iPhone Mail Message Stuck in Outbox – An Easy Solution…

This happened to me today, so I thought I would share the easiest solution ever to sorting this problem out. Basically an email message was stuck for whatever reason in my Out Box on my iPhone(5) (running iOS6). It was stuck all day and as the battery has enough issues in lasting the day this really didn’t help. So if like me you were puzzled as to how to resolve this, (because as it is trying to send you can’t click on ‘Edit’ and subsequently delete the email) here is the solution.

1. Go to ‘Settings’
2. Put the phone into ‘Airplane Mode’
3. Go to ‘Mail’
4. Go to your ‘Out Box’
5. Click ‘Edit’
6. Delete the problem message.
7. Go to ‘Settings’
8. Turn off ‘Airplane Mode’
9. Continue with an enjoyable stress free day!

111 thoughts on “iPhone Mail Message Stuck in Outbox – An Easy Solution…

      • Any idea how to fix if the message is not in your outbox< I resent it from my Outbox , but now I cannot find it anywhere (to deleter). Thanks!

        • I’m not sure I fully understand?

          But if you resent it from your Outbox and it is now gone… Is it therefore possible that the message actually sent?

          If it isn’t anywhere then it shouldn’t be causing you any issues?

          Did you check the Outbox for that Mailbox to see that it is not sitting in there.

          Mail —> Accounts —> choose Mailbox —> Sent Items.

      • What if you are going through safari to open a mail account on yahoo. I have messages stuck in my outbox there ad if I follow the “airplane mode” suggestion, I can not connect to yahoo at all. Any suggestions?

        • If you can’t just delete the message on the web interface as any other message I suggest you add the account to your mail program on your iphone and then delete the message as outlined in the original post.

      • Didn’t work. The ‘edit’ button stayed ‘gray’ so I could not click on it. I have an iPhone 6S. This has been in my Outbox since yesterday! Advice welcome.

        • Try this :

          Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to launch Control Center.

          Enable Airplane Mode.

          Hard quit the Mail app by double clicking the Home button and closing the app.

          Turn the phone off and on again.

          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.

          • Thanks! Actually did click on airplane mode then shut phone off completely. Turned my phone back in, still in airplane mode BUT the edit button was there. I finally was able to delete it.

            Thanks for your help!!!! Pam

            Sent from my iPhone

            >

      • Try one more time. As yoU can see below this method works :

        Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to launch Control Center.
        Enable Airplane Mode.
        Hard quit the Mail app by double clicking the Home button and closing the app.
        Turn the phone off and on again.
        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.u
        Tap Trash All in the bottom navigation.
        Confirm your selection in popup menu.
        You should now have an empty outbox.

  1. I cannot locate the “out” box when I follow your directions. and :edit” from regular out box is stuck and will not respond.

    • Sorry for the late reply but I am on holidays and only got the notification.

      The OutBox refers to the outbox where the email is stuck.

      Go to Mail – you will see the first set of items are your ‘Inboxes.’

      Scroll past these and you will see ‘Accounts’ – the individual out boxes for each account you have will be in here.

      Follow the steps for the problem outbox.

      Thanks.

    • No problem.

      If your phone is overheating you need to get it checked out. Most computers and phones etc will heat up when being used. Even more so if applications are pushing the likes of the processor and graphics cards. That’s just how things go.

      However you could try to help the phone out by switching off unneeded processes such as Bluetooth or wifi.

      Other than that, the phone warning up on graphic or processor intensive tasks is normal. Overheating though should be checked out by your local Apple Store or authorised repairer.

      Good luck.

        • Make sure your email app is closed prior to switching on airplane. Double click the home button and make sure the Mail app is shut down, then reboot the phone and give it another go. Let me know how you get on.

  2. any idea why this happen? I had an iphone 5 and all the mail accounts were set properly. got a new iphone 5c and restored everything from the old iphone 5 to new iphone 5c, I can’t send mails out any more ;-(

    • If you can’t send mails it can only be because your outgoing server isn’t set up correctly. When you compose a mail check which account it is trying to send from,you can see which account in the [Cc/Bcc, From: ] field underneath the ‘To: ‘

      Then go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars, -> Accounts. Click on the account you are using. Make sure all those details in the POP ACCOUNT INFORMATION, INCOMING & OUTGOING MAIL SERVER sections is correct.

      Then if you are using a web based provider log into it. Sometimes you have to log in to them every so often.

      And then try again from your phone.

      Also one other possible solution is to sync your phone with iTunes, if the web account is also on your computer and is working correctly the info should sync across.

      Let me know how you get on.

  3. THANK YOU! The message kept trying to resend to a mailbox that couldn’t accept it and I was getting error message after error message as it kept trying to send. Again, THANK YOU!

  4. It works! I have had an email stuck in my outbox since May 14th. Could not delete. “Cannot delete email while sending” was the message I kept getting. I tried this solution and it’s gone! Thank you!!!! now maybe my photos will be uploaded for my emails. Have had a problem with that since about mid May. Coincidence??

  5. Thanks for sharing your great knowledge and understanding of these &*$@ complicated devices. My outbox wouldn’t let me “edit” on iphone 5. Don’t know if its you are another post that let me know about swiping to the left to bring up the “trash” button. Did that and also had to turn off mail, turn on airplane, turn off phone, turn on phone, still in airplane, turn on email, then swipe to get everything out.

  6. You have just saved me from smashing my phone into little pieces!! I have had 2 freakin emails in my box for weeks that wouldn’t leave. I was going all Lady Macbeth on the damn things. Thank you to infinity.

  7. A million thanks! I was struggling to find a solution to my mail crashing issue. And… I wasn’t fast enough to delete it before the crash. Great solution!

  8. Thank you so much for posting this problem. I was able to fix my issue with outbox exactly as you had instructed! This was bugging me for like 3 days and I was constantly getting email from Apple to change my document view! But the pest is all gone now thanks to you!!!

  9. I had to switch to Airplane mode and then turn my phone off and back on to get the message out of the send mode so I could delete it.

  10. I did the airplane mode, made sure email was closed, and edit is still greeted out in outbox. The little spinning thing is to the left of the message and I can not delete. I have turned the phone off and on. Nothing. Any other ideas? I have an iPhone 5s. Thank you!

    • Try this :

      Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to launch Control Center.

      Enable Airplane Mode.

      Hard quit the Mail app by double clicking the Home button and closing the closing.

      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.

      • Hey Thanks for your reply. I did something like that (combine the airplane mode with turning off the phone) and then I could delete. I appreciate your time and wisdom!

  11. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this. Oh I know, cause I’m an idiot! Thank you for this!!! People were growing tired of receiving a weird email from me several times a day.

  12. You’re still helping people with this old post. Thank u thank u thank u. I had the spinning outbox email for over a week. iPhone 6 Plus worked with airplane mode on then reboot phone and ‘edit’ lit up like a Christmas tree! Worked like a charm! Tnx again! JD

    • Thanks for your comment, glad it is still working and you’re right this old post is still bringing in loads of visitors to the page. I will add an update to it soon as it seems more and more people are finding Airplane Mode & Reboot is the way forward now. Thanks again.

  13. Hi, I read through and tried all the above, but the mailbox of my iPhone 4S keeps crashing after 1) hard closing app; 2) airplane mode on; 3) shut down and start up again.
    I don’t even manage to open the mail app like that…
    Nobody above seems to get stuck here — why me? 😉

    • Try this :

      Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to launch Control Center.

      Enable Airplane Mode.

      Hard quit the Mail app by double clicking the Home button and closing the app.

      Turn the phone off and on again.

      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.

  14. Finally! Someone who put in ALL the steps in the right order: This worked! 😘

    Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to launch Control Center.
    Enable Airplane Mode.
    Hard quit the Mail app by double clicking the Home button and closing the app.
    Turn the phone off and on again.
    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.

  15. Thank you – this worked like a charm! I have tried other approaches online that did not work, but your suggestion did. Thank you, thank you! It was a large video file that was stuck for the past 8 days.

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