I've just finished setting up a mail address for my father. He has a custom domain name, and the he's able to receive/send email with this custom address via Gmail.

On his iPhone and iPad, he's using the default mail client, and it's linked to his Gmail account.

Since he receives emails from 2-3 different accounts already, it's confusing to know which mail was sent to which address.

In Gmail, you have the option to label the incoming messages, so you can quickly scan your emails and see exactly which were received from which address.

Is this option or any alternative available on the iPhone default mail client?

The labels are working if he uses the Gmail app, but he would rather keep using the default mail client.

Thank you for the help!

3 Answers 3


It's not evident in your question if you set up the different email accounts independently on his iOS devices or if they are linked in some other way –automatic forwarding for instance.

If you set them up independently, you can check each inbox separately if navigating through the shared inbox is confusing.

On top of the "All inboxes" view you can tap on "< Mailboxes"

all inboxes view - mail app - ios 9

and then choose which account inbox (or folder) you'd like to browse.

mailboxes selection view - mail app - ios 9


Unfortunately, you cannot label different accounts in Mail like in Gmail. On the other hand, when a new message is received and labeled in Gmail, this message is saved in a folder in Mail, having the same name of the label. Actually labels in Gmail become folders in OS X Mail. You can see those folders in the sidebar of the app. Obviously, it's not like having labels, I think that this is very annoying.

One thing you can do, to give your incoming messages a sort of "label" in Mail as well is to define a rule for your incoming emails. You may want to highlight with the same color all the mails belonging to the same account. To do so:

  1. Preferences > Rules > Add rule
  2. Set the rule you like. For example: if To your-email-account, then Set Color of the Message.
  3. Click OK, then apply the rule to your previous emails, if you like, and it's done.

Of course is not like having labels, but at least you can recognise emails coming from different accounts by their background color.

Hope this can be useful ;-)

  • Thanks for the reply, this sounds like it could work. However, he doesn't have a Mac. I use one for work, so I have Mail for OSX but he doesn't. If I add his Gmail account to my Mail, and set the rule there, will it sync with his phone? I doubt it, since his phone is of course not linked with my PC. Is there a way to do this on the iPhone/iPad directly?
    – Drown
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 15:36
  • Unfortunately not, iPhone Mail.app does not have such a rule functionality. You can just star a message in Gmail (mark as 'special') and it will be flagged in your Mail App, but you can't do anything more sophisticated.
    – mgiordi
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 15:47
  • 1
    Aaah I see, well I guess he'll have to get used to the Gmail app then! Thanks for your help :)
    – Drown
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 16:21

You can label the mailboxes in iOS. Just delete the email account in settings then accounts (or mail in iOS 10 and earlier). Once you delete it, re-add them then when it asks for the name of the account you choose the name of the account that you wish for it to have.

Let me know if you have any concerns/questions/issues.

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