iOS Mail Reply Questions

Hello Friends!

I’m not sure if this is a recent IOS mail issue or if there’s something I forget how to do.
When I get an Email, in general - I often highlight a sentence or a part to reply to
and the reply message would only include that highlighted stuff…
but this doesn’t happen in IOS anymore (for me>) -
judging by how I see replies to my email - no-one does this but me?), but i hate to send long (winded)
threads in an email conversation. This totally works on MacOS but my iPhone and my iPad it does not…
I swear I could do this at some point.

Any Idea how to do this… (please don’t say switch to Outlook!)



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On macOS Mail that’s a preference (Mail Settings… > Compose > Include selected text, if any…"), but I’m afraid iOS Mail doesn’t offer such a pref.

I wonder if this is basically the result of Apple admitting (behind the scenes of course) that handling text on iPhone with a finger (like selecting, editing, etc.) is just not pleasant or efficient like it is on a Mac with a proper keyboard.


I hadn’t noticed until just now (I guess I don’t send as many emails on my iPad as I do my Macs), but I also was pretty sure this used to be the default behavior on IOS too.



It does work on iPadOS for me, but not iOS. (Highlight text in an email, tap the reply button on the bottom-right of the message, tap reply again, just the highlighted text is included below the area to type the reply.)


Whew, it’s not just me. Anyone wanna gonna tell Tim? Steve wouldn’t like it.

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Yes, I know it works in Apple Mail- But not on my iPhone or iPad and I’m current on OS’s. Some says it works in iPadOS but not for me,

I’m curious about this, so I checked again. On my iPad Pro (9.7") running iPADOS 16.4 (public beta), selecting text and clicking reply does nothing – other than reply. In other words, the entire text is still included.

Just to show it… (not running the beta, just 16.3.whateveriscurrent)

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hmm, wonder if this is simply a bug in the current beta?

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This has been true for months & months and it is extremely irritating! Yes, it still works on macOS, no on iPhone and iPad but it used to work.

I so detest all the noise around a quoted text on the Mac that I wrote an applescript to delete the origin line, etc. :smile:


Ok, now I cant do this on iPad. Apparently it was a weird bug(?) that fixed(?) itself.

FWIW, on an iPad Air 2, running 15.7.3, selecting text and clicking “reply” does only select the wanted text as is the case on Mac OS since seemingly forever (Eudora had this feature for instance).

And, now I might have figured it out. Settings / Mail / Increase quote level - turn that off. On iPadOS, this allows you to select text and have only that text be included below the reply.

That does seem to work for some messages in iOS as well. (There were some where it didn’t for me, but they were obviously “heavy” html formatted messages.)


Interesting workaround, but I would still like a real fix. Increased quote level is a good practice imho. Did anyone file this as a bug with Apple?

I’m hoping someone at Apple knows this…The problem with reporting through general feedback is that it goes nowhere. Maybe a Developer might have more clout with a bug report ? Or an Apple Employee ?

I just tried this on my iPhone which has the latest update. Works as expected which is unfortunate because I would prefer the whole email as is under my reply and I will cut and paste the sections I want to reply to on the top quoted.

Now, I’ll copy a section, and then hit reply. Since that section was highlighted, that’s the only part in the reply. I’ll have to cancel my reply, I highlight the selection, then re-reply.

Again, on macOS this is a simple option separate from any quoting levels or other shenanigans. A. Simple. Setting.

There is no reason iOS Mail shouldn’t also supply this as an option to users. The fix would be incredibly simple. Why Apple stubbornly refuses while they still find time to futz around with emojis and bloat is beyond me.

Well, in that case leave the Increase Quote Level at the default on.

Works as expected? you mean it still doesn’t work ? because it’s not working on my devices except my Mac mini. Simply annoying - it’s a bug not a feature.

This is what I don’t understand, because when I reply to a message, it still seems to increase the quote level when I don’t highlight text.

Ok, I just read the description on Apple’s support site. If you highlight text, and hit reply, it doesn’t create a quote level for the text that you highlighted, but it still puts the text below your reply, so it’s obvious that you are replying to that text.

But, reading what it says on the support site:

Quote some text when you reply to an email

When you reply to an email, you can include text from the sender to clarify what you’re responding to.

  1. In the sender’s email, touch and hold the first word of the text, then drag to the last word. (See Select and edit text.)
  2. Tap the More Actions button, tap Reply, then type your message.

Note: To turn off the indentation of quoted text, go to Settings > Mail > Increase Quote Level (below Composing), then turn off Increase Quote Level.

So, reading that, it suggests that highlighting text and hitting reply should just work. Clearly it’s a bug, according to Apple’s web site, that highlighting text and hitting reply doesn’t isolate just that highlighted text below your reply.

But the end result for me is that if I am highlighting text to isolate in a reply, I don’t need the increased quote level if I am replying above the text, and if I am replying below (rare for me) it’s not that difficult to add a quote level.

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