This message has not been downloaded from the server error – Fix

If attempting to send an email via an iPhone or tablet, you may sometimes find that you’re greeted with an “This Message has not been downloaded from the server” error.

This is a fairly common problems for Apple users, and though some incidents have been reported on Windows and Microsoft too, we’re going to look at exactly what this means and how you can fix it on your Apple device.

What causes the Message Has Not Been Downloaded error?

In most cases, the reason for the “this message has not been downloaded from the server” error is a connection issue.

However, this could be with your internet connection, or an issue with some of the software on your device – it’s not always easy to know which one is causing the problem.

Fortunately though, you can usually fix the issue by running through the following troubleshooting methods to get things resolved. This guide is for an iOS device, but can easily be adapted to iPad or Macbook.

1. Delete your account and add new email addresses

The easiest way to fix a mail problem like this, or pretty much any mail problem actually, is to delete the email account and re-enter your details.

When your e-mail is accessed through servers, there’s a chance that it hasn’t been able to make a proper connection.

You can do this by simply;

  1. First, go into your Settings app.
  2. Then, select Mail.
  3. Next, tap Accounts.
  4. Here, you can enter in a new email address and a password for your Mail app.

Going into your phone’s settings emails is the easiest way to resolve this error. Though if it doesn’t, there are plenty more ways that you can fix your Mail app.

2. Enable Fetch in the phone settings

The server informs the client the incoming mail and the fetch method repeatedly asks the client to request incoming emails from the server.

The standard iPhone push method is usually what’s in place, but it can cause issues – the email service may have difficulty transferring the emails into the device.

If the iPhone is configured with Fetch then the issue will often be resolved. You can do this by;

  1. Going into Settings app.
  2. Then, into the Mail app.
  3. Then, Select Accounts and add your email Account.
  4. When you’ve entered it, you should see a Fetch New Data option.
  5. Select this, and then choose the Fetch method.

This is another easy way that you can resolve a message not being downloaded from the server error.

3. Disable Anti-Spam Product on Your Device

In some cases, the issue could be being caused by the email security software that you have installed on your device. This is more typical on MacOS, but it’s also possible for this to happen to iPhone users too.

Disabling email security software should resolve the issue. You can do this by disabling antispam and antivirus products that you’re running on your device and seeing if this resolves to problematic email account.

4. Offload and Reinstall the Mail App

You can offload the Mail app on iPhone or iPad to potentially fix error messages like this. Unlike uninstallation, an offload removes apps data and emails only, which will keep your account in-place.

You can do this by;

  1. Click into your Settings app.
  2. Then, select General and click onto your iPhone storage.
  3. Tap on the app that you want to offload (in this case, the Mail app).
  4. Finally, click Offload app and confirm.

Offloading apps is something that’s specific to iOS and Apple devices, and it’s basically used to delete your data but keep your Settings in place – pretty useful.

5. Update your iPhone or iPad

Updating the system software in iPhones and iPads is something that you should do regularly anyway – in fact, it should happen automatically. However, it’s worth checking whether there’s a recent Mail update to install.

In this case it might resolve underlying problems that prevent application download of your emails.

To check for an iOS update you can use settings in Settings, and choose General > Software Update. This will let you know whether you have any potential software updates that you can run on your device.

6. Check your internet connection

If nothing we’ve tried so far has fixed the issue, you may want to check that a weak internet connection isn’t the root cause of the issue.

A fairly frequent reason for receiving the error is the lack of access to the Internet. You can check this yourself – if you’re using mobile data, then enable flight mode before disabling it again.

And if you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, then try disconnecting your phone and resetting the network if you’re at home. This can help to fix the This message has not been downloaded from the server error message.

7. Reset network settings

Even if you still have access to the internet, it could be worth resetting your network settings to fix this problem. You can do this by;

  1. First, click into your Settings app.
  2. Then, click General.
  3. Next, select Transfer or Reset Device.
  4. Select Reset, and then Reset Network Settings.

This will reset all of the network settings on your iPhone, which can be necessary when wanting to access your emails.

8. Stop other clients from deleting messages (MacOS)

If you have a POP-enabled email account on Macbook, the email server needs to stop other clients from deleting messages after downloading them.

You can pretty easily do this by first clicking into your Mail app, then going to Preference and finally Accounts.

Choose the account in question and make sure that the options “Remove copy from server after retrieving messages” are inactive – this will ensure that the downloaded message issue is not caused by other clients.


Though this problem has primarily been reported in the within the Apple ecosystem of operating systems (iOS, iPadOs and MacOS), it’s not limited to Apple or any specific email service provider.

Fortunately, if you run through the above advice then you should be able to resolve the issue without much hassle. It’s usually fixed by ensuring that your Mail account can stay connected to email clients.

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Edward brings years of experience in a variety of different fields including online marketing & No-code app development, and he's been investing in stocks and cryptocurrency since 2016. Outside of work you'll usually find him watching movies at the local cinema or playing games in the Apple Arcade.

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