Works like a charm, until it doesn't.
January 7, 2014 4:40 PM   Subscribe

Why is my iPhone choking on my mail all of a sudden?

I've had an iPhone for the past three years and in all that time (going from a 4 to a 4s, and through several iOS upgrades) have never had a problem with sending or receiving mail. In the last week or so, though, my phone is having severe difficulty with "remembering" that I have mail accounts. I can try to get to an Apple store to get it checked out but the problem is intermittant enough that I'm afraid I'll carve time out of my day and the problem won't be evident when I get there, so I turn to MeFi for help.

Specs: iPhone 4s running 7.0.4
Carrier: AT&T and sometimes wifi while at home--doesn't seem to be tied to carrier though
Gmail and Yahoo mail accounts

In the mail program, no mail program is evident--I get the "Welcome to Mail" screen with iCloud/Exchange/Google, etc as options

In Settings/Mail,Contacts,Calendars, my mail accounts are still shown under "Accounts" and the "mail" button is yes within those accounts

Sometimes I also will go into Settings/Mail,Contacts,Calendars while I'm having this problem and see Account entries with "?" as the account name and "inactive" as status. Sometimes multiple entries like this.

If I find that the mail program isn't recognizing my mail accounts, and I forget to go into Settings/Mail,Contacts,Calendars and delete the existing entry for, say, my gmail account, the "Welcome to Mail" screen will let me choose the Gmail entry, add in all my info, check me into my account, but then the "Mail" button will be grayed out in the on position (whereas contacts and calendar are not)

Lastly, once while wrestling with this I got an error message saying something to the effect that "this account won't be able to send or receive mail". I googled this on my phone and rustled up some answer that had to do with gmail needing captcha verification, something? I went to gmail and did some kind of affirmation thing through Safari which seemed to make it better for a day or so but the problem is not solved.

Any ideas? This is well into "first world problem" territory, although unfortunately the first known instance of this problem was last week when I missed the emails from my kid's elementary school saying that the after school program would be closed due to a snowstorm. I don't need that kind of stress. Halp?
posted by Sublimity to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have a 4S running 7.0.4 and the same thing has been happening. When I restart the phone, email returns.
posted by JuliaKM at 5:04 PM on January 7, 2014

How often do you turn your phone completely off?

A friend using a iPhone 4S (and he just confirmed 7.0.4) commented that his mail will stop refreshing and synchronizing unless he turns it off regularly. He said he used to go days without turning it off.

So now in the evening he turns off the phone, leaves on nightstand unplugged and turned off while brushes teeth, etc. then when getting in bed turns it back on, plugs in charger, and sets alarm for morning. Daily routine shutoff yet the phone is never off when you need it and because he needs to set his alarm, he will remember it needs to be turned on again.
posted by variella at 6:10 PM on January 7, 2014

This has happened to me intermittently with my iPhone 4S. If I go into the application switcher, quit the Mail program by whisking it up to the top, and reopen it again, all is well again. It's faster than restarting the phone entirely.
posted by mayhap at 6:31 PM on January 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thanks for those suggestions. Definitely less of a hassle than typing in my purposefully long and complicated passwords on this little keyboard.

I don't typically close the mail program or turn the phone off--and never have. This hasn't presented problems until lately, so I'm still curious even if there are less cumbersome fixes...
posted by Sublimity at 6:16 AM on January 8, 2014

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