How to Save a Draft Email on the iPhone or iPad

Mail App IconIf you have ever been part-way through typing an email and realized you needed to do something else before finishing the email, you will appreciate the ability to save the email as a draft.

Saving a draft email allows you to keep everything you have already typed and continue writing later.

In the following example, most of the images are from an iPhone. The process is very similar for the iPad.


Composing an Email

When using the Mail app, tap the icon in the bottom right corner of the screen to compose an email. The icon is shaped like a square with a pencil in it. The icon is located in the top right corner on the iPad.

Create New Email


Saving a Draft Email

As you are typing the email and decide to save a draft, tap the Cancel button in the top left corner of the screen.

Cancel an Email


A menu will appear with several options for the email:

  • Delete Draft – deletes the email without sending it
  • Save Draft – saves the email so it can be edited at a later date
  • Cancel – closes the menu and returns you to the email to continue typing.

Save Draft Email


For our example, tap Save Draft to save the current version of the email. The message is saved in the Drafts mailbox of the email account.


Accessing a Draft Email

When you are ready to resume working on the draft email, tap and hold your finger on the icon to compose a new email (in the bottom right corner of the screen). A window will appear displaying all the draft emails you have saved. Tap on a draft email to open it and continue editing.

Draft Email List


As you continue creating the email, you can save a new draft any time you wish. The new version of the email will replace the old version when the draft is saved.


Deleting a Draft Email

When the email is complete and you decide to send it, the draft version is automatically deleted after the email is sent.

If you want to delete a draft message without sending it, tap and hold the compose email button to see the list of draft messages. Swipe from right to left across the email to make a Delete button appear on the right. Tap the button to delete the draft email.

Delete Draft Email


In case you didn’t know, swiping across any email in your Inbox will cause the Delete button to appear. This is a quick way to delete emails without opening them.