6 Best Fix­es for Can­not Get Mail Error on iPhone and iPad

Olanrewaju Sodiq

Do you get a 'Cannot Get Mail' error when you open an email on your iPhone or iPad's Mail app? If yes, you should read this guide to the end. We've detailed six (6) different ways to get the issue fixed. Check them out and get back to receiving emails swiftly without issues.

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The Mail app displays this error message when it is unable to initiate a connection with the email provider's server successfully. And the reason behind this may vary. It could be due to poor internet connection, incorrect email configurations, or some device-specific glitches. Before you proceed to the solutions below, you should try force-stopping the Mail app and restart your iPhone/iPad. If the error message still pops up afterward, refer to the troubleshooting instructions in the next paragraphs.

1. Troubleshoot Internet Connection

Whenever this error pops up on your iPhone or iPad's screen, your first port of call should check that your device is connected to the internet. If you're using cellular data, disable it and turn it back on. Do the same if you're connected to a Wi-Fi network. Enabling Airplane mode and turning it back off after some seconds could also help refresh your device's internet connection. If the error persists, you should check that your internet source (Wi-Fi router) is powered on and transmitting data correctly.

Try using other apps and check if they have access to the internet. If Mail is the only affected app, check that it has access to your device's mobile data. Go to Settings > Mail and make sure Mobile Data is toggled on.

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We also recommend reading some detailed guides we've prepared on fixing internet and connectivity-related issues on your iPhone and iPad.

2. Modify Device Push Settings

Your device's Push configurations could also affect how the Mail app retrieve new emails. On devices running the iOS 11 or newer, the mail app is configured to fetch new messages from Apple's email server automatically. If your iPhone or iPad isn't set to receive new updates, you might encounter this 'Cannot Get Mail' error automatically. Follow the steps below to check your device's push notification settings.

Step 1: Launch the iOS Settings menu and select 'Passwords & Accounts.'

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Step 2: Next, select 'Fetch New Data.'

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Step 3: First, toggle on Push. And finally, check that Fetch is set to Automatically.

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That will ensure that new data/updates are pushed to your iPhone from the Mail app server as soon as possible.

Note: Your iPhone/iPad will only fetch new data for Mail and other apps only when charging or when connected to Wi-Fi.

3. Disable Low Power Mode

The iOS Low Power Mode can help improve your device's battery life, but it comes at certain costs. For one, having Low Power Mode enabled will pause your device's Push settings (in #2 above) and consequently delay how often the Mail app fetches new emails. Close the mail app, disable Low Power Mode, and check if the mail app now works properly.

If the battery icon on your device's Status Bar or Control Center is colored yellow, it means Low Power Mode is enabled. Tap the yellow battery icon in the Control Center to disable Low Power Mode.

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Alternatively, navigate to Settings > Battery and toggle off Low Power Mode.

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Now, relaunch the Mail app and check if your emails now appear in your inbox.

4. Reconnect Account to the Mail App

That entails removing the affected third-party email account from the Mail app and re-adding the account. Let's show you how.

Step 1: Launch the Settings menu and select 'Passwords & Accounts.'

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Step 2: Select the email account under the Accounts section.

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Step 3: Toggle off the Mail option, wait for a second, and toggle it back on.

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Now, relaunch the Mail app and check if the 'Cannot Get Mail' error persists. If it does, proceed to Step #4 below to delete the account from your device.

Step 4: Tap Delete Account and select 'Delete from My iPhone' on the confirmation prompt.

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Step 5: To re-add the account, select Add Account on the 'Passwords & Accounts' page.

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You'll be prompted to select an email provider and enter your account credentials afterward.

5. Reset Network Settings

Since the error is, most times, due to network-related issues, resetting your device's network settings could help. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. You can learn more about what resetting network settings do to your iPhone/iPad in this guide.

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6. Check for Service Outage

Should the Mail app continue to display this error after trying all the solutions above, you should confirm if everything's fine on your email service providers' end. Check if they are experiencing a server outage or downtime. You can check the status of the iCloud mail service on the Apple System Status page. For Gmail, Yahoo, and other third-party email providers, you can use trusted website analyzers like DownDetector to check for service outages and disruptions.

Get Your Emails

It's also possible to encounter this error if there's a problem with your email account credentials. If you recently changed your email ID or password on another device, we recommend that you disconnect and re-add the account to the Mail app (see method #4 above) with the new account credentials. Updating your device's iOS could also help—this will simultaneously update the Mail app and fix any software or bug-related hitch responsible for this error.

Next up: Want to compose an email on your iPhone or iPad but the Mail app is nowhere to be found? Read the article linked below to learn how to get it back quickly.

The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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Sodiq has written thousands of tutorials, guides, and explainers over the past 3 years to help people solve problems relating to Android, iOS, and Windows devices. He also enjoys reviewing consumer tech products (smartphones, smart home devices, etc.) and previously worked with GearBest in that capacity.