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It started with me finding spotlight results from Mail when I searched for my notes. Apparently the content of hundreds of my notes are in my gmail account, according to Mail. I have not had notes sync enabled for that account for a long time.

I navigate back in Mail from the opened spotlight result, trying to determine which mailbox the email is in. Apparently it's in mailbox Xyz which is the name of a folder from the notes app, but that mailbox doesn't exist in Mail app nor in the Gmail app.

I delete the Gmail account entirely from my phone, but I can still search for, and open, these phantom emails.

I reboot the device — no difference.

I look closer: the emails are addressed from me, but not to anyone. They don't appear in my unified sent box, and I can't find any trace of "real" emails from the deleted account.

Where are these emails/notes located, how did they get there, how do I ensure that I'm rid of them all and how do I prevent this from occurring in the future?

I have many notes that I don't want to remain on some mail server long after I think I've deleted them.

Update Disabling mail sync for my iCloud account makes Mail unable to display the emails when opened from spotlight.

iPhone 5, iOS 10.3.1

  • Did you try logging into your Gmail account from a (desktop) web browser instead of just the app, and searching for a word or words that you know is in the notes? Usually when synced with Gmail they are have the notes label, but they might be unlabeled messages. – tubedogg Aug 21 '17 at 20:13
  • @tubedogg The Gmail browser search results are identical to the native Gmail app's. These emails do not seem to reside in the account, at least not any longer — they did not disappear when removing the account from the device. They may be a remnant from an earlier iOS notes → Gmail sync. Where or why I don't know. – Andreas Aug 21 '17 at 23:14

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