago I wrote “How To: Create A Folder in iPhone Mail“. At the time it was very simple … you couldn’t create a new folder/mailbox in iOS Mail. But with the advent of a few iOS releases since, and the amount of traffic that post gets, I thought it time to put together an update to “How To: Create A Folder in iPhone Mail” … because now you can.
More accurately, the new title should be ‘How to create a mailbox in Mail on iOS 5 or greater.
The old question …
Q: How do I create a folder in the iPhone Mail app in iOS 1-4?
A: YOU CAN’T!
The new question …
Q: How do I create a folder in the iOS Mail app in iOS 5 & 6?
A: YOU CAN!
And here’s how …
This can only be done on accounts set up as IMAP. It will not work with POP accounts.
What most people would consider a ‘folder’ Apple calls a ‘mailbox’ … don’t know why. That’s just the way it is. With that said, let’s get started. It’s a fairly easy process.
Start by opening the Mail app on your iOS device.
If you need more just repeat the steps above until you’ve created the folder/mailbox hierarchy you need.
If the mail account you’ve created your folders in is an IMAP mail account, the folders you’ve created on your iPhone or iPad will be saved back to your mail server & show up in your desktop mail application too if it’s also set up as an IMAP account.
If your mail is set up as POP, Apple will not allow you to create Mailboxes. Probably because you can’t sync the folders between your computer.
If you don’t understand that last little bit a quick lesson:
POP vs IMAP
POP, Post Office Protocol, also known as POP3, is an E-mail protocol that is used when people wish to have a copy of their E-mail messages, along with any attachments, to be downloaded to their computer for viewing. Depending on program configuration, these messages may be automatically deleted from the server once it is received, or at some future time. Messages sent, moved, or deleted from a computer using POP can only be viewed on that individual computer’s folders. They cannot be viewed on other computers connecting to that E-mail account, including Webmail. This option is most recommended for users who like to keep a backup of all their messages.
IMAP, Internet Message Access Protocol, is an E-mail protocol that is used when people wish to always have their messages, including sent messages and message folders, saved on the server. Depending on program configuration, these messages may be temporarily saved on the computer for offline viewing. All messages and folders can be viewed from any computer connecting via IMAP, including Webmail. This option is most recommended for users who connect to E-mail accounts from many computers.
And that’s it. You now know how to create a folder and subfolders on any iOS device under iOS 5 or 6.