I have lots of emails on my iPhone from an old account that I no longer use. Mail reminds me often that it cannot connect to the account.

When I uncheck the account from email preferences, the account disappears completely from Mail.

How can I keep the emails in my application so I can browse through them, while configuring Mail not to try checking for new mail?

iPhone 5s iOS 7.1.2

1 Answer 1


When you remove an email account from the iOS mail app, it removes all the emails (and other data) from the device. There is no way to keep mail on the device from an account that was removed.

If you leave the account(s) signed in to the device, you can set the mail app to only fetch new mail manually. This would allow you to have the mail on your device, without getting new mail automatically.


To fetch manually, go into Settings > Mail, Contacts, and Calendars > Fetch New Data. There you will see a section at the bottom called Fetch and set it to manually.

  • Thanks for your answer, David. Would you be able to flesh it out with steps for configuring the email account to only retrieve mail manually?
    – tubedogg
    Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 7:56
  • I edited my answer with the solution. Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 11:50
  • The only issue I foresee with this is the Fetch New Data setting applies to all mail accounts, so other accounts would not check for mail automatically (unless they use Push instead of Fetch). Additionally, Mail.app will check for new mail when it is opened, so you would still get an error message at that point. But once when it opens would be preferable to every 15 minutes, or however often one has it set to normally check.
    – tubedogg
    Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 21:40
  • That's true but it's the only solution I can think of using the native mail app. There are lots of third party email apps and I'm sure some would solve the problem. Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 23:36
  • @DavidCorbin, would any of the 3rd party apps import emails as they are, or would this be something I would have had to know ahead of time? Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 0:37

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