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How to Get VIP Email Alerts in iOS Mail

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Interruption? No, it's a pleasure!

Email alerts in general usually are a nuisance and interruption. For important messages, the interruption will often be welcome, though, and the nuisance of getting to them only late evaded.

In iPhone Mail and Mail on the iPad, you can restrict alerts to emails from VIP senders, or have these presented in a special manner, say with a particular sound.

Get VIP Email Alerts in iOS Mail

To have iPhone or iPad Mail announce emails from VIP senders in a special manner:

  • Go to the Home screen.
  • Open the Settings app.
  • Select Notifications.
  • Choose Mail under In Notification Center or Not In Notification Center.
  • Now tap VIP.
  • Choose the desired style for VIPs' messages under Alert Style.
  • Pick whether you want VIP sender's emails in the inbox counted atop the Mail app icon.
    • This setting is independent from the general inbox badge counters for email accounts.
    • If you turn the badge icon counter off for unread messages in your inboxes in general, for example, but enable it for VIPs, only the latter will appear. (If you enable both the overall and the VIP badge icon counters, VIPs' messages will not be counted twice.)
  • To make an iPhone vibrate for new VIP emails:
    • Tap New Mail Sound.
    • Now select Vibration.
    • Pick the desired vibratory pattern under Standard or Custom.
      • Tap Create New Vibration to set up a new vibration pattern (up to ten seconds long).
      • Select None to turn off vibration.
    • Tap New Mail Sound to return to VIP message alert settings.
  • To pick a notification sound for VIP senders' mail:
    • Open New Mail Sound.
    • Tap the desired tone under Alert Tones or Ringtones.
      • If you have interruptive alerts such as tones and vibration enabled, it is best to keep the list of VIP senders restricted to a select few.
      • Select None to disable the audible alert.
    • Tap VIP to return.
  • To include some detail about new emails, make sure Show Preview is ON.
  • To have alerts displayed when the device is locked, make sure View in Lock Screen is ON.
    • You may want to decide not to show alerts on the lock screen to prevent the emails from becoming visible, if only in part, to others.

Now, make sure iPhone or iPad Mail does have new messages pushed or checks for them periodically to get alerts.

(Updated September 2012)

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