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In rare cases, iPhone and iPad users may encounter the error message “ Unable to Get Mail ” in the Mail app of iOS, indicating that Mail for iOS cannot retrieve new emails or some other problem with the email. mail account as configured. The full error message is displayed up like dollup window and usually says something like “Unable to retrieve email – Connection to server failed.” and is sometimes accompanied by a message “Please enter email account password” along with a small statement “Account Error” at the very bottom of the iOS Mail app. These errors are understandably annoying because they cause email not to work as expected.
If you see the error ‘Unable to get email’ in the Mail app for iPhone or iPad, then this tutorial will try to fix that error message so that you can send and receive emails as usual again in the iOS Mail app.
Troubleshoot “Unable to Get Email” errors on iPhone and iPad
Here are some easy troubleshooting steps to fix the ‘Unable to get email’ error messages on iPhone or iPad Mail app.
1: Confirm active internet connection, wait and try again later
The first thing to do is make sure you have an active internet connection by checking your Wi-Fi and / or cellular connection. This is especially true if the error message is ‘Cannot get email – The connection to the server has failed’, as it is often more likely that a simple and temporary internet connection problem is to blame (in fact, you can error message anytime by internet connection then trying to get your email in Mail app, unsurprisingly it will fail).
Then check if your internet is working. You can do this easily by accessing various websites or apps that use the Internet on your iPhone or iPad. If apps other than the Mail app work fine with the internet, that’s a good indication that the problem is only related to the Mail app and maybe a server problem or an authentication problem.
Anyway, the next thing to do is nothing, just wait and try again later.
This may seem counterintuitive, but there is good reason for this approach; often the error message “Cannot get e-mail” appears simply because of a temporary failure in the internet connection or with the mail server. Just waiting often resolves the email problem completely, especially if the error was related to a problem with an external email server or if an email server was down.
2: Re-verify with the mail server
Next, you need to confirm that your authentication details work with the mail server. This is especially valid if you see the error message “Failed to get email” along with the message “Enter password for (email account)” on the screen.
If you see the “Enter password” screen in the Mail app (or sometimes even on the Home IOS screen), tap ‘Edit settings’ button and confirm that your login and password are correct at the appropriate mail server.
In rare cases, mail servers and email providers may have outages affecting user authentication and login, or after an outage, some email services may require you to re-authenticate with them. Recently, many users have encountered this error with Outlook and Hotmail email accounts where some email servers were unavailable thus preventing user accounts to email accounts. Waiting a while worked for most people to fix this, but for some users (myself included) entering the account password to log in again via iOS Mail was required to resolve the persistent “Cannot Get Mail” error message .
If you see the error “Unable to get email” along with pop-ups of the error “Enter password” on the iOS device, tap “Settings” and verify again:
In this example screenshot, Outlook reauthentication resolved the ‘Unable to retrieve email’ and ‘Enter your password’ errors enough and email started working as expected again:
3: Confirm email settings in iOS
This is a variation of the above trick, but essentially you want to confirm that the email settings are configured as expected.
- Open the “Settings” app and go to “Accounts and Passwords” *
- Tap the email account with the error messages “Unable to get email”
- Log in and verify with the email account if necessary
Often a shortcut is available for this when you tap on the ‘Details’ button at the bottom of the Mail app if that little status bar is showing an error.
If there was a temporary outage in the email server, this simple process often fixes email issues in iOS.
* Slightly counter-intuitive, you don’t want to go to the “Mail” section of Settings, despite tweaking your mail account settings. Instead, since the Mail settings are defined by an account and password, so head over to the Accounts & Passwords section of the Settings app in iOS.
4: Check for actual email server problems
Although rare, sometimes email servers have downtime due to maintenance reasons, crashes, security issues, someone tripped over a cable somewhere, or any number of other reasons. So it may be a good idea to check if the email server is really down.
For major email providers such as Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, Hotmail and the like, you can often just go to those websites directly from a web browser or search the news to see if there is a significant outage. If so, wait until the outage is resolved before attempting to access the mail server.
For smaller email providers, such as from an Internet Service Provider, or a corporate network, business email, or smaller email providers, you may need to contact directly whoever manages the email service or email server itself (such as your IT staff in the office) to confirm that the mail server is working as expected.
5: Restart the iPhone or iPad
The old-fashioned restart of an iPhone or iPad will often fix erroneous problems that are otherwise inexplicable to diagnose or troubleshoot. While it is annoying to reboot a device, it is quick and easy so it is worth troubleshooting regardless of your opinion on it.
Just turn off your device using the iOS Shut Down software feature and then turning the device back on often works, or you can also force a device to restart. Different devices have different methods of restarting:
- How to Force restart iPhone and iPad with a clickable one Home button
- How to Force restart iPhone X
- How to Force restart iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone XS
- How to Force restart iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
- How to Force restart iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
6: Delete and re-add the email account in iOS
If you are sure that your Internet connection is working properly, and the mail server is not offline, and that there are no problems with the Internet connection or the mail server or your login and authentication information, you can delete and re-add them. the email account to the iPhone or iPad.
Deleting and re-adding an email account in iOS can have some unintended side effects as many email providers also sync contacts and notes and other functions through the email account, sometimes with things like loss of notes or contacts or archived email emails. So you want a full backupup of your iOS device in iCloud or iTunes or both before going this route so you don’t lose any data.
- Make a backup firstup from your iPhone or iPad to iCloud or iTunes or both
- Delete the email account from iOS by going to Settings> Accounts & Password> choosing the email account and then choosing ‘Delete account’
- Restart the iPhone or iPad
- Now add the email account back to iOS by going back to Settings> Accounts & Password> and choosing ‘Add Account’
While the process of support up, deleting an email account, rebooting and adding that email account again can be tedious, it is also very effective when everything else fails to fix an issue with Mail app for iOS.
Did this one tricks work to fix the error message ‘Unable to get email’ on iPhone or iPad when trying to check email? Do you have another solution that worked for you? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below!
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