Fix Incorrect Unread Email Count on iPhone


Emailing is currently the most professional way of dealing/communicating important things. Almost everyone has an email account where they receive emails regularly. If you have a nag of accessing your email account via iPhone or iPad’ Mail App instead of laptop/PC then you would know how brilliant and user-friendly this app is. All your emails are just a single tap away from you.

Lately, some iPhone/iPad users have found complaining about a weird problem regarding the Mail App. The app shows some unread email messages when actually there are no unread email messages in the Inbox. These emails are named Ghost Messages as they wouldn’t disappear no matter how hard you try. If you are facing a similar issue and want to know how to address it, you may have to refer to the tips mentioned below.

Before getting into the tips, you need to make sure that you actually don’t have any unread emails. Sometimes, you miss the notifications for email and then they remain unread in the mailbox. To check that:

1. Go to the Mail App on your iPhone.

2. Open the Inbox folder.

3. Locate the option Edit at the top-right of your screen.

4. Tap the option Mark All located at the bottom left of your screen.

5. Tap Mark as Read.

Now check if the issue still exists or not. If it still exists, then refer to the steps below.

Force Closing the App:

It might not be the best troubleshooting technique but it often works. Force quitting the Mail App to address any issue is the basic troubleshooting technique. Sometimes, it is the bugs within the app (running for too long) that create different sort of issues. You can force close the app by:

1. Launch the Mail App on your device.

2. Now double press the home button on your iPhone. It will take you to app switching mode and let you see previews of your recently used apps.

3. Locate the Mail App on the screen and swipe I upwards to close it.

4. Once done, restart your device (optional) and then reopen the Mail App to see if the issue has been addressed.

Via Settings:

If the basic fixing technique doesn’t work, you may have to look for in-depth troubleshooting. You can do that by:

1. Go to the Settings on your iPhone.
Passwords and Accounts

2. Next, tap on the option Passwords and Accounts. For older iOS/iPhones this option isn’t applicable and hence just tap the option Mail.

3. Now locate the email account that is having this trouble and tap on it.
toggle off the option Mail to off

4. Now toggle off the option Mail to off.

5. Go back to your Home Settings and force close the Mail App if open. If not, open it first and force close it via the home button.

6. Now go back to the Settings. Toggle on the option Mail (the one you just toggled off).

7. Restart the device and see if this method works.

Delete and Reinstall the Mail App:

The users who have devices that are still running on iOS 9 or previous version aren’t applicable for this method. It was iOS 10 that allowed the Apple users to delete certain native apps which also include the Mail App. upon deleting the Mail App, you will also lose all the local data but the documents and data backed up on iCloud wouldn’t get deleted. Here are the steps.

1. Go to your device’ home screen and locate the Mail App.

2. Now, put your thumb over the App’ icon (slight press) until it starts jiggling/shaking.

3. Tap on the X icon just above the App’ icon to delete the app.

4. Confirm your action by tapping the option Remove.

5. Press the home button to stop other apps from jiggling. The Mail App has been removed. Remember, if Apple Watch is paired with your iPhone then the Mail App would automatically be deleted from the Watch too.

Restore the Mail App:

To restore the Mail App, simply follow the steps mentioned below.

1. Launch the App Store on your device.

2. Tap on the option Search that is located at the bottom of your screen.

3. Type Mail in the search box. Now tap on the iCloud Download icon across the Mail App from the search list.

4. Doing this will reinstall the Mail App on your device.

5. Once reinstalled, go to the Settings on your device.

6. Tap the option passwords and Accounts.

7. Now just toggle on the option Mail for all the accounts. Once the account is ready, your Apple Watch will automatically get the Mail App back on it.

You can also delete the Mail App via Settings. Although the method mentioned above works fine, you can also try the second option in case the first one doesn’t work. You can do that by:

1. Go to the Settings.

2. Tap on the option General.
iPhone Storage

3. Tap the option iPhone Storage.
select Delete App

4. Scroll down, locate the Mail App, tap on it and select Delete App.

Note: Apple users who have devices that run on iOS 11 or above have the option to Offload Unused Apps. It is different from deletion, so it is recommended that you delete the app instead of offloading.

These are some of the easiest fixes you can fancy to troubleshoot the problem with unread emails. These are proven methods and rarely fail to deliver. However, if these methods fail to help you, you can try the following steps:

1. Open the Mail Account in a web browser.

2. Type Unread in the search box.

3. This will show you the unread messages. You can mark them as read, or even delete them to troubleshoot the issue.

Now go to Mail App, and the ghost messages would likely have been disappeared.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


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