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How to fix ‘This message has not been downloaded from the server’ error?

As well-refined as iOS is regarding its software experience, it’s still not immune to occasional bugs and glitches. Something or the other does go wrong from time to time, luckily, it isn’t very difficult to fix such problems.

In this article, we’re talking about the “this message has not been downloaded from the server” error in iOS, its causes and what you can do to fix the problem.


What causes this error?

Several factors can cause the ‘This message has not been downloaded from the server’ error; however, these are the most common causes:

  • Outdated iOS version.
  • Aggressive anti-spam filters.
  • Corrupt settings in the Mail app.
  • Cached copies are saved on the server.

How to fix this?

Here are 13 ways you can try to fix ‘This message has not been downloaded from the server’ error.

Update iOS

The first thing you should do is update your iOS version to the latest build possible. If a buggy iOS build is causing the problem you’re facing, chances are the developers have already fixed it and issued a patch.

Follow these steps to ensure you have the latest iOS version installed on your phone.

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  • Head over to the settings and tap on General.
  • Tap on Software Update.
  • Ensure that you’re on the latest update available. If not, update your device immediately.

Restart your iPhone

Another thing you should do is try and restart your iPhone to see if that resolves the issue. Restarting your device can solve seemingly random issues that would otherwise be quite tricky to debug.


Check your internet connection

Most of Apple’s services, including Mail, require an internet connection to run. Facetime specifically runs best over WiFi.

Check to see if your device has an active internet connection. If you’re connected to a WiFi network, ensure you have enough signal strength and speed.


Relaunch the Mail app

Another potential fix is simply closing the Mail app and starting it again. All you have to do is close the Mail app from the list of recently running apps on your iPhone and launch the app again.


Disable spam filters

Sometimes overaggressive spam filters can keep regular emails from coming through, causing this problem in your Mail app. Disable your spam filters or program and check to see if your emails are coming through now. If they do, reduce the spam filter strictness gradually until your emails are properly working. 


Change email preview

The Mail app on your phone downloads a few lines of the email in advance before downloading the entire body. If downloading too many lines is causing the problem, you can circumvent the error by downloading only the first five lines. Here’s how.

How to fix 'This message has not been downloaded from the server' error?
  • Open your iPhone settings and tap Mail. 
  • Tap the Preview setting under Message list.
  • Set it to 5 Lines.

Restart your iPhone and try opening the Mail app again. It should work flawlessly this time around.


Change email delivery method

The Mail app uses two different email delivery methods to inform users of new emails. Try changing this delivery method to see if that helps.

How to fix 'This message has not been downloaded from the server' error?
  • Open your iPhone settings and head over to Mail.
  • Then tap on Accounts
  • Tap on Fetch New Data.
  • By default, iOS uses the Push delivery method. Change all these settings to Push and ensure the Push slider is enabled.

Now restart your phone, and you should be good to go.


Disable and re-enable the email account

Disabling your email account and then re-enabling it can also resolve such issues.

How to fix 'This message has not been downloaded from the server' error?
  • Open iPhone settings and tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  • Select Accounts.
How to fix 'This message has not been downloaded from the server' error?
  • Tap the problematic account to open its settings.
  • Disable the Mail toggle.

Restart your phone and repeat the aforementioned steps to re-enable the account. This should get your emails working.


Remove and re-add the account

If disabling doesn’t help, you can remove the account and try to add it again.

How to fix 'This message has not been downloaded from the server' error?
  • Open iPhone settings and tap Mail.
  • Select Account.
How to fix 'This message has not been downloaded from the server' error?
  • Tap the problematic account to open its settings.
  • Scroll down and tap Delete Account.

Now restart your iPhone and try to add the account again.


Reinstall the Mail app

If nothing else works, try reinstalling the Mail app to see if that gets it working. All you have to do is tap and hold the Mail app icon until you see a pop-up menu appear. Tap Delete App and then confirm the warning message to remove the app. Now head over to the Apple App Store and download the app again.


Resolving the error in Outlook and Gmail

If you’re experiencing this error on Outlook instead, try out these fixes.

Download the complete message

If your email client is only set to downloading a partial message, changing those settings to download the entire message can help you get around the issue. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open Outlook and click on the File menu.

Step 2: Head over to Options and click Advanced.

Step 3: Click the Send/Recieve button under Send and receive.

Step 4: Select the problematic account and click Edit. Alternatively, you can select All Accounts. 

Step 5: Make sure that the Recieve mail items checkbox is checked. Additionally, enable the Download complete items including attachments for subscribed folders option.

Now save your changes and restart Outlook. 


Enable Recent Mode in Gmail

If you’ve set up multiple clients that read your email from Gmail, the first one to access them can hide the emails from other clients. To counter this, enable the Recent Mode feature in Gmail. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open Outlook and click on the File menu.

Step 2: Click Account Settings followed by the account settings button for your Gmail account.

Step 3: In the Account Name box, add recent: before your email address. The final result will become recent:[email protected]

Save your changes and restart Outlook for the changes to take effect. 


Keep a copy on the server

Many email clients delete the server copy of the email after they’ve downloaded the email to show it locally. In such cases, if any other email client tries to access your inbox, it won’t see any emails. Try disabling this feature and let your emails sync again properly. 

Also read: Outlook’s email search issue fixed for Windows 10 users

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