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How to Use the Apple Mail VIP Feature

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Apple Mail VIPsThe Apple Mail VIP Feature in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion automatically creates a SmartFolder containing all your sender’s messages when you designate the sender as a VIP.

If you have multiple email accounts and subfolders used to organize messages, this VIP folder will bring them all together in one place! Note that these messages still “live” in their original folders – these are just pointers to the real message. But if you delete a message here, it will be deleted from the Inbox as well.

To create a new VIP, click on any email from the person you want to make a VIP. In the message preview pane on the right, hold your cursor over their name in the FROM line. An outline of a Star will appear.

Click on the Star. Now, in the Mailboxes list on the left (click the Show button if you can’t see a list of mailboxes), there’s a new section with the header VIP. If necessary, click the triangle so it points down so you can see your list of VIPs.

You’ll now see the person’s name. Click on it, and view all the messages from that individual.

To stop using a VIP folder, just click the Star next to the From again. Or, right-click (or Command-click) on the VIP’s name in the mailbox list and choose “Remove from VIPs”. The person’s VIP mailbox will disappear.

Using VIPs is much easier than manually creating a folder and constantly dragging messages into it. And it has a benefit over using Rules to move messages into a folder: because you aren’t changing the location of the messages, you don’t have to search multiple locations to find the message you’re looking for.

Using VIP to gather messages from a person into one place will save you time when you’re trying to locate a particular message, or view an ongoing conversation.

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