5 Common Email Issues on iPhones (and How to Fix Them)

You’re standing by for an important email from your boss. You check your iPhone: no new emails. At close of business… still nothing. That’s when you notice the last email you received today was this morning. Ugh. Where are all your emails, and can you fix this problem yourself?

As smart as smartphones are, they aren’t infallible. Fortunately, iPhone owners can resolve many common problems themselves. Among those problems:

  • I can’t open emails on my iPhone.
  • I can’t send emails from my iPhone.
  • My iPhone and computer inboxes aren’t in sync.
  • My iPhone isn’t showing all my emails.
  • I’m not receiving new emails on my iPhone.

Of note: If you’re using Apple’s Mail app, it’s possible that your email account is receiving emails, but your inbox isn’t displaying them. Check out SaneBox’s deep-dive article into how to combat this issue.

By the way, SaneBox integrates well with Apple Mail on iPhones. It steers less-important emails into folders for later review, so you can easily see that important message from your boss now.

Next Steps: Things All iPhone Users Should Know How to Do

Before bugging your IT person try these basics, in this order. You’ll feel like a tech genius if they work. If they don’t, IT will appreciate your effort.

Quit the Mail app. 

No, not for good. Just as a first attempt to restore Apple Mail’s normal behavior. Don’t just swipe up on an open Mail window–that only hides it. Swipe up and pause in the middle. When the window shrinks, then swipe up again.

Now tap the Mail icon and see if your issue persists. No luck? No worries. Proceed to the next technique.

Restart Your iPhone.

First things first: Save important work a restart could wipe out.

To restart an iPhone X, 11, 12, or 13, press and hold either volume button on the left side of your phone while doing the same with the button on the right side. Once the power-off slider appears on screen, drag it to the right and wait a half-minute for your phone to shut down. Then press and hold the right-side button to restart. Unlock your phone and tap the Mail icon.

All good? If yes, congrats! If not, keep reading. 

(Note that Apple provides instructions for restarting iPhones older than the X on their site.)

Update your iOS.

Updating your phone’s iOS is an essential bit of maintenance. Running an old version of Apple’s mobile operating system may offer less-than-state-of-the-art performance and could be at the root of some problems.

Plug your iPhone into a power source and make sure you’re connected to wi-fi. Then tap Settings > General > Software Update > Install Now. If you see Download and Install as your only option, tap it and enter your iPhone passcode. You’ll then be able to tap Install Now.

While you’re at it, you can set up automatic updates. Under Settings, tap General, then Software Update. Tap it to activate Automatic Updates.

Proceed with caution.

Self-proclaimed experts may recommend trying to roll back to an older version of iOS if problems seemingly pop up after an update, but this can cause more problems than it might solve.  

Likewise, think twice before restoring your iPhone to its factory settings. Starting afresh with an automatic iOS update might sound great, but the process wipes clean your data.

So try our easy, safe recommendations first, skip the more drastic advice you may encounter, and if all else fails, hit up IT for help, knowing you did what you should first.