iPhone Mail App Slow? Here's The Real Fix!

David Lynch

MAY 19, 2020

The Mail app on your iPhone is slow and you don't know why. Emails are taking an incredibly long time to load. In this article, I'll show you how to fix the problem when the iPhone Mail app is slow!

Is Every App Slow, Or Is It Just Mail?

The first thing we need to do is determine whether your entire iPhone is slow, or if it's just the Mail app. Open Safari and try to load a couple web pages. If they load quickly and your iPhone is working fine otherwise, the problem is likely isolated within the Mail app.

There may be a wider software problem if your iPhone's other apps are slow too. Check out our video to learn about eleven ways to speed up a slow iPhone.

How's Your Internet Connection?

Your iPhone needs an internet connection to send and receive emails. If your internet connection is weak, the Mail app will work, but it'll be slow.

Did the web pages load quickly when you used Safari in the step above? If so, your internet connection is probably fine. If the web pages loaded slowly, there may be a problem with your iPhone's internet connection.

If You're Using Wi-Fi

Head to Settings -> Wi-Fi and toggle the switch next to Wi-Fi off and back on. This can fix minor Wi-Fi connectivity issues. Check out our other article if the Wi-Fi problem persists.

If You're Using Cellular Data

Head to Settings -> Cellular and toggle the switch next to Cellular Data off and back on. This can a minor issue with your iPhone's connection to your carrier's wireless network. Take a look at our other article if Cellular Data issues persist on your iPhone.

Turn Off Mail Preview

One quick way to speed up the Mail app on your iPhone is to turn off Message List Preview. The Preview is the little snippet which shows you the first couple of sentences of the email. Turning this off gives your iPhone less data to load when you refresh the inbox.

Open Settings and tap Mail -> Preview. Tap None to turn off Preview.

turn off mail preview on iphone

Here's a before and after of my email inbox when I turned off Message List Preview.

iphone mail preview off

How To Fix A Slow Mail App

9 Steps Total

Close And Reopen The Mail App

Closing and reopening the Mail app can fix a minor software issue. Mail gets a fresh start when you open it again.

How Do I Close And Reopen The Mail App?

  1. Open the app switcher by double-pressing the Home button or swiping up from the bottom of the screen (if your iPhone doesn't have a Home button).
  2. Swipe Mail up and off the top of the screen to close the app.
  3. Return to the Home screen and reopen the Mail app.
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Check For Stuck Emails In The Mail App Outbox

If a message gets stuck in the Outbox of the Mail app, it will keep using data as it tries over and over again to send. As this cycle drags on, your iPhone will slowly use up data.

How Do I Check For Stuck Emails In The Mail App Outbox?

  1. Open the Mail app.
  2. Under Mailboxes, tap Outbox.
  3. Check to see if an emails are stuck in the Outbox.
  4. You'll know an email is stuck if you see the status ring to the left of it.
  5. If an email is stuck, delete it and try to send it again.

If Emails Keep Getting Stuck In Outbox

If your emails continue to get stuck in Outbox, there may be an error in your email settings. To fix this problem:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Accounts & Passwords.
  3. Tap your email account under Accounts.
  4. Tap your email address next to Account (see image 3).
  5. Fix any errors with your email settings.
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Restart Your iPhone

Restarting your iPhone can sometimes fix minor software glitches and errors.

How Do I Restart My iPhone?

  1. Press and hold the power button (iPhones without Face ID) or the side button and either volume button (iPhones with Face ID) on your iPhone until the slide to power off slider appears on the display.
  2. Swipe the red power icon from left to right to turn off your iPhone.
  3. Wait about 30 seconds, then press and hold the power button (iPhones without Face ID) or the side button (iPhones with Face ID) again until the Apple logo appears in the center of the display.

Turn Off Your iPhone In The Settings App (Option 1)

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and tap Shut Down.
  4. Swipe the red power icon from left to right.
  5. Plug your iPhone into a power source using a Lightning cable to turn it on again.

Turn Off Your iPhone Using AssistiveTouch

  1. Watch our YouTube video or follow the steps below!
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. Tap General.
  4. Tap Accessibility.
  5. Tap AssistiveTouch.
  6. Turn on the switch next to AssistiveTouch.
  7. Tap the AssistiveTouch button when it appears on the display.
  8. Tap Device.
  9. Tap More.
  10. Tap Restart.
  11. Tap Restart again when the confirmation alert appears.
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Update Your Apps

Apps are regularly updated to fix bugs and minor software issues. If you're using an older version of an app, you may experience those bugs that are fixed with an update.

  1. Open App Store.
  2. Tap on the account icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  3. Scroll down to see available app updates.
  4. Tap Update to update a specific app, or tap Update All to update every app at once.
  5. When the app or apps have been updated, it will say Open next to the app and say the date the app was updated.
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Update iOS On Your iPhone

If your iPhone is running an outdated version of iOS, you may run into problems that could be fixed simply by updating to the most recent version of iOS.

How Do I Update iOS On My iPhone?

There are two ways to update iOS on your iPhone: in the Settings app and by using iTunes.

Update iOS In The Settings App

  1. Open up the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Software Update.
  4. If an update is available, tap Install Now or Download and Install.

Update iOS Using iTunes (PCs and Macs running macOS 10.14 or older)

  1. Connect your iPhone to a computer using a Lightning cable.
  2. Open iTunes.
  3. Click the Phone button in the upper left-hand corner of iTunes (see image 3).
  4. Click Check For Update.
  5. If an update is available, click Download and Install.

Update iOS Using Finder (Macs running macOS 10.15 or newer)

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using a charging cable.
  2. Open Finder.
  3. Click on your iPhone under Locations.
  4. Click the General tab.
  5. Click Check for Update.
  6. Click Download and Install if an iOS update is available.
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Delete Your Email Account And Set It Up Again

Deleting and reconfiguring your Mail accounts can fix a variety of technical issues. Rather than trying to track down the specific account or software problem that's causing issues with the Mail app, we'll remove your accounts entirely and set them up again like new. Deleting an account on your iPhone doesn't delete the email account entirely, but you will have to log back in when you set up your account again.

How Do I Delete My Email Account And Set It Up Again?

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Mail.
  3. Tap Accounts.
  4. Select the account you want to delete.
  5. Tap Delete Account.
  6. Tap Delete From My iPhone when the confirmation pop-up appears.
  7. Repeat this process for any other Mail accounts.
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Delete And Reinstall The Mail App

Deleting and reinstalling an app can fix a persistent software problem. It's possible a file within the app has become corrupted. It's easier to just uninstall the app rather than attempt to track down the root of the problem. The Mail app will be just like new after you've reinstalled it.

How Do I Delete And Reinstall The Mail App?

  1. Press and hold on the Mail icon until the menu appears.
  2. Tap Remove App.
  3. Tap Delete App to confirm.
  4. Open the App Store.
  5. Tap the Search tab in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
  6. Type in "Mail" and tap Search.
  7. Tap the installation button next to Mail.
  8. Head back to the Home screen and tap on the Mail app to reopen it.
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Reset Network Settings

When your iPhone connects to a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth device for the first time, it saves information about how to connect to that network or device. If something changes with that process, it may cause connectivity issues.

Deep software problems, especially with network settings, can be difficult to track down. Rather than trying to track an issue down, we're going to reset all network settings and give your iPhone a fresh start.

How Do I Reset Network Settings?

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down and tap Transfer Or Reset iPhone.
  4. Tap Reset.
  5. Tap Reset Network Settings.
  6. Enter your passcode if prompted.
  7. Your iPhone will shut down, reset, and turn itself on again when the reset is complete.
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Repair Your iPhone With Apple

Apple repairs iPhones at the Genius Bar in Apple Stores and through their online mail-in repair service. Apple repairs are high-quality, but out-of-warranty repairs can be much more expensive than third-party solutions. If you're looking to save some money you're not covered by Apple's warranty, you may want to check out our other recommendations.

How Do I Repair My iPhone With Apple?

How To Repair Your iPhone With Apple's Mail-In Service

  1. Visit Apple's support website to begin the online mail-in repair process.
  2. Alternatively, call 1-800-MY-APPLE (1-800-692-7753) to set up a repair.

How To Repair Your iPhone At The Genius Bar Inside Your Local Apple Store

  1. Visit Apple's website to make a Genius Bar appointment before you go into the store. Apple Stores are extremely busy, and if you don't have an appointment, you may have to wait for hours or end up being turned away. (Editor's note: I'm a former Apple tech and we're not exaggerating — please, do yourself a favor and make an appointment first!)
  2. When you arrive, go to the Genius Bar to check in for your appointment.
  3. Genius Bar appointments always include free diagnosis. If you're under warranty, many repairs can be done on the spot, but it all depends upon which parts are in stock. If you're not under warranty, the Genius will give you a quote for the cost of a repair.
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High Speed Mail!

You've fixed the problem on your iPhone and Mail is loading quickly. Make sure to share this article on social media to teach your friends and family what to do when the iPhone Mail app is slow. Have any other questions about Mail? Leave them in the comments section below!

Applies To: iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone SE 2, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, M


David Lynch

David Lynch is an expert on cell phones, cell phone plans, and other tech. After using a flip phone into his early 20s, he learned the ropes about iPhones and Androids from a former Apple employee. Today, his articles and videos are read and viewed by millions, and he has been cited by major publications including Reader's Digest, Wired, CMSWire, Consumers Advocate, and more.

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1 year ago

What a useless article – Clearly just clickbait with recycled content which was of no use

1 year ago

Sorry done all that and no improvement. Most emails are ok but since the latest ios15.5 emails that contain background graphics can take minutes to ‘open’

10 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Same issue here.