Do you see a “This message has not been downloaded from the server” error while opening new emails in Apple’s Mail app for iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad?
The “This message has not been downloaded from the server” error in Mail for iOS and iPadOS can show up for several reasons. For example, it could be a random connectivity issue with the mail servers, a conflict with how the account’s been set up, or a corrupt instance of the Mail app.
Work your way through the following solutions to troubleshoot and fix the “This message has not been downloaded from the server” error in Mail for iPhone and iPad.
Try These Quick Fixes First
Try the following quick fixes for random one-off instances of the Mail app’s “This message has not been downloaded from the server” error on the iPhone and iPad.
- Read Another Message: Open another email. That just might make the problematic message download alongside it as well.
- Delete and Restore: Moving an email into the trash and restoring it can also nudge the Mail app into downloading its contents.
- Forward Message: Attempt to forward the email to someone else. Then, tap Yes if Mail asks for permission to download the rest of the message.
1. Enable and Disable Airplane Mode
Turning Airplane Mode on and off can resolve various connectivity issues preventing the Mail app from communicating with the email servers.
To do that, swipe down from the top-right of your iOS device to reveal the Control Center. Then, tap the Airplane Mode icon to turn it on. Wait for several seconds and tap it again to turn it off.
2. Restart Router or Switch Networks
Restarting the router can resolve any minor glitches with your internet connection if you’re on a Wi-Fi network. Try joining a different network if that’s not possible. You can also switch from Wi-Fi to mobile data or vice-versa and check if that makes the problem disappear.
3. Force-Close and Re-open Mail App
Force-quitting and relaunching the Mail app is another fix to resolve the “This message has not been downloaded from the server” error. To do that, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the App Switcher. Or, double-click the Home button if your iPhone has one.
Then, locate and drag the Mail card to the top of the screen to force-quit it from memory. Head to the Home Screen and relaunch the Mail app after that.
4. Restart Your iPhone or iPad
If the issue persists, you must restart your iPhone or iPad. To do that, open the Settings app and tap General > Shutdown. Then, swipe the Power icon to the right, wait for 30 seconds, and hold down the Side button to reboot it.
5. Update Your iPhone or iPad
Updating the system software on your iPhone or iPad also updates Mail, potentially resolving any underlying issues stopping the application from downloading your email. To check for iOS updates, open the Settings app and tap General > Software Update.
Note: If the device has been on an older system software version for a while, you may also see the Software Update option at the top of the main Settings menu.
6. Increase the Number of Preview Lines
Consider increasing the number of lines Mail displays while previewing email messages by default. That could help fix the “This message has not been downloaded from the server” error by forcing the app to cache the contents of an email and not just the message header.
1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone. Then, scroll down and tap Mail.
2. Tap Preview.
3. Switch from 2 Lines to 5 Lines.
7. Change Email Sync to No Limit
You can also try lifting the mail account’s sync limit and check if that makes a difference. However, before you do that, you may want to free up some storage on your iPhone or iPad if you’re close to running out.
1. Open the Settings app and tap Mail.
2. Tap Accounts.
3. Tap the account in question and set Mail Days to Sync to No Limit.
8. Use the Fetch Method for Email Delivery
If the issue persists, change how the Mail app receives incoming messages for your account from Push to Fetch. To do that:
1. Open the Settings app and tap Mail > Accounts.
2. Tap the Fetch New Data option, pick your email account, and enable Fetch.
3. Head back to the previous screen and set up your fetch schedule—e.g., every 15 or 30 minutes—underneath the Fetch section.
Note: A faster fetch schedule can adversely impact the battery life on your iPhone or iPad.
9. Stop Other Clients From Deleting Message
If you use an email account set up with the POP (Post Office Protocol) on another device, you must configure its email client to stop deleting messages after downloading them. For example, here’s how to do that in the Mail app on Mac.
1. Open the Mail app on your Mac. Then, select Mail next to the Apple logo on the menu bar and choose Preferences.
2. Switch to the Accounts tab on the Mail Preferences window. Then, select the account in question, and ensure that the “Remove copy from server after retrieving a message” option is inactive.
10. Delete Account and Re-add to Mail
Another way to fix the “This Message Has Not Been Downloaded From the Server” issue in Mail for iOS and iPadOS is to remove and set up the account from scratch.
Warning: Skip this fix if the email account is set up using POP server settings and your iPhone or iPad is the only device that receives your email.
1. Open the Settings app and tap Mail > Accounts.
2. Select the account in question and tap Delete. Then, tap Delete from My iPhone on the confirmation pop-up.
3. Tap Add Account > Other and manually enter your email account details. Select IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) over POP if given the option; check with your email provider for the server addresses.
If you use a Microsoft Exchange or Google Account, use the pre-set options within the Add Account screen to add your email accounts.
11. Offload and Reinstall the Mail App
Offload and reinstall Mail on your iPhone or iPad to resolve any corruption issues with the app. Unlike uninstalling an app, offloading removes the app data only while keeping downloaded emails and other forms of data intact.
1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
2. Tap General > iPhone/iPad Storage.
3. Tap Mail.
4. Tap Offload App, then the Offload App again to confirm.
5. Tap Reinstall App. Or, search for Mail on the App Store and tap Download.
12. Factory Reset Your Network Settings
If none of the fixes above help, try resetting the network settings on your iPhone or iPad. That can help resolve underlying network-related issues preventing the Mail app from downloading messages.
1. Open the Settings app and tap General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset.
2. Tap Reset Network Settings and enter your device passcode or Screen Time passcode.
3. Tap Reset Network Settings to confirm.
Optionally, you may want to consider performing an all settings reset for your iPhone or iPad. That could resolve other conflicts that interfere with how Mail works. Tap Reset All Settings in the step above to initiate an all settings reset.
13. Switch to a Dedicated Email Client
If your attempts at troubleshooting the “This Message Has Not Been Downloaded From the Server” on iPhone and iPad fail, consider switching to the dedicated third-party client app from your email provider. For example, use Gmail if you use a Gmail account or Microsoft Outlook for Microsoft Exchange accounts.