What Does a Flagged Email Mean?

What Does a Flagged Email Mean
Yurii Bitko Yurii Bitko 05 april 2024, 15:01 148
For beginners

Email flags help you identify critical messages. This feature enables you to prioritize emails and reply to them in time. This article will explore the purpose of flagging emails and show you how to flag them on some popular email platforms.

What does flagging an email mean?

Flagging an email means marking it as important. Flagged emails can be easily filtered, allowing for quick access. Flagging can also trigger other actions, like setting a reminder or automatically adding an email to a to-do list.

The different types of email flags include:

  • Urgent flags: Indicating that a message needs immediate attention.
  • Follow-up flags: Setting a reminder to follow up on the message later.
  • Important flags: Indicating that an email is important and should be prioritized.

How to flag emails in your chosen platform

Let’s examine how to use the flag feature on some popular email platforms:

Flagging on Gmail

Gmail doesn’t have the traditional flag feature. Instead, it lets you “star” messages, which serves the same function. A bright yellow star appears next to any starred email. You can see all of your starred emails in the Starred folder.


Follow these steps to star a message on Gmail:

    1. Open Gmail and sign into your inbox.
    2. Click the gray star button on the left side of the message you want to flag (this button appears next to every message).

Clicking the button fills in the star symbol with yellow color and differentiates the starred emails from the rest.

You can access all your starred emails by selecting the Starred folder on the left side of your Gmail page.

Marking as important

Another Gmail alternative is to mark an email as important, moving it to a separate Important folder. Follow these steps:

    1. Open Gmail.
    2. Look for the message you want to flag as important, and click the checkbox on the left side.
    1. Clicking the checkbox selects the message(s), and some new buttons appear at the top. Click the three vertical dots from these new buttons and then Mark as important.

Any email you mark as important will be automatically moved to a separate Important folder, which you can access from the left-side menu.

Flagging in Outlook

Flagging emails in Outlook is easy because a flag icon appears next to every email when you hover your cursor over it.

  1. Open Outlook and sign into your inbox.
  2. Hover your mouse over the email you want to flag, and a flag icon appears on the right.
  3. Click the flag icon.

By default, Outlook treats flagged emails as tasks and adds them to the "To-Do List" section as soon as you flag them. However, you can turn off this setting at will.

Flagging on iPhone

The native Mail app that comes with every iPhone also makes it easy to flag messages.

  1. Open the Mail app and log into your inbox.
  2. Swipe right on the message you want to flag, and you’ll see a flag option. Click on this option, and a colored flag will appear next to the message.

The Mail app lets you change the color of an email flag for aesthetic purposes or to differentiate the email from other flagged emails.

    1. Open the already flagged email.
    2. Tap the Reply button (the arrow pointing leftward at the bottom menu), and a menu with various settings will appear
  1. Use the palette to change the color of the email flag.

The Mail app keeps all flagged messages in a Flagged folder for easy access. However, this folder doesn’t show by default. You have to tweak some settings to make it visible:

  1. Go to your Mailboxes list.
  2. Tap Edit in the top-right corner.
  3. Select Flagged and tap Done.

With the above steps, you’ll see a Flagged folder in your Mailboxes list.

Flagging in AOL Mail

The flagging process in AOL mail is basically the same as in Outlook.

  1. Open AOL Mail and sign into your inbox.
  2. Scroll to the email you want to flag.
  3. Hover your cursor over the email, and a flag icon will appear on the right side.
  4. Click on the flag icon.

Flagging in Yahoo Mail

Yahoo Mail works similarly to Gmail when it comes to flagging. It doesn’t have a traditional flagging feature but allows you to star messages. Every message in your inbox has a star on the left side. Clicking on this star turns it yellow, allowing you to differentiate the email from others.

You can find all the emails you star in the Starred folder.

Flagged emails FAQ

What happens when you flag an email?

When you flag an email, it is given a special icon and may also be added to a separate folder where you can access it easily. Flagging marks an email as important and helps you remember to revert to it.

Not at all. In the context of email, flagging means marking a message as important, while blocking means preventing a specific address from messaging you further.

What’s the purpose of the flag button?

Flagging ensures you don’t forget to follow up on emails. It gives you a reminder about reading and responding to an important message.

Does the sender know when their email is flagged?

No, the sender doesn’t know whether you flagged their email. Flagging deals with the way you organize your inbox – the sender isn’t aware of how you do that.

What happens after flagging an unwanted email?

If you flag an unwanted email, it’ll remain in your inbox and appear in the Flagged or Starred folder, which probably isn’t the correct action for such emails. Unwanted emails should be deleted, and you might also block the sender’s address and report it for spam.

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