How to Add Folders to Email on the iPad


Updated 10/16/2011 for iOS 5

Apple has finally provided a way for iPad and iPhone users to add folders to their email with the release of iOS 5. In order for you to use this feature you will need to set up iCloud on your iOS device and get your free email address that comes with iCloud.

If you do not have your email account set up, you can go to Settings-> Mail, Contacts, Calendars-> Add Account-> tap iCloud and enter the required information.

After you have your iCloud email account it is easy to add and delete email folders.

  1. Just open the Mail app and tap on iCloud under Accounts on the left of the screen.
  2. Tap Edit at the top of the screen.
  3. Tap New Mailbox at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Name your new Folder and tap Save.


Your folder should now show up in your iCloud email account. To move mail into the new folder, tap the folder icon with the down arrow at the top of the screen while viewing an email message. Then tap the new folder on the left. You email should now be inside of your newly created folder.

iPad Folders

You can also create new folders and manage your iCloud email account on any computer by visiting

Alternative Ways to Use Folders on the iPad

There are a few alternatives for users who really appreciate this feature. They all involve web based email. The best way I have found to this is with Gmail.

It’s extremely simple to add other email accounts to Gmail. Users can add just about any PoP3 and other web based email accounts to Gmail within a few minutes. Here are instructions for adding accounts to Gmail.

Gmail calls it labels instead of folders but it does the same thing. You click on a email, then select labels, then create a label (folder) or select one from the list.

Once you have your Gmail set up with the folders you want, you can add the Gmail account to your iPad mail app or you can view Gmail from Safari.

To add a Gmail account tap Settings, tap “Mail, Contacts, Calendars,” tap Add Account. then select Gmail. All you have to enter is your email address, password, a name and description of the account. The server settings and port is added for you.

All your Gmail folders or labels will show up in your iPad mail app. Here’s a few that I have added.

Gmail also looks great from Safari. They have designed the Gmail interface for the iPad and it’s similar to the iPad mail app. Here is a screenshot of Gmail in Safari.

Yahoo Mail is another good alternative. It also allows other email accounts to be added and email folders can be used with Yahoo Mail on your iPad. Yahoo mail also has a interface designed for the iPad but I prefer Gmail because of how easy it is to set up.

For users who really want to see this feature added to the iPad without having to use Gmail or Yahoo Mail, send Apple some feedback here.

  • Dale

    I read a thousand others that claimed to have the answer, but yours DID WORK. I saved the emails I wanted from my iPad account and then added a NEW account from Yahoo! on my iPad under “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” and it listed 6 choices. I picked my Yahoo! account and when completed as it instructed, ALL MY FOLDERS I CREATED ON YAHOO! WERE NOW IN MY iPad. All I need to do is add a folder on my WEB account (as it lets me do) and when I sync to my account ON my iPad… the new folders (and contents) appear and stay on my iPad. Just like the pictures show above. THANK YOU!!!

  • marion dorsett

    Thanks for the info. It was really so simple. I’d already done everything, I was just looking in the wrong place on my iPad. I kept looking in the Inboxes, not the accounts.

    Next question is… is there a way to send from one of the other mail accounts setup in my Gmail account?

  • Phil


    To send from other Gmail accounts on your iPad, you would need to set the other email account up on your iPad as you did with the one you are using now.

    You can easily turn email accounts off and on the iPad by going to that account in the settings.

    If you didn’t normally want to see the email account you could turn it off and just turn it on when you want to send from that account. Turning it off won’t delete your account.


  • Browne

    how can I transfer my e mail addresses from my mac to my i pad

  • Phil


    Plug your iPad into your computer and open iTunes.

    Select the iPad on the left under “Devices”. Go to “Info” (2nd tab at the top), make sure “Sync Address Books Contacts” is checked. Select “All Contacts” or where you want to Sync them from.

    Make sure “Sync Mail Accounts” is selected and select which accounts you want on your iPad.

    Here is a photo that may help.



  • Trisha

    Very easy is to go to yahoo thru safari on your iPad and it allows you to make new folder just as you would on a computer. Then go to you email on the iPad and the new folder is there!

  • PT

    Not sure if this is of value to anyone but … I like to have all my emails filed in folders and sync’d across my iMac, iPad and iPhone. The new OS lets me do this very easily. I simply dragged the folders I had created previously on my iMac across to the ICLOUD folder in mail (once set as per above). All of my folders were then available on all devices. I have now hidden (collapsed) my IMAC view of my folders and am using the ICLOUD as my new folder system. It has retained all the email history in each folder. I don’t have massive volumes so not sure if there will be a problem down the track but it seems to be working fine. I can create new folders on the iPad and file emails on the iPad and iCloud updates all devices.

  • PT

    I should say that all of this was done using my @me account. I have other email accounts forwarding onto to my @me account. Therefore no need for Gmail of Ymail.

  • Tamsin

    I file emails on iPad but when I go to the folders go view them they have disappeared. Can anyone help with this? Also is there a way to turn off the predictive text? it is one of the most annoying aspects of the iPad. Thanks

  • Allison

    I’m having the same problem Tamsin. I am using my yahoo mail on my ipad, it is my only email address linked to my ipad. My inbox seems to sync fine but when I file emails into my yahoo folders on my ipad, they do not appear in the folders when I’m looking at yahoo on my computer. Does anyone have a solution? Thanks

  • John

    Do you know if I can open an email account at icloud and transfer my emails from into folders. If so how is this done. I would like to have my hotmail account as this is on business cards and other business related products.

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  • Barbara Palmer

    I followed your instructions for adding folder to i-coud mail but when I tap edit I only see three choices at the bottom of the page; delete, move, mark. I am updated to 5.1.1. Can you help me?

  • Phil

    When you tap on your iCloud account, make sure you do so under Accounts.

    Here is a link to a screenshot.

  • Barbara Palmer

    Thank you. I think I must have been working in settings instead of the actual mail. It worked and I thank you for the answer.

  • Julie

    So so easy now I know what to do!! Thanks

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  • Marge

    When I moved a received email to thr “Important” folder, I can’t get it back. How do I see what is in the “Important” folder again?

  • Roscoe Howell

    Thanks for this easy step by step fix. You were a big help.

  • David w

    If I set up a gmail acct so I can add folders in order to save e mails on my I pad,will I also be able to save into folders e mails I receive not through the g mail acct

  • Judy

    I used to have a folder in my mail called hold. Since I upgraded, I can’t find it. I don’t want a gmail account . I want to be able to create folders in my AT&T account, like it used to. Help!

  • Shashi chopra

    I have icloud and three gmail accounts. I have created a new folder for each. Instead of moving important emails in the new folder in the respective mail accounts is it possible to have only one common folder.

  • Jodi

    I have personal and work emails on my ipad. Is there a way to colour code my work emails so they don’t get mixed up? IE personal emails blue. Work emails red? I use exchange for work. Thanks,

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  • Geniegal

    Help!!! I am not very computer savvy when it comes to these things. I have transferred emails into sub folders to the left of my mail window on our main computer. When I open MAIL on my IPAD I cannot see anything in the sub folders on the left. If I transfer on my IPAD from the mail window to the sub folders I can see the emails. I need to be able to see all the ones I have done on the main computer as well. Can I do this?

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