Updating iPad to 14, old emails that show as read on Mac Catalina and iPhone 13.7 show as unread on iPad. How can I get the “read” status in sync on iPad without reading every single one of them? All three devices are IMAP so I would expect it to just work correctly. I don’t want to update iPhone to 14 until this works. Do I need to delete and recreate the email account on iPad (and then on iPhone)? Or will the same thing happen again? What an annoying bug! Thanks.


It’s not clear which mail client you’re using, but this isn’t a bug with the native app on iOS 14 and just something that happens.

Since you have IMAP, I would delete the account from any device you feel is out of sync. In your case, delete the account(s) from the iPad and then power cycle the iPad.

Add in one account only and see how it reacts. If fine, repeat until you’re happy. If not, there are other more intrusive steps you could take.

  • Using iOS built-in Mail. Why does it “just happen”? Is it a bug/feature of the IMAP protocol, or a problem with IMAP server, or ??? Thanks, I’ll try your hint. – vonlost Sep 20 '20 at 18:21
  • You would have to analyze the internal data structures, proxy or decrypt the secure transmissions or look at the mail server logs to understand any specific failure. There is always an answer, but the effort to drop the mail client into the debugger and analyze it is costly in time and skill and tooling. – bmike Sep 20 '20 at 18:24
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    I'll have to be convinced that this isn't an Apple bug, because the IMAP server knows when a message has been read, deleted, replied, put into a folder, etc. – vonlost Sep 21 '20 at 19:59
  • No need for convincing - in the end we can only do things we control - whether it’s a bug, network error, cosmic rays corrupting flash storage or charging a line, cpu transient failure, poor code recovery for error conditions, lack of retries... – bmike Sep 21 '20 at 20:14
  • We need to identify where fault lies to best direct correction. – vonlost Sep 21 '20 at 20:57

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