13 tips and tricks for mastering your emails on Apple Watch

Mail app on Apple Watch

Check, responding, or managing your emails on your Apple Watch may not seem like the most convenient way to keep up with your inbox. But, with these tips, your wearable can be a surefire productivity tool.

For a lot of people, the Mail app on the Apple Watch is likely an afterthought. The lack of a keyboard and small screen size makes checking your emails a bit cumbersome on the small wearable. However, there are still a lot of ways your Apple Watch can make managing your inbox a breeze.


Here are 15 tips, tricks, and hacks for mastering your inbox on your watchOS device.

1. Check your inboxes

Mailbox app

First, you’ll want to find your Mail app on your Apple Watch. By default, the Mail app should be close to the top of your watch’s app list. When you find the Mail app, tap on it.

The first thing you should see is a list of Mailboxes that pop up. This mirrors the email accounts that you can set up on your iPhone. Tap an inbox to see specific messages in it, or tap All Inboxes to see messages from across your email accounts.

2. Edit which inboxes appear

Mailbox editing on iPhone

You can edit which specific inboxes appear on your Apple Watch on your iPhone. This is useful because you can tailor the kind of notifications and messages you’ll get on your wrist.

To edit your inbox, open the Watch app on your iPhone and navigate to My Watch > Mail > Include Mail. From here, tap on an inbox to include or remove it from your Apple Watch.

3. Managing your emails

Email management on watchOS

For many of us, reading, archiving, and flagging emails are routine daily tasks done on an iPhone or desktop. You can do all of these things on your Apple Watch, too.

Just open an email on your Apple Watch and scroll all the way to the bottom. You should see a small list of items, which includes:

  • Mark as Read/Unread: This marks the specific email as read or unread across your accounts.
  • Archive Message: This places the email in your mailboxes’ archive.
  • Flag: This “flags” your message as important, making it easier to find later.

4. Trash a message (or don’t)

Trashing Message on watchOS

As a quick side note, depending on your email provider, you may also see “Trash Message” as an option.

By default, Google accounts like Gmail move messages to archive instead of Trash. So, if you’re checking your Gmail account on your Apple Watch, you won’t see a Trash Message.

5. Control your notifications

Notifications on Watch app Mail settings

Email notifications can get unruly after a while, especially if you receive a lot of sales or spam emails. Luckily, you can easily manage your email notifications and customize alerts on your iPhone.

By default, your Apple Watch mirrors the kind of email notifications you get on your iPhone. You can tailor this, however. Just open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone go to My Watch > Mail and tap Custom. You’ll get a list of options, such as allowing alerts for specific mailboxes or not at all.

6. Shorten your messages

Message Preview Length on watchOS Mail

When you open Mail on your Apple Watch, the app will show a few lines of text to give you a preview of the email’s content. However, you can make your mailbox more compact by editing how many lines the app shows.

To do so, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Navigate to My Watch > Mail > Mail Preview. You can choose to show 1 or 2 lines, or no lines.

7. Speed up your mailbox

By default, the Mail apps loads remote images in an email. Although this allows you to see the images that you’re receiving in a message, it can also make emails slower to load.

You can edit this behavior on the Watch app on your iPhone. Just navigate to My Watch > Mail > Custom and tap Load Remote Images to disable it.

8. Composing an email

Composing an Email on Apple Watch

Sure, the Apple Watch isn’t the best device for writing emails, but having the ability to draft a quick message from your wrist can be convenient.

To start a new email, open the Mail app and tap the small Compose button in the lower-right corner of your device. Then, you’ll see an option to add a Contact, choose an account to send it from, and then compose your message.

9. How to write on an Apple Watch

Writing a message on watchOS

When it comes to actually inputting your subject line and message on your Apple Watch, you have a few options:

  • Send a Smart Reply: These are quick, pre-written messages that are convenient for responding to emails on Apple Watch. They can include “let me get back to you later” and similar content.
  • Use the keyboard: Some Apple Watch models include a small QWERTY keyboard to draft messages. (The author of this piece does not have such an Apple Watch.)
  • Dictate: You can tap the Microphone icon to dictate your message. In general, this is accurate enough for most short emails.
  • Scribble: You can also use the Scribble pad to actually “draw” each letter of your message. This takes time, and isn’t the most accurate.

10. Write your message on iPhone

Type on iPhone notification

Although there are ways to write or dictate a message on an Apple Watch, it isn’t always a pleasant experience. Luckily, Apple’s tight device integration means you can generally just use your iPhone for messages started on your wearable.

When you start writing an email on watchOS, you should get an alert on your iPhone. Just tap the alert and write your message, and it’ll be automatically popped in on your Apple Watch.

11. Organize replies by thread

Organize by Thread watchOS Mail

By default, your Apple Watch shows all emails in a single message thread as separate messages. You can change this behavior to show individual replies as a single thread, which can be useful for quickly scrolling.

Just open the Watch app on your smartphone, and navigate to Mail. From there, tap on Custom and then scroll down. Tap the toggle next to Organize by Thread.

12. Ward off accidental deletions

Ask Before Deleting on watchOS Mail

Working on such a small screen probably means typos and errant taps. Luckily, you can add an extra layer of security when it comes to avoiding deleting important messages.

As long as your Mail app is set to Custom, you’ll be able to prompt it to ask you if you want to delete a message. Just navigate to My Watch > Mail and scroll down and hit the toggle next to Ask Before Deleting.

13. Edit your email signature

Mail Signature

Every email you send from your Apple Watch will display the following text: “Sent from my Apple Watch.” This can be useful if you want people to excuse your typos, but you can also change it.

Just navigate to Watch > Mail and tap on Signature. From here, you’ll be able to input any text that you want!

Managing emails on Apple Watch is easier than you think

Although it may not provide the same breadth of capabilities as your browser or the Mail app on iPhone, the Mail app on watchOS is still pretty feature-rich. With the aforementioned tips and tricks, managing emails on your Apple Watch can help keep you productive — right from your wrist!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.