Email life hack: Save and edit mails using email drafts

It happens all the time – you start writing an email but get interrupted before you can finish. Or maybe you aren’t happy with how you’ve phrased something. No problem – just save your message and you can go back to it whenever you’re ready to put on the finishing touches.
Today, we’ll show you how to save messages as drafts, find emails again later, and edit email drafts – plus a special pro tip.
Man in beanbag chair holding laptop on beach at sunset
Time for a break? Save your email and finish writing it later

Saving a draft has the advantage of not having to start the email again from scratch later. You can return to your message whenever the mood strikes you. In your account, you can save as many emails as you like in your Drafts folder– they won’t be deleted unless you have manually changed the folder settings to empty that folder at certain intervals.

How do I save an email as a draft?

As soon as you’ve started writing an email by typing in the Compose E-mail window, you can save your work by clicking Save as Draft. Your message will be saved in the Drafts folder until you complete and send the email, or you manually delete it – unless you have changed the default settings for this folder.

Please note that if you are automatically logged out of your account because of inactivity or you accidently close your browser window without logging out, any email you are working on will not be saved as a draft. So if you are working on a long and complicated message or if you are suddenly called away from your computer, we encourage you to save your work as described above and to always log out with the log out button.

Does my phone save draft mails?

Just because you don’t immediately see a Save Draft button on your phone does not mean you can’t save your draft emails there.
  • When you are composing an email on an Android phone, in most email apps all you have to do is tap the “Back” button (a back arrow in the lower right) and you will return to your inbox, while your draft mail will automatically be saved to your Drafts folder.
  • In an iOS email app, you will usually have to tap Cancel in order to be given the option to save the draft. In the Apple mail app on an iPhone, for example, it works as follows:

How to save an email as a draft on an iPhone:

  1. Tap the compose icon to start writing an email
  2. If you don’t wish to send your email immediately, tap Cancel. A menu will open
  3. Select Save Draft
  4. Your email can now be found in the Drafts folder under Mailboxes
  5. Tap on the email to open it and continue editing
The same principle applies in the mobile apps for iOS and Android. If you are composing an email and tap Cancel, you then have the option of saving your work by tapping Save draft.

Once you have saved an email to the Drafts folder in a inbox, it will be available there on any device where you log into that account.

How do I edit an email draft?

If you’d like to keep working on a message you started earlier, go to your Drafts folder and select that message. Click Edit and the compose window will open. You can edit your email now. When you are finished, click Send; if you need more time, simply save your work by clicking Save draft and your edited email will return to your Drafts folder where you can return to it whenever you’re ready.

Life hack: Use a draft as an email template

In addition to simply saving unfinished emails, you can use a draft as a template for emails that you send regularly with the same or similar content or to more than one recipient. This is useful if you’ve put together complex content in a specific format, with special fonts or layout – using a draft email as a template will save you from having to redo all the formatting each time you want to send the message.

So as a time-saving hack, save such emails as a draft and leave the spots where you need to personalize or update information blank. When it’s time to send the message, copy and paste the formatted text from your draft into a new email and customize it with the relevant information (date, recipient’s name, location, etc.) Keep your unchanged template in your Drafts folder by pressing Save again.

Pro tip: Scheduled sending

If you are finished working on a draft but don’t want the email to arrive until a specific time, you can take advantage of a Premium feature: scheduled sending.

Click the clock icon in the lower right corner of your Compose E-mail window and a pop-up menu will appear where you can enter the time and date you’d like the message to go out. After you have set your preferred time and clicked OK > Send, your message will be moved from the Drafts folder to the Outbox folder. will then send the email automatically at the scheduled time.

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This article first appeared on February 10, 2022, and was updated on April 18, 2024.

Images: 1&1/Shutterstock

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