iPad/iPhone/iPod Mail Crashes: Fix

In some cases, iOS Mail (used by the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch) may unexpectedly quit. In many cases, this issue is caused by problematic mail messages stored on IMAP servers.


In most cases, deleting the problematic messages will resolve the issue. Follow this process:

  1. Open your email account(s) in a desktop computer mail client or a web interface (e.g. gmail.com)
  2. Delete any messages over 6 MB in size and any messages and any “mail delivery failure” messages
  3. Delete your email account from your iOS device, then reestablish it


  1. says


    Just updated my son’s ipod touch with iOS 4. Everything ok apart from the mail app. Previously he could download email to his ipod touch, but now the hotmail servers are not being configured and it ipod is saying the pop3.live.com server is not responding.

    Any ideas??

  2. says

    I have the issue of the mail app STILL crashing. Using comcast.net.
    I deleted ALL mail at comcast, including deleted and sent folders.
    I then deleted my account(s), ALL of them, on my iPad, and then added my comcast account again. However, there are STILL 37 ‘unread’ mail items shown (little ’37’ by the icon), and when I open it, it closes in 3-4 seconds.
    So, as you said, in MOST cases this works, but not mine. Any advice?

    • Reuben says

      My iPad opens mail but it does not lode and in a few tikes it quits out but the mail shows in Spotlight search my iOS is 8.1.2

  3. says

    I’m having same issue “Not responding” only since upgrading my Iphone 3gs to the latest 4.0. If I keep retrying it eventually will work . It only seems to be affecting the my hotmail account. Any help would be appreciated.

  4. says

    Mail on iPod Touch, with latest software version, updates inbox, but on displaying inbox, mail freezes, then crashes.

    I have restored, reset and set up as a new device, re-entered mail and network settngs; still Mail refuses to behave as it should and we are led to believe it should.

    Any suggestions to resolve this situation appreciated.

  5. says

    It seems that you are not alone
    I have discovered the same problem as above
    ” However, there are STILL 37 ‘unread’ mail items shown (little ’37′ by the icon), and when I open it, it closes in 3-4 seconds.”
    After call tech support for Mac, suggestion is that
    it may be hardware not software and hence it’s off to the Mac dealer to repair or replace.. move on
    Life’s to short to sort this stuff out on ya own..

  6. says

    Update, well the deleting huge emails and resetting the mail account information
    has solved the issue, IT HAS WORKED
    no need to see the Mac doc
    Email is now working and back in sync as well.

    • Lenzlle says

      Resetting the mail account? How did you do that? You deleted your account in iOS then reestablish it? How about your previous emails? They weren’t deleted at all???

  7. says


    I had the same problem and your solution fixed it. Thanks for sharing. I deleted the mail delivery failure emails using webmail and no more crashes on the iPad of the Mail program.

  8. says

    Same problem here so I sent myself (from laptop) 50 emails and opened them on my iPad. Could only open without crashing by turning pad off then on, then open mail. The 50 emails meant they pushed the older emails off my iPad including whatever the offending one was.

    Ps. Had already deleted all emails from my laptop and accounts as others have suggested…

  9. says

    Thanks for this advice. My iPhone 3GS email kept crashing after 2 seconds. I tried deleting the account and resetting, switching off, then deleting large “mail delivery failure ” messages (which had attachments) on my laptop. Various combinations of the above actions seem to have finally worked!

  10. says

    One thing I have noticed is messages that are not fully
    downloaded and I hit the delete icon crashes Mail. If I restart it
    and let the message fully download it deletes ok and doesn’t

  11. says

    The Mail app on my ipad now has a 50 on a red background in the top right corner of the icon. When I click on it to open, it seems to take forever – even when there is no new mail!
    What’s the problem and how do I fix it. By the way, prior to its appearing, I did trash a number of old e-mails received and sent. Given the comments elsewhere on the subject, this may be the source of my problem.

  12. says

    Yes it worked for me on my i4 running 4.2.1 i reset the phone(first reset option when you go to settings) i deleted all my accounts and did the reset and restarted the phone and put all the mail accounts back.the problem have been resolved anymore experiencing the frequent crushes.thanks for the tips

  13. rob.lee says

    i use the above the solution but doesn’t work


    please try this:
    everytime you open the mail app (iOS device), it will first download the message and display the 2 line preview 1 by 1, you will notice it will always crash on the same message, try deleting that message on your gmail (not in the mail app). voila!

    it works for me.



    • Brad says

      I had this problem twice, now. The first time I replaced the phone under extended warranty. THen it worked OK.
      About 6 months later, same problem.
      So on my MacBook Pro, I deleted the last week’s messages.
      Mail on my iPhone works fine right now. Amazing that Apple technicians didn’t figure this out.

  14. Renee vaughn says

    I went into settings on my IPAD and deleted my email account and then went back and reloaded it and it now works. Thanks everyone for the advice.

    • says

      I have a similar issue. A users iphone email crashes only when replying to one specific person . I reply to that person using the same web client and works fine for me . I have had him use diff iphone and issue persists . that person is using an galaxy on sprints network . any help please thanks

  15. Yasmine says

    Help me!

    I downloaded the new version of ipod touch two weeks ago (iOS 5.0.1) whenever i get a new email, there is a push notification in my mail app that i have one.. Then, 2 days later, it just disappears by itself! I didn’t even delet it! And when i try to see my inbox, or the mails i sended, or just the folders i created, they say that there is no email.. Per example, it only appears the emails that i created or sended or received when i was on my ipod touch.. If i received an email when i was on the conputer, it wont show my on my ipod, even if i refresh the mail! And also, even if i get and email from my ipod, 2 days later it delets automatically! What can i do? I can’t even read my 1 week old emails!
    I even tried to put : Show last 75 messages, it won’t work…

    Help me please,

    Thanks :)

  16. Izabela says

    I have an Ipod. Few days ago my mail just froze. I didn’t upgrade any software and I didn’t open any mail delivery emails. It still downloads new emails, but I can’t open any of them. I reset all my accounts, I even opened a new empty email account, but nothing works. The mail is being delivered but I can’t open anything.

    Any suggestions?

  17. rich says

    On my iPod I had a failed network connection during a mail send (Gmail) with photos attached. Mail crashed during the send and consequent attempts to launch mail resulted in a blank screen crash.

    I had to remove all of my Gmail accounts for mail to launch. Once I added all of the accounts back everything began working fine. I have no idea why problems with one Gmail account required me to remove all of them but that’s what worked for me.

  18. Matt says

    It doesn’t work for me my iPod crashed when I was deleting some n64 rooms (when I jailbroke my iPod) and then it crashed and stuck on the apple logo …. A few weeks l8r it dosnt wanna work the email and safari crashes all the time and my gamecenter account takes to long to load idk what the hell is up with my iPod the iOS is a 6.1.3 so I think the update was the problem … Make a thing to down grade it and thx of u did plz help my parents got me this iPod on Christmas …. I’m using my brothers iPod that’s how I’m able to post this comment

  19. karry says

    my mail app keeps crashing and has been for at least a month now and ive litterally tried everything from downloading all over againa and deleting account to wiping the ipad. someone please help!

  20. Donna says

    I wrote an email, and proceeded to add about 6-8 pics to the letter. They must have been too large and they caused my email in my iPad to crash. Now what? Email will not open; it locks on a blank screen or bumps me out altogether. I went on computer, pulled up email account to delete the pics, but I cannot open it up. Just a blank page shows, then it boots off. I need help.

    • lenzelle says

      I have the same problem with you. I inserted panoramic photos. Then it was crashing since its too large. Then I kept insisting to put it back and try to send immediately. The the last time it crashes, it doesn’t want to open any more. I needed to install yahoo mail just so I can still use my mail app. But I really want to fix the mail IOS of my iPhone 4s. I did the hard restart (push buttons power on/off and home) still doesn’t work. I don’t want to upgrade it because I’ve read some negative feedback about it. And I’m afraid if taking the risk to reset something. Sigh.

    • Candice says

      Put your phone/iPad into airplane mode then pull up the mail app. The offending email should finally come up without the app crashing so you can delete it! Then all should be well once you take it back out of airplane mode. I thanked my husband for that little stroke of genius :)

  21. Livenda says

    I wrote an email, and proceeded to add about 6-8 pics to the letter. They must have been too large and they caused my email in my iPad to crash. Now what? Email will not open; it locks on a blank screen or bumps me out altogether. I went on computer, pulled up email account to delete the pics, but I cannot open it up. Just a blank page shows, then it boots off. I need help.

  22. peterC says

    i scanned down the whole of this thread and got to you. this is exactly what i did with same outcome. did you get solved?

  23. Amy says

    I’m having the same problem as Donna (“E-mail will not open; it locks on a blank screen or bumps me out altogether”), except that I tried to send a voice note from my iPhone 5c, but neglected to check the size. The e-mail that broke my mail app doesn’t show up on G-mail when I log from my laptop or iPad. Please help?

  24. Mic says

    The fix worked for me. It didn’t even occur to me that just one offending email could be causing all the crashing issues. I wasnt able to see the offending email on the web version (my email doesn’t save to web just locally) but I think waiting it out till the email was pushed out might have removed the problem along with the offending email. And yes, it was a large attachment that started it all….won’t be doing that again!

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