iPhone and iPod Touch: How to Use / Add Email Folders

   Posted August 13, 2008 by David Kirk in Apple iPhone

I use email folders to keep my email organized. This article explains how to add and use folders within your email accounts on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

I use email folders for everything. I have personal folders, work folders, tech-recipes folders, shopping folders, and a ton of other stuff. Folders help to keep my inbox happy and clean. It’s only logical to do the same with your iPhone email accounts.

Most people use POP to access mail from the email server. To use email folders and to keep them in sync, you will have to switch to IMAP instead.

Unfortuantely I cannot give you detailed directions for your specific email service. (Gmail’s directions are here, for example.) You will have to find your server’s IMAP address in the documenation. Most email servers have IMAP access.

I will suggest that you leave any existing POP accounts until the IMAP is working perfectly. Most web services (and the iPhone) will allow you to use both.

Once you have your IMAP server information, you can create the new IMAP account on your iPhone just like any other email account:

Settings -> Mail -> New Account

You will not actually be able to create the folders directly on your iPhone. You will have to create them in your mail client or through your webmail. The folders created here will then appear and sync correctly.

If you have IMAP setup correctly and you are still not seeing your folders, you may need to set your IMAP path prefix. This will be found in your IMAP server documentation. You set this on the mobile device through the following menus:

Settings > Mail > Account > Advanced > IMAP Path Prefix

Good luck!


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

The Conversation

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  • km

    Organizing of emails might be a goal that, in many cases, needs to be done locally – e.g. since you are using differet computers in diefferent environments and thus different organizing rules. I am using 6 comupters daily, all of which use (on purpose) a POP account, and everthing has been working perfectly for over a decade now. Now comes the iPod Touch, and everybody seems to suggest that Mail.app on that otherwise nice little tool is not able tocreate local mailboxes??? This is a shame! Instead of telling people to swith to IMAP (there are reasons not to do that) it might be more helpful for the experts and those who have connections to Apple, to get to change until yesterday! A mail program without local organizing features ist rubbish!

  • Anonymous

    I agree with km. And to hear someone say that IMAP is better than POP is like saying a car is better than a truck. It all depends on your uses.

  • Sdekaric

    what do i put on IMAP Path prefix???????


  • http://rabbit.org G. Dawson

    Well. This wasn’t helpful at all! Yes, my Gmail account has folders, but there doesn’t seem to be any easy way of creating folders on a POP account. 😛

  • Lady GiGi Deminico


  • Lady GiGi Deminico

    Are you crazy!! This would NEVER help me!!!

  • Chuck Bartowski

    This would NEVER work!