iPhone email not updating – What to do

In the modern age, it’s very common for individuals to access their emails via a mobile phone app. On iPhone’s, the most common way of doing this is by using the pre-installed mail app.

That is, of course, until you find that the app stops working and updating. We’re going to look at why your iPhone’s email app might stop updating, and the best ways for you to fix the issue.

iPhone email not updating – The most common fix

The most common reason why your email app is not be updating is if you have run out of storage space on your iPhone.

This is a particular concern if you have automatic updates switched on, as this often makes users forget about storage space. This is because every app update just happens in the background without you even having to think or worry about it.

To check if you have run out of storage space head to the settings app on your iPhone and select ‘General’. From here, select ‘iPhone Storage’ – this will then bring up a page which displays all of the key information about your available storage space.

It will show you how much space you’ve used up, how much space you’ve got to play with, how much space each app on your phone is taking up and suggestions on how to clear up some storage space.

If your phone is displaying that you have plenty of space left then you can rule out storage space as the reason why your email app isn’t updating.

If your phone is showing that you don’t have much space left then it’s time to take up your iPhone on some of those suggestions to clear up some storage space and/or delete some apps that you no longer use.

Once you’ve done this, try updating the app manually by heading to the app store and selecting the email app from the list of apps that require an update.

If it still fails to update then try looking at the following issues and fixes instead.

A bugged app and/or phone

Sometimes, your iPhone and/or some of your apps may get riddled with temporary bugs. These can occur if you haven’t updated your phone/apps in a while and/or if you haven’t restarted your phone in a while.

Considering by this point you’ve already tried the update, it’s worth rebooting your phone to see if that will kick your phone into gear.

Restart your iPhone by pressing the volume button and power button at the same time. This will bring up a screen which asks you to swipe across to turn your phone off.

Once you’ve waited 30 seconds, press the same two buttons again to turn your phone back on. Head to the app store and try updating the email app again.


One final thing to consider if the email app on your iPhone isn’t updating is connectivity. You need a solid internet connection to perform any update on your iPhone.

This includes app updates, so if you are trying to update your email app while not connected to the internet then it’s no wonder that you are facing issues.

On an iPhone you can connect to the internet via a Wi-Fi next work or via mobile data. To check if you are connected to a Wi-Fi network please take the following steps:

  1. Go to the settings app on your iPhone and select ‘Wi-Fi’.
  2. If you are connected to a Wi-Fi network then you’ll be able to see, with a tick next to those available.
  3. If you see that you aren’t connected to an available network then select one of them and follow the on screen instructions to establish a connection.

To connect via mobile data, please take the following steps:

  1. Go to the settings app on your iPhone and select ‘mobile data’.
  2. Make sure the button on this page is slid over so that it is showing as green.
  3. Your phone will then connect using either 3G, 4G or 5G and will let you know on the right hand side of your phone’s header bar.

Making sure you have an active Wi-Fi connection should fix your email not updating. You can also reset network settings or reset Wi-Fi networks if you want to ensure that your internet isn’t the problem.


There are a variety of reasons why the email app on your iPhone might be failing to update, which is usually caused by a lack of storage.

Bear in mind that this can be very different for different providers – for example, it’s easy to block Gmail on iPhone, which is one of the main reasons why your iPhone email may not update.

While the most common issue is to do with storage space, that doesn’t mean that you should just rule out the other possible causes on this list.

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Andy is a Professional Content Editor with expertise in a whole host of areas (or so he tells us anyway). His main interests are sports, tv/film and social media. He has reviewed over 100 apps so far for Apps UK.

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