iPhone Mail Message Stuck in Outbox – An Easy Solution…

This happened to me today, so I thought I would share the easiest solution ever to sorting this problem out. Basically an email message was stuck for whatever reason in my Out Box on my iPhone(5) (running iOS6). It was stuck all day and as the battery has enough issues in lasting the day this really didn’t help. So if like me you were puzzled as to how to resolve this, (because as it is trying to send you can’t click on ‘Edit’ and subsequently delete the email) here is the solution.

1. Go to ‘Settings’
2. Put the phone into ‘Airplane Mode’
3. Go to ‘Mail’
4. Go to your ‘Out Box’
5. Click ‘Edit’
6. Delete the problem message.
7. Go to ‘Settings’
8. Turn off ‘Airplane Mode’
9. Continue with an enjoyable stress free day!


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Posted in Apple, Computing, Technology, Tips and Tricks
83 comments on “iPhone Mail Message Stuck in Outbox – An Easy Solution…
  1. Dennis says:

    Its nice having people in the know. Worked like a charm. Many thanks

    • TomBoyNI says:

      You are very welcome!

      • matt brook says:

        Any idea how to fix if the message is not in your outbox< I resent it from my Outbox , but now I cannot find it anywhere (to deleter). Thanks!

      • TomBoyNI says:

        I’m not sure I fully understand?

        But if you resent it from your Outbox and it is now gone… Is it therefore possible that the message actually sent?

        If it isn’t anywhere then it shouldn’t be causing you any issues?

        Did you check the Outbox for that Mailbox to see that it is not sitting in there.

        Mail —> Accounts —> choose Mailbox —> Sent Items.

      • Father Joe says:

        What if you are going through safari to open a mail account on yahoo. I have messages stuck in my outbox there ad if I follow the “airplane mode” suggestion, I can not connect to yahoo at all. Any suggestions?

      • TomBoyNI says:

        If you can’t just delete the message on the web interface as any other message I suggest you add the account to your mail program on your iphone and then delete the message as outlined in the original post.

      • Kim says:

        THANK YOU!!!!!

      • Pam says:

        Didn’t work. The ‘edit’ button stayed ‘gray’ so I could not click on it. I have an iPhone 6S. This has been in my Outbox since yesterday! Advice welcome.

      • TomBoyNI says:

        Try this :

        Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to launch Control Center.

        Enable Airplane Mode.

        Hard quit the Mail app by double clicking the Home button and closing the app.

        Turn the phone off and on again.

        Now launch the Mail app and access your Outbox where the problem message resides.

        You should now be able to tap the Edit button in the upper right hand corner โ€” if you canโ€™t just hard quit the Mail app in the multitasker and launch it again.

        Tap Trash All in the bottom navigation.

        Confirm your selection in popup menu.

        You should now have an empty outbox.

      • Pam Stevens says:

        Thanks! Actually did click on airplane mode then shut phone off completely. Turned my phone back in, still in airplane mode BUT the edit button was there. I finally was able to delete it.

        Thanks for your help!!!! Pam

        Sent from my iPhone


  2. Elvis Yb says:

    Thank you!

  3. Tem333 says:

    I cannot locate the “out” box when I follow your directions. and :edit” from regular out box is stuck and will not respond.

    • TomBoyNI says:

      Sorry for the late reply but I am on holidays and only got the notification.

      The OutBox refers to the outbox where the email is stuck.

      Go to Mail – you will see the first set of items are your ‘Inboxes.’

      Scroll past these and you will see ‘Accounts’ – the individual out boxes for each account you have will be in here.

      Follow the steps for the problem outbox.


  4. dave says:

    worked perfectly. many thanks…..

  5. Lindsey says:

    Bless you. This was driving me nuts!

  6. Danielle says:

    Thank you! Pretty sure I never would have thought of that.

  7. Brayster says:

    worked like a dream thx

  8. Debbie says:

    Thank you!!!

  9. Stephen Goldstein says:

    thnak you thank you thank you!!!!!!!
    screw cox and their robowaiting for hrs and hrs!!

  10. Mike Lallier says:

    What a great easy solution! It worked like a champ! Thanks for the time saving suggestion.

  11. Peggy says:

    Thanks this has been bugging me for a couple of week!

  12. Simon Price says:

    Thank you! Very helpful, had been annoying me for ages. Any idea how to stop the iPhone overheating?!

    • TomBoyNI says:

      No problem.

      If your phone is overheating you need to get it checked out. Most computers and phones etc will heat up when being used. Even more so if applications are pushing the likes of the processor and graphics cards. That’s just how things go.

      However you could try to help the phone out by switching off unneeded processes such as Bluetooth or wifi.

      Other than that, the phone warning up on graphic or processor intensive tasks is normal. Overheating though should be checked out by your local Apple Store or authorised repairer.

      Good luck.

      • Lew Michaels says:

        Dd the air plane mode thing but when i hit edit it dose not let me tap on the email to delated it. thoughts?

      • TomBoyNI says:

        Make sure your email app is closed prior to switching on airplane. Double click the home button and make sure the Mail app is shut down, then reboot the phone and give it another go. Let me know how you get on.

  13. BK says:

    any idea why this happen? I had an iphone 5 and all the mail accounts were set properly. got a new iphone 5c and restored everything from the old iphone 5 to new iphone 5c, I can’t send mails out any more ;-(

    • TomBoyNI says:

      If you can’t send mails it can only be because your outgoing server isn’t set up correctly. When you compose a mail check which account it is trying to send from,you can see which account in the [Cc/Bcc, From: ] field underneath the ‘To: ‘

      Then go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars, -> Accounts. Click on the account you are using. Make sure all those details in the POP ACCOUNT INFORMATION, INCOMING & OUTGOING MAIL SERVER sections is correct.

      Then if you are using a web based provider log into it. Sometimes you have to log in to them every so often.

      And then try again from your phone.

      Also one other possible solution is to sync your phone with iTunes, if the web account is also on your computer and is working correctly the info should sync across.

      Let me know how you get on.

  14. WendMill says:

    Thaks so much! I love it when people know easy solutions!

  15. CSH says:

    THANK YOU! The message kept trying to resend to a mailbox that couldn’t accept it and I was getting error message after error message as it kept trying to send. Again, THANK YOU!

  16. Spence says:

    THANK YOU! What a piss off that was draining my battery like crazy!

  17. Jag says:

    Thanks a lot buddy. cheers

  18. NanaNuala says:

    It works! I have had an email stuck in my outbox since May 14th. Could not delete. “Cannot delete email while sending” was the message I kept getting. I tried this solution and it’s gone! Thank you!!!! now maybe my photos will be uploaded for my emails. Have had a problem with that since about mid May. Coincidence??

  19. Gwynn says:

    Thanks for sharing your great knowledge and understanding of these &*$@ complicated devices. My outbox wouldn’t let me “edit” on iphone 5. Don’t know if its you are another post that let me know about swiping to the left to bring up the “trash” button. Did that and also had to turn off mail, turn on airplane, turn off phone, turn on phone, still in airplane, turn on email, then swipe to get everything out.

  20. Cooptech says:

    This was sooooo helpful and easy. Thank you for posting.

  21. Chris says:

    Legend, you rock!!

  22. Di says:

    You have just saved me from smashing my phone into little pieces!! I have had 2 freakin emails in my box for weeks that wouldn’t leave. I was going all Lady Macbeth on the damn things. Thank you to infinity.

  23. Adam says:

    Thanks for posting this, fixed the issue id been bashing my head against Trying to fix:)

  24. Hdkit says:

    A million thanks! I was struggling to find a solution to my mail crashing issue. And… I wasn’t fast enough to delete it before the crash. Great solution!

  25. KAMM Designs says:

    Thank you so much for posting this problem. I was able to fix my issue with outbox exactly as you had instructed! This was bugging me for like 3 days and I was constantly getting email from Apple to change my document view! But the pest is all gone now thanks to you!!!

  26. vindange says:

    Thank you…definitely made for an enjoyable stress free day!

  27. jolerrs says:

    Thank you so much!

  28. StacyO says:

    Brilliant. Thanks. Having that one email with the ball spinning day after day was making me nuts. What a smart solution. Thanks!

  29. Jim says:

    you are amazing

  30. Wanita Frid says:

    Hi! That works great! Does it work with MBN too?

  31. Fran Molinengo says:

    I had to switch to Airplane mode and then turn my phone off and back on to get the message out of the send mode so I could delete it.

  32. I did the airplane mode, made sure email was closed, and edit is still greeted out in outbox. The little spinning thing is to the left of the message and I can not delete. I have turned the phone off and on. Nothing. Any other ideas? I have an iPhone 5s. Thank you!

    • TomBoyNI says:

      Try this :

      Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to launch Control Center.

      Enable Airplane Mode.

      Hard quit the Mail app by double clicking the Home button and closing the closing.

      Now launch the Mail app and access your Outbox where the problem message resides.

      You should now be able to tap the Edit button in the upper right hand corner โ€” if you canโ€™t just hard quit the Mail app in the multitasker and launch it again.

      Tap Trash All in the bottom navigation.

      Confirm your selection in popup menu.

      You should now have an empty outbox.

    • TomBoyNI says:

      Let me know if that sorts it.

      • Terrie Lewine says:

        Hey Thanks for your reply. I did something like that (combine the airplane mode with turning off the phone) and then I could delete. I appreciate your time and wisdom!

  33. TomBoyNI says:

    Good stuff, glad you got sorted!

  34. JBFWT says:

    I don’t know why I didn’t think of this. Oh I know, cause I’m an idiot! Thank you for this!!! People were growing tired of receiving a weird email from me several times a day.

  35. You’re still helping people with this old post. Thank u thank u thank u. I had the spinning outbox email for over a week. iPhone 6 Plus worked with airplane mode on then reboot phone and ‘edit’ lit up like a Christmas tree! Worked like a charm! Tnx again! JD

    • TomBoyNI says:

      Thanks for your comment, glad it is still working and you’re right this old post is still bringing in loads of visitors to the page. I will add an update to it soon as it seems more and more people are finding Airplane Mode & Reboot is the way forward now. Thanks again.

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