Ever launch the Mail app on your iPhone to find a stuck outbox message that just won’t send — or maybe it did send but for some reason it still shows as not sent? While in some cases you can simply delete it and move on, in others, the Edit button is greyed out and unusable. If that sounds like a problem you’re having, here’s a fix I found: My partner recently had this problem over the weekend. It seems to happen more commonly with emails that have large files attached to them. In her case, it was a video. The sender confirmed they had received the message, yet it still sat in her outbox, uneditable, for several days. After hard restarting the Mail app, rebooting her iPhone, and even turning iCloud Mail on and off again, I finally figured out how to trick the Mail app into letting me delete the stuck message:
How to delete stuck outbox messages on iPhone
- Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to launch Control Center.
- Enable Airplane Mode.
- Now launch the Mail app and access your Outbox where the problem message resides.
- You should now be able to tap the Edit button in the upper right hand corner — if you can’t just hard quit the Mail app in the multitasker and launch it again.
- Tap Trash All in the bottom navigation.
- Confirm your selection in popup menu.
- You should now have an empty outbox.
In some cases, stuck outbox messages on iPhone can apparently consume lots of cellular data (I read a few horror stories in Apple’s support forums when looking for an answer). So if you have any, especially if they show a little loading circle like the one in the image above, I’d suggest clearing them out using the steps above.