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[11 Methods] Fix This Message Has Not Been Downloaded from the Server

While accessing and managing emails from your iPhone or iPad is convenient, there are times when you may encounter some issues with the Mail app. One such issue is when you open an email and all you see displayed is This message has not been downloaded from the server.

Have you come across such an error message and don't know what to do about it or even what causes it? You'll find this guide helpful. Here, we'll outline the 12 best solutions you can use to troubleshoot and fix this error, including a tool that can fix it instantly. But first, let's know why This message has not been downloaded from the server prompt shows up on your device.

this message has not been downloaded from the server

Why Is “This Message Has Not Been Downloaded from the Server” Issue Occurring?

You've probably been asking yourself, "Why are my emails saying, 'This message has not been downloaded from the server' when I open them?" Well, according to technical experts, this error message can show up due to the following reasons.

  • A Software Bug – In most cases, the reason behind this issue is a bug in your iPhone/iPad Mail app (Not your mail service - Gmail, Yahoo, Rediff mail, etc.). The app can become buggy and start lagging if it's never updated to the latest version. As such, it may fail to download messages from mail services, causing the error message to appear.
  • Mail App Not Installed Properly – You may fail to receive or download messages if the Mail app is not installed properly. The defective installation results in a corrupt app that's unable to connect properly with the source, thereby leading to the error message.
  • Unstable Internet Connection – If you have low data bandwidth or your data connection is poor, the app may fail to fetch messages, resulting in the "This message has not been downloaded from the server iPhone" error when you open emails.
  • Anti-spam Filter – The anti-spam filter may reconfigure the Mail app by changing the name and address of the email sender, and even the message format. This new setup may be incompatible with your device, leading to email messages failing to download.
  • Outdated iPhone iOS – If you've not updated your iPhone iOS, it's probably the cause of the failed download problem. The old iOS could be causing the app to malfunction.

How to Fix “This Message Has Not Been Downloaded From The Server” ?

You can fix this issue of "This message has not been downloaded from the server" using various methods. Here are the 12 best solutions you can try.

#1. Restart Mail

Doing a restart is often all it takes to fix most iPhone issues. Considering that the Mail app doesn't offer a feature for re-downloading a message, restarting the app can fix this issue.

If your iPhone has Face ID and no Home button, simply swipe up the screen and hold in the center to launch the app switcher. Find the Mail app in the list of apps. When you find it, flick up on its icon to close it. Once it's closed, open the app again and go to the message that had an error to see if it's okay now.

 restart mail app

#2. Turn Airplane Mode On and Off

If there is various connectivity issues that are causing the Mail app not to download messages from the email servers, enabling and disabling the Airplane mode can fix them.

  • Open the Control Center – go to the screen's top right corner and swipe down.
  • Find the Airplane Mode icon and tap it to enable it.
  • Tap the icon again after several seconds to disable Airplane Mode.

airplane mode

#3. Open Phone Settings and Enable Fetch

It's possible to solve this message download problem using the push or fetch method. The Push method allows you to get new mail notifications on your Mail app while the Fetch method is what gets mails stored in the mail service provider's server. The Mail app (the client) constantly asks for the mail and as such, you always receive a mail notification.

Now the Push feature is often enabled on your iPhone by default. Still, though, the Mail app may fail to run this push function well, resulting in the "This message has not been downloaded from the server iPhone" error. Turning on the Fetch email function can solve this because it will allow the app to get the mail directly from the server. Here's how to do it.

  • Launch the Settings app and tap the Mail option.
  • Select Accounts. Next, tap Fetch New Data.
  • Go to the Push option and disable it.
  • Next, go to the iCloud option and tap it.
  • Select Fetch and then set it to Automatically.

fetch new data

  • If you have multiple email accounts, you'll need to enable Fetch for each one of them separately.
  • When you're done, save the changes and close Settings.
  • Restart the phone now and confirm if the problem is fixed.

#4. Change Mail Preview Lines to 5

Most Mail apps download just the email headers first. The remaining message is downloaded later when you open the email. So, if there's a glitch and the Mail app fails to download the header or message, the failed download error will show up. You can fix this by simply setting the mail preview lines to 5 so that the Mail app is forced to download the header and the message at the same time. To do that:

  • Open the Settings app and go to the Mail tab.
  • Under Message List, tap the Preview option.
  • Choose 5 Lines and then restart the iPhone. Now check if the failed message download issue is fixed.

change mail list preview

If the same error is still there, check if your emails are arranged in custom-created folders. If so, try removing any special character such as a tide ~ from the folder name to see if the error will disappear.

#5. Remove Email Sync Limit

Setting your mail account's sync to no limit can solve this problem. Try it out, but first, check if you have sufficient storage space on your device. If it's not enough, free up some space.

  • Go to Settings and open the Mail tab.
  • Go to Accounts and select the specific account.
  • Tap the Mail Days to Sync option and set it to No Limit.

remove email sync limit

#6. Restart Your iPhone

Are you still seeing the same error? Try restarting your iPhone to give the Mail app a fresh start and allow it to re-download any messages it failed to download.

Simply ask Siri to restart the iPhone for you. Long-press the side button and just say, "Restart my iPhone" then confirm. When the phone boots up, go to the Mail app and try opening the email again to see if it's okay now.

You don't use Siri? Follow these steps to restart the phone.

If the iPhone has Face ID

  • Long-press the Side button together with the Volume Up/Down button.
  • Drag to the right the power icon in the Power Off slider that appears.
  • Wait about 30 seconds for the phone to completely power down.
  • Now power up the phone by long-pressing the Side button.

restart iphone x and newer models

If the iPhone has a Home button

  • Go to the Home button and long press it until you see the Power Off slider.
  • Drag the power icon in the slider to the right to power down the phone.
  • After about 30 seconds, long-press the Side/Top button to start up the phone.

restart iphone with home button

#7. Remove and Re-add the Account

You may have to delete your account at this point if the error "This message has not been downloaded from the server" has failed to clear. Once you delete it, add it again.

  • Open Settings and select Mail.
  • Tap on Accounts. Select the account that's having problems.
  • Hit Delete Account at the bottom to remove the account.

delete mail account

Note that your account will get removed from your iPhone completely, including any saved drafts that are not yet pushed to the server. If all the messages are saved on the server, though, the email messages that are in your inbox won't be affected.

  • With the Account deleted, go to Settings again.
  • Tap on Mail, and open Accounts again.
  • Select Add Account and then add your new account.

add mail account

After successfully adding the account, enable Mail and allow your iPhone to download your mail message – it can take a while, so be patient.

#8. Factory Reset the Network Settings

Try to reset your iPhone/iPad network settings - you may just fix some underlying network-related issues that stop the Mail app from fetching and downloading messages.

  • Launch Settings and open the General tab.
  • Go to Transfer or Reset iPhone. Select the Reset option.
  • Now tap Reset Network Settings. Type your device/Screen Time passcode.
  • Hit Reset Network Settings once more to confirm your choice.

reset network settings

If that doesn't work, consider factory resetting all your iPhone/iPad settings. It's a drastic measure but it may fix some unknown conflicts that affect how the Mail works. To do the factory reset, select the Reset All Settings option in the third step above.

#9. Update the iOS

We mentioned that outdated iOS is one of the reasons behind the "This message has not been downloaded from server iPhone" problem. You may have not updated the iOS of your iPhone for a while now and as such, the outdated iOS is now interfering with the Mail app - probably preventing it from receiving email messages.

It's time you let your phone spring back to life by updating the iOS. It will give it a fresh start and ultimately fix many other issues. Before doing the update, though, your phone should be on full charge (or plugged into a wall charger) and connected to a strong and stable internet – without a reliable internet connection the update may not be successful.

  • Head to Settings and tap General.
  • Select the iPhone Storage option.
  • Under the Software Update tab, check if there's a latest iOS update.
  • Allow the update to finish and your iPhone to restart.
  • Now check if your email messages have been downloaded successfully.

update ios

#10. Use a Dedicated Email Client Instead

You don't have to stick to your phone's email client if you're still getting the same error after attempting to troubleshoot it. You can use a dedicated third-party app that your email provider offers. If you have a Gmail account, you can switch to Gmail instead or Microsoft Outlook if you have Microsoft Exchange accounts.

One-stop Solution to Fix All iOS Issues

You may know "This message has not been downloaded from the server meaning," what causes it, and even try out the above troubleshooting steps, but the problem persists. In this case, it's highly possible there's a software bug or a serious firmware issue that's behind the error. The most effective way to fix this is to use a powerful iOS system repair tool. FoneGeek iOS System Recovery is a perfect example. It's able to deal with this message download problem at once.

The program is designed mainly for iOS system repair – it can fix over 150 iOS system issues with a high success rate, including this issue. It can fix system crashes, iPhone stuck in Apple logo, and so on. Moreover, the program is easy to use even for beginners and none of your data is affected while it's fixing your device.

Features of FoneGeek iOS System Recovery

  • Solves more than 150 iOS system problems like reboot loop, stuck on Apple logo, etc.
  • Downgrade iOS (like iOS 16 beta) to a lower version without using iTunes.
  • One click to put iPhone/iPad in recovery mode or to remove it.
  • Doesn't affect data when fixing the device.
  • Compatible with any iPhone model or iOS version, even iOS 17 and iPhone 15.


Fix the email message download error using FoneGeek iOS System Recovery.

  • Download FoneGeek to your computer, install it, and then run it. Select Standard Mode and get your iPhone and computer connected via a USB cable. If FoneGeek detects the iPhone, hit Next.

choose repair mode

  • Next, download the right firmware for your device by clicking on Download.

download firmware package

  • After downloading the firmware, click Fix Now and FoneGeek will begin fixing every iOS issue on your iPhone. Give it several minutes to finish the repair process.

fix now


We've told you "This message has not been downloaded from the server meaning" and some of the factors that cause it to occur. Although it can be an annoying issue, if you use the troubleshooting steps we've shared herein, you can be able to solve it. The easiest and most effective method is to use FoneGeek iOS System Recovery.

If there is underlying system issues or some unknown software bug that's causing the error, this tool will fix it within a few minutes. It offers a higher success rate than the other methods when it comes to fixing iOS system issues like this one. Moreover, it's simple to use, so we recommend you start with it first.

Joan J. Mims

Joan J. Mims is interested in researching all tips about iPhone, iPad and Android. He loves to share useful ideas with all users.

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