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The primary location where incoming mail is stored within an e-mail client.
E-mail messages are organized in folders or boxes. Received mail is typically placed in the inbox once it is downloaded from the e-mail server, and this mailbox is usually displayed first when you open your e-mail client. Inboxes can be customized to a user’s needs or preferences, and rules can be created for inboxes to determine how incoming messages are handled.
In general, inboxes are organized to display a list of your messages in the reverse order of which they were received (newest message on top). Most e-mail clients will allow you to change this order, add additional context to each listed message (such as displaying the first two lines of the message), automatically display a selected message in a preview pane, group messages within a single conversation, and much more. You can manage individual messages within your inbox by moving them to another folder, marking them as read or unread, deleting them, or creating rules to have messages from specific senders or containing specific text automatically moved to another mailbox.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have multiple e-mail addresses. Can I see all of their inboxes at once?
Many newer e-mail clients allow you to manage multiple e-mail addresses from a single program. In some cases, you will need to switch back and forth between each address to view their corresponding messages. Others will list all of your inboxes in a side menu, and you can select the inbox you want to check. Still others allow you to set up a combined inbox, which displays all of the messages from each of your inboxes in one window. Mobile e-mail clients frequently offer this features, allowing you to quickly read and respond to all of your incoming messages. If you are unsure of whether or not your client offers this, check its help or settings menu.
How do I move messages out of my inbox?
Moving messages out of your inbox is as simple as dragging them from one folder to another. If you are moving messages to an existing folder, simply click on the message (or press on the message from your mobile device), and drag it to the new folder. You can also move multiple messages by holding the control key as you click through all the messages you want to move. If the folder does not exist, right-click on the mail account heading in the folder bar and select, “New Folder.” Or, if you’re using a web-based e-mail client, look for the “New Folder” button.
How can I get the spam out of my inbox?
If you don’t have a spam filter in place, consider getting one. Most web-based e-mail clients provide spam filters, as do many of the most popular desktop clients. If spam continues to get into your inbox, make sure you are marking it as spam by selecting the message and clicking the “spam” or “junk” icon in your toolbar. This will train your client to better filter spam.