tl;dr My old iPad's Mail app does not fetch any e-mail. Inbox remains empty all the time. Everything seems configured OK. I can send e-mails from this iPad. And receive them. And I can sent e-mails to this iPad. And they're not returned with error.

I have never run into situation like that previously, so I don't even know where or how to start a potential investigation.

I have a 7-8 years old iPad with iOS 9.3.6 (13G37), model MD544FD/A. Since I am completely not using its e-mail address for communication nor Mail application, it took me several months to realize that I have completely empty Inbox all the time (other boxes like Sent are full) and I cannot receive any e-mail to it. This my only Apple device that I have, if that matters.

(all cites and text below are my own translation from Polish)

I can send e-mail to this device as normally:

  • I'm sending them from my PC, through Gmail to [email protected],
  • I've sent dozens of e-mails like that past months and none of them were ever returned with error,
  • Mail says "Updated: a moment ago" (after manual Inbox refresh / forced fetch), but Inbox remains empty.

Account seems to be working normally:

  • I can install and update any application from App Store using this account / e-mail address,
  • Settings > iCloud shows this account in second line,
  • Settings > iCloud > iTunes and App Store shows this account as my Apple ID,
  • Settings > iCloud > Advanced > Mail > shows this address as Email and has SMTP pointing to iCloud SMTP server.

Mail application seems to be working normally:

  • since I'm not using this e-mail / account for e-mail exchange at all, Inbox, Drafts, Spam, Bin and Archive boxes are empty,
  • Sent box contains about 40-60 e-mails ever sent by me directly from this device,
  • I can sent any e-mail from this device and within 1-2 minutes I can receive it in my Gmail.

My Gmail shows me 20 e-mails sent to [email protected] in 2013-2020 period. None of them can be found in my Inbox, Spam or Bin. All these folders remains empty.

Directly before writing this question I've sent two e-mail to my account / @icloud.com e-mail / iPad. One was a new message, the other one was a reply to a message that I've sent to myself from this iPad just a minute ago. None of these messages were rejected / returned with error. None of these messages were received by iPad -- Inbox remains empty as of writing this.

This problem is so weird to me that I don't even know where to start tracking for a source of problem or for a possible solution.

For past 25+ years, since I've been using e-mails it was always either message delivered to the account or message rejected. So far I was lucky enough to never lost a message, i.e. like with this iPad -- message neither received nor rejected and returned to sender.

  • I suggest calling apple, especially given that it’s an iCloud account that you’re having an issue with. They are usually quick to solve issues like this. Apr 5, 2020 at 17:10

1 Answer 1



  • other boxes and
  • other iCloud account's aspects

are working without any problems, my suspicions came to Inbox directly.

After reading this answer and this blog post it turned out that I have mail forwarding + delete source message option enabled. All my e-mails are being forwarded to the account that I stopped checking years ago.

Turning delete source message option off resolved this particular case and e-mails started to appear / remain in my Inbox as previously.

  • 1
    It sounds like you fixed the issue, if so, mark it as the solution Apr 12, 2020 at 17:44

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