I received an email yesterday that refuses to unflag or be deleted in the iOS Mail app on my iPhone XR. All other messages around it open when touched and respond to long-press, but this message is completely unresponsive. Pressing "Edit" in the upper right corner of the inbox produces radio buttons to the left of all messages which respond as usual, but the radio button for this message is unresponsive.

In addition to the above, here are the things I've tried to remove this problematic message:

  1. Swipe up to quit the Mail app (multiple times)
  2. Restarted the phone
  3. Deleted this message using the iOS Gmail app and even used "delete forever" after it was in the trash
  4. Restarted the phone again

I also tried some different things within the Settings area for this account, but I was hoping not to have to go so far as to delete the account.

I'm running iOS 13.1.3

  • IF the mailbox is not too big(attachments say) and that it is IMAP, you could try logging out and in.. I don't know why you resist it
    – anki
    Nov 2, 2019 at 11:08
  • @ankii I'm not sure what you mean by "logging out and in" to the Mail app an iPhone. I certainly understand logging in or logging out to my gmail account using a browser, but the Mail app (as far as I know) doesn't have any "logging in" or "logging out" within the app. Also, I have 2 email accounts: a main one and an other one. The problem is with the other one which I access by forwarding its emails to my main one. Gmail allows you to set things up so that I can also send emails within my main account as if it were coming from my other account. Besides using the gmail app I already deleted it
    – Tony M
    Nov 2, 2019 at 12:42
  • In Settings -> accounts and passwords See apple.stackexchange.com/questions/374000/… and apple.stackexchange.com/questions/374059/…
    – anki
    Nov 2, 2019 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


I found a way to solve the problem without deleting the email account in Settings. As mentioned in a comment to my original post, deleting the email account was undesirable in this case because it is an account accessed entirely via another account (which required significant time to figure out how to set that up).

I was able to solve the problem by using the Safari browser on the iPhone to log into the gmail account where the problematic message was and deleting it via that browser gmail interface. Just to be sure, I also went to the trash there and deleted it forever.

I then quit the iOS Mail app by swiping upward and then upon reopening found the message was finally gone.

It's surprising to me that message was still there in the Safari interface. After all, I had had already deleted ("forever") the same message using the gMail iOS app.

I conclude that both the iOS Mail app and the iOS gMail app, though very convenient, do not provide the transparent control that the browser interface does.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .