7 hard to find controls in Apple's Mail

Hidden in plain sight

Like most apps, Apple makes it pretty easy to find the controls you need to get things done, but Mail hides a handful of contextual controls you may not have located yet. That's where this short report steps in to plug your knowledge gap.


Hover your cursor near or above the header of a message and you can access a contextual menu that enables you to Delete, Reply, Reply All and Forward messages. If the message has attachments you can also save and Quick Look, Save and Export images.

Mailbox controls

The controls to hide and show mailboxes for each account are hidden, but you can get to them when you hover over the account name in your sidebar.

Star people

I use VIP status a lot. I use ut to highlight important people and messages (VIPs). Family members, close friends and any in progress business contacts are assigned the status so I will be alerted when new mail comes from those people. To assign the status to a contact on a Mac from within Mail, just tap the downward facing arrow to the right of their email address and choose ‘Add to VIPs”. (Or tap the Sender address in Mail on iOS, and then choose Add to VIP in the next pane).


Open a new email. Look to the top of the new email pane and (if you use the default toolbar set) you’ll see the message send icon (it looks like a paper plane). To the right of that icon you should see the Header Fields icon (confusingly this looks like a list). Tap this and you can choose to add a Priority Field (High, Normal, Low), which appears to the right on the Subject Line. You can also choose to show CC (Carbon Copy), BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) and Reply to address fields in the message composition pane.

From menu

If you use several different email accounts the mail composition window all let you choose which account the message is sent from, just tap and hold the address that’s visible in the “From” line to choose to send from different accounts.

Custom job

Option click in the grey area at the top of Mail (under where it says in-box) to customise your Mail toolbar).


If you use a Force Touch Mac, you can swipe right with two fingers on a message in Mail in order to Mark a message as Read, or Unread. You can also swipe left to quickly Delete or Archive a message. You can create support for a range of other gestures in System Preferences>Trackpad>More Gestures.

Google+? If you use social media and happen to be a Google+ user, why not join AppleHolic's Kool Aid Corner community and join the conversation as we pursue the spirit of the New Model Apple?

Got a story? Drop me a line via Twitter or in comments below and let me know. I'd like it if you chose to follow me on Twitter so I can let you know when fresh items are published here first on Computerworld.


Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

It’s time to break the ChatGPT habit
Shop Tech Products at Amazon