How Apple could improve the awesome VIP Sender feature

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Date: Tuesday, February 10th, 2015, 07:29
Category: iOS, Mail, OS X

Apple Mail: Could not add VIP. A maximum of 100 VIPs is allowed. Please remove any unused VIPs and try again.

TL;DR I love the VIP Sender feature in OS X and iOS and use it all the time, but it needs to be expanded.

It works like this: click a sender’s name/email address in either OS X Mail or and select “Add to VIPs.” Doing so prioritizes email from that sender and when new mail arrives, you’ll see an alert in notification center.

It’s super-convenient when you’re waiting for an important email from a client, colleague or your spouse. You can’t help but notice the email’s arrival on your iPhone lock screen and VIP Sender has saved my bacon many times. I’m using a VIP Sender this week to correspond back and forth with my account, for example, because I’d like to know immediately when he emails me.

The problem is that Apple caps the number of VIPs at 100 and once you’ve reached the cap your only option is to remove some VIPs. Removing a VIP Sender involves, navigating to the “VIP” folder in Mail, then clicking on senders individually, then on “Remove from VIP.” While not difficult, it can be time consuming.

While we should all endeavor to curate, organize and better tend to our email, but who has the time?

Here are two simple enhancements that would make VIP Sender infinitely more valuable…

Apple’s limit of 100 VIP Senders seems arbitrary. Is there some rationale for it? I’d guess that millions of extra push notifications could strain Apple’s data centers, but it can’t be that much. Besides, the feature is user-managed: if you receive too many VIP notifications, you’ll promptly thin the list or risk making it entirely useless (and annoying.)

My problem is that I create VIP Senders that I only need for a little while, then I rarely revisit the list to prune it (until I’m over my cap.)

It should be no skin off Apple’s back to increase the VIP Sender limit to 1,000, or heck, just make it unlimited.

Here’s an even better solution: add expiring/temporary VIP Senders.

When you click on “Add to VIPs,” it would ask “How long should they be VIP?” and include options for:

  • Indefinitely
  • For a month
  • For a week
  • For a day

Or if Apple truly believes in capping it at 100, they need to make it easier to prune. One option would be a VIP Wizard of sorts that allows you to see them sorted by age (newest to oldest) and volume (most to least number of emails received) with checkboxes and a delete button.

VIP Sender is a amazing feature, and while I understand the argument that it should be exclusive, like Eric Young (@eric_research) made on Twitter, I think that the current implementation could be better.


What do you think of Mail’s VIP Sender feature? Do you use it? Are you over your cap? Comments are welcome, but if you’d like to see the feature expanded, remember to copy and paste it into Apple’s feedback form under the “OS X” category (

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5 Responses to “How Apple could improve the awesome VIP Sender feature”

  1. @JasonOGrady Sure Apple could do all those things or u could prune VIP to keep it exclusive at 100 or less (the whole point.)

  2. How Apple could improve the awesome VIP Sender feature:

  3. Ideally, a checkbox on each filtering Rule could designate any Rule a VIP Rule. The addition of a Duration field would make the feature complete, in my eyes!

  4. ceiling needs to be removed, yes.

  5. I was agree with you but finally when i had a look at my VIP folder, i saw that there a lot of VIP to delete.