Apple Mail has received a welcome feature since iOS 16. You can now schedule and unsend emails and use advanced search to find important emails in a short time. The usual inconsistencies remain the same. Sometimes the Mail app gets stuck checking for email or downloading messages, leaving you with a broken workflow. If you often encounter the same, here are the best ways to fix Apple Mail stuck downloading messages on iPhone.
When you open Apple Mail after a long time, the app downloads the latest messages from added email accounts. You may miss important company emails or bank messages when the app gets stuck downloading messages. Let’s troubleshoot the problem in no time.
1. Activate Mobile Data for Mail
If you have disabled mobile data access for the Mail app, it will freeze when downloading messages. You need to enable mobile data for the Mail app.
Step 1: Open Settings on your iPhone.
Step 2: Scroll to Mail.
Step 3: Turn on the mobile data switch.
Swipe up and hold to access the multitasking menu. Swipe up on Mail to close the app completely. Open the Mail app again and start downloading messages.
2. Check Network connection
Are you experiencing frequent network issues on your iPhone? The Mail app does not download messages on a sketchy internet connection. You can temporarily enable and disable airplane mode to reset your network connection.
If you have an iPhone with a notch, swipe down from the top right corner to access Control Center. Additionally, iPhone users with a physical home button can swipe up from the bottom to activate the flight toggle.
After disabling airplane mode, run an internet speed test to confirm if your iPhone is getting enough bandwidth. For smooth email operations, connect your iPhone to a solid Wi-Fi network (preferably 5 GHz frequency).
3. Remove and add email account
Have you recently changed your Gmail or Outlook account password? You must authenticate with new account credentials in the Mail app to be able to download new messages. If the Mail app doesn’t ask for a new account password, remove the account and add it again from Settings. Follow the steps below.
Step 1: Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
Step 2: Scroll to Mail.
Step 3: Select Accounts.
Step 4: Tap on a problematic email account. Select Delete account from the following menu and confirm the decision.
Step 5: Return to the Accounts menu and select “Add Account”.
Step 6: Select your email provider and log in with your account credentials.
After a successful setup process, open the Mail app to let it sync data and start downloading messages.
4. Check Apple Mail Status
If Apple Mail faces a power outage, the app gets stuck downloading messages. Apple provides a dedicated website to check service status. Open your preferred web browser and go to Apple System Status. Make sure it shows a green indicator next to iCloud Mail. If there are any problems, you will see an orange or yellow indicator. You have no choice but to wait for Apple to fix the problem.
5. Check Gmail or Outlook storage
Gmail comes with 15 GB of storage shared between Google Photos, productivity apps and Google Drive. If Google Drive is low on space, the Mail app won’t download new messages. Similarly, Outlook only has 5 GB of storage space.
Step 1: Visit Google Drive online and sign in with your Google Account details.
Step 2: Check the remaining storage space from the bottom left corner.
If you’re running low on Google Drive storage, see our guide to freeing up space on it. Otherwise, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the Google One plans.
Outlook users can check the remaining storage using the steps below. Microsoft offers 5 GB of free space as standard.
Step 1: Open the Outlook website in a web browser.
Step 2: Select the Settings gear at the top right to open all the settings.
Step 3: Select General and go to the Storage menu.
Check a detailed overview of Outlook storage. You can manage Outlook space from the same menu. After you have enough storage space to receive emails, you won’t find Mail stuck downloading messages.
6. Disable email privacy.
Email privacy works by hiding your IP address and locating external content privately in the background, even when you don’t open the message. It’s part of iCloud Private Relay. If the service faces an outage, the Mail app gets stuck downloading messages. Use the steps below to disable the feature.
Step 1: Open Mail in iPhone Settings (see steps above).
Step 2: Go to Privacy and disable “Protect email activity”.
7. Reinstall the Mail app
If Apple Mail is still stuck downloading messages, it’s time to reinstall the app and start from scratch.
Long press the Mail app icon and select “Remove app”. Confirm the same from the following menu. Open the App Store and reinstall the Mail app.
8. Try Apple Mail Alternatives
The App Store is packed with capable third-party email apps. Gmail, Outlook and Spark are some notable apps for managing your emails like a pro.
Receive emails on the go
Apple Mail stuck downloading messages can cause you to miss important emails. Instead of accessing your emails from a cumbersome Gmail web, you can use the above tricks and start receiving messages. Which trick worked for you? Share your experience in the comments below.