iPhone instructions: Send an email later with the Mail app (from iOS 16)

If you have finished writing an e-mail but only want to send it at a later point in time, you can do this in Apple Mail on the iPhone since the Updated to iOS 16 make. Here you will find the instructions for sending an e-mail later with the Mail app on the iPhone. I have also put a little criticism of the procedure and a suggestion for improvement at the end of the article. Let me know what you think about it by leaving a comment. 

You can send emails later in the Mail app on the Apple iPhone. You can read here how to select the date and time for the delayed shipping and what you still need to consider.
You can send emails later in the Mail app on the Apple iPhone. You can read here how to select the date and time for the delayed shipping and what you still need to consider.

Send an email later in the Mail app on the iPhone: Here's how!

You can finish writing an e-mail that you want to send at a later point in time, add recipients, a subject, attachments and so on. In order to send them with a time delay, you use the context menu of the send button at the top right. To do this, proceed as follows:

  1. Hold the button down until a menu appears
  2. Choose the last point Send later... from
  3. Pick a date and time
  4. Tap on Ready to complete the process
  5. Have the iPhone connected to the Internet at the selected time
To later send a finished e-mail on the iPhone, hold down the send button and then select the option that suits you.
To later send a finished e-mail on the iPhone, hold down the send button and then select the option that suits you.

E-mail is saved locally, so don't forget an internet connection!

If you have written an e-mail and given a date and time for sending it later, you will find it in the "Send later" mailbox (only appears if you have planned such an e-mail). However, this local mailbox will only be emptied at the selected time and the mail will be moved to "Sent" if there is a connection to the Internet at the time. The e-mail is not simply sent from the iCloud server, but from the iPhone itself. So make sure that WLAN or mobile data is available at the time of sending.

Further instructions: Cancel sending of the e-mail

If you accidentally didn't hold down the send button during the above procedure, but just tapped it briefly, the e-mail was sent directly. But that doesn't matter, because you can revoke the sending of the e-mail in Apple Mail on the iPhone and thus cancel the sending process. By default, ten seconds are available for this, but this can be increased to 30 seconds. You can read how it all works here: Cancel Sending: Cancel sent email on iPhone.

Criticism of the delayed sending of an e-mail on the iPhone

My criticism is not related to the later sending of emails per se. There are certainly cases where this makes sense. I just think that Apple, with all its accessibility features and other efforts to make its devices usable for all sorts of people, has designed the function a little too error-prone. Those who cannot easily press and hold app elements may have disadvantages with the function described above. 

As you can see in the screenshots, there is still plenty of space next to the send button, i.e. the circle with the arrow in it. There would have been room for a second button, perhaps one with a clock or stopwatch as a symbol. This would make it easier for everyone to choose between "send immediately" and "send later" - especially for those who have to plan for this or that restriction when operating the Apple smartphone anyway. 

Apple Guide: Here

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12 Responses to “iPhone instructions: Send email later with Mail app (from iOS 16)”

  1. Long click, tap, press are _always_ a bad idea.
    Because what does "long" mean?
    And you have to remember that “long press” even exists. Because can you tell from the button that this gesture exists?
    And both lead to the fact that incorrect operation can easily occur. That doesn't work at all.

  2. When iOS 16 and OSX Monterey were announced, I was really looking forward to the innovations in the mail apps. Finally features that have been standard in third-party apps for years and days and were the reason why I switched to alternatives!
    Unfortunately too early happy.

    Most of the new features are pretty close.

    – An email that I snooze still stays in the inbox. In box zero? none. Also called “Reminder” at Apple
    – Send later only works if my Mac stays on. The sense that the mail is not stored on a server is already clear. But in practice it is different.

    In addition, there are display errors in the app when a focus is activated and the synchronization between the iPhone and the Mac Mail app is terrible. I have 5 unread emails on the iPhone, according to the Badge Icon, which I read on the Mac 2 hours ago and moved to the trash.

    I hope the guys at Apple also "hang around" on forums like this to take feedback.


    1. Hello Jörg! Of course that's not nice. I think Apple should buy Mailbutler. They've solved the problem with delayed shipping for years - without the Mac having to be on. It's always a shame when useful features are only implemented half-baked. But I also have little hope that the Apple developers will read such blogs here. They don't even seem to read the bug reports on the Apple site. But we like to be surprised! 😊

      1. Yes, I have that impression too. Submitting bug reports through Apple's site is about as effective as trying to teach a dolphin to talk. :D

    1. Should of course be called macOS Ventura. OS X has been out of date for a few years. Until EL Capitan (2015) it was called OS X and from Sierra (2016) Apple then introduced macOS.

  3. So on the topic listed above I can say that it didn't work exactly 2 times out of 2 attempts. The first time the mail arrived hours later, the second time I had an error message a day later that it could not be sent.

    I have to say that the computer was online both times and the e-mails could also be found in “sent” from the desired time of sending.

    I would be interested to know whether others have had the same experience or what could have gone differently.

  4. I have the email account on my iPhone 15 Pro xxx.yyy@icloud.com. This works perfectly on the iPhone. However, I am having trouble setting up this account on the PC (Windows 11) in the Mozilla Thunderbird application. The error message always appears saying that contact with the corresponding server cannot be established. That's why I would like to read out all the data (servers, etc.) from my iPhone email account. How does this work?

    1. Johannes Domke

      Hello Horst,

      As you've already noticed, Apple makes it difficult to use iCloud email in non-Apple applications. However, you don't have to read anything from your iPhone to access your emails via Thunderbird on your Windows PC. The iPhone plays no role in the setup there.

      More importantly, you need to set an “application-specific password” for Thunderbird. This means that you assign a password to Thunderbird via iCloud, which you then use for authentication in the app itself. This is how Apple ensures that only you use your email via third-party apps.

      To set the application-specific password, log in https://appleid.apple.com and then select the correspondingly named tile in the menu item “Login and Security” at the bottom left.

      I can't tell you what happens next. Because I haven't tried the whole thing yet. I get the information from this guide (note, this is from 2017. So it might be worth looking for a more recent one): https://www.thunderbird-mail.de/lexicon/entry/217-e-mail-konto-einrichten-anleitung-für-icloud-me-und-mac/

      Good luck!

      Best regards

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