How to read email on your Apple Watch

Use your Apple Watch to read, trash, flag, and even reply to the emails sent to you.

While the Apple Watch won't be the center of your email activity any time soon, it can be a nice way to quickly deal with some of the email that comes in throughout your day without having to pull your phone out of your pocket. You can read, archive, trash, or even reply to your emails right from your wrist.

How to set email notifications in the Apple Watch app for iPhone

Using the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, you can customized how mail notifications come in, including whether those notifications make a sound or vibrate.

  1. Launch the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on the My Watch tab.
  3. Tap on Mail.

    Open Apple Watch App, tap My Watch, tap Mail

  4. Tap Mirror iPhone to use the same notification settings as on your iPhone. Tap Custom to set additional options.

  5. Tap an Inbox you want to enable.

    Tap Mirror iPhone or Custom, tap Inbox

  6. Toggle Show Alerts to On.

  7. Toggle Sound and/or Haptics on to choose between audio or physical notifications, or both.

    Toggle Show Alerts On, turn on sound and haptics

  8. Repeat for each inbox.

How to set Mail options on the Apple Watch app for iPhone

The Mail app on your Apple Watch serves as a repository for all recent email messages you've received. You can configure it to match your iPhone settings or customize it just for your Apple Watch.

  1. Launch the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on the My Watch tab.
  3. Tap on Mail.

    Open Apple Watch app, tap My Watch, tap Mail

  4. Tap Mirror iPhone to use the same mail settings as on your iPhone. Tap Custom to set up additional options.

  5. Tap Include Mail to choose between All Inboxes or just a single sub-mailbox.
  6. Tap on Message Preview to choose between none, 1 line, or 2 lines.

    Tap Mirror iPhone or Custom, Tap include mail

  7. Tap on Default Replies to edit and create default reply messages for emails.

  8. Tap Signature to set a signature for your emails.
  9. Tap on Flag Style to choose between color and shape.

    Tap Default Replies, tap Signature, tap Flag Style

  10. Toggle Ask Before Deleting to On if you want to confirm before any emails are trashed.

  11. Toggle Organize by Thread to group all emails from the same conversation together. (As opposed to single messages in reverse chronological order).

    Toggle Ask Before Deleting, toggle Organize by Thread

How to read email in the Mail app on your Apple Watch

Quickly read through your latest emails, then flag it, mark it as unread, trash it, or reply to it.

  1. Open the Mail app on your Apple Watch
  2. Tap on an email message to open it.

    Open Mail, tap on an email

  3. Press firmly on an open email message to see options.

  4. Tap on Reply, Flag, Unread, or Trash (or Archive if that's how you've set Mail up) to quickly triage the message.

    Force touch, tap reply, flag, unread, or trash/archive

How to reply to an email on your Apple Watch

You can now send replies to emails that your receive right from your Apple Watch, which is great for quick responses.

  1. Open the Mail app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap on the email to which you wish to reply.
  3. Press firmly on the open email to see options.

    Open Mail, tap email, force touch

  4. Tap Reply.

  5. Tap the Microphone icon to dictate your reply, the smiley face to send an emoji, or Scribble to write out your reply.
  6. Tap Send.

    Tap Reply, choose how to reply, tap send

How to hand off email and respond on your iPhone or iPad

If you'd like to type out a longer response using your iPhone or iPad, you can open the current email you're viewing on your iOS device using Handoff.

If your iPhone or iPad is locked:

  1. Swipe up on the Mail app handoff icon from the bottom left corner of the lock screen.
  2. Unlock your iPhone or iPad, if prompted.
  3. Tap Reply.

If your iPhone or iPad is unlocked:

  1. Double press the Home button.
  2. Tap on the Mail app handoff icon at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap Reply.

How to hand off email and respond on your Mac

In addition to the iPhone and iPad, you can also use Handoff to open an email message for reply on your Mac.

  1. Click on the Mail app handoff icon in the far left (or top) of the Dock; or alt/option-tab to it in the App Switcher.
  2. Click Reply.