Email Stuck In Your Outbox? Unable To Send & Delete? Fix

Yesterday, I tried to send an email on my iPhone. But it seemed that my email was stuck in my outbox. My email would not go. For some reasons, the iOS mail app could not reach the email server to send my mail. I wanted to delete it and resend again. but I could not delete the email because the “Edit” button was grayed out.

email edit is grayed out
The Edit option is grayed out and the message has a perpetually spinning status icon

This short article explains how you can clear a stuck email in your outbox.

There may be many issues stopping the mail from being sent; such as:

  • A bad connection
  • Offline mail server
  • Corrupt messages
  • Too large file (videos, pictures etc) attachments for your email server to handle
  • Wrong password for the email account
  • Wrong email address

Also note that iPad, iPod touch and iPhone users may experience this problem. If you think that your email sending process takes too long on your iOS device, here is how you can troubleshoot:

How to clear stuck emails

1-Turn on Airplane mode (Settings > Airplane Mode)

turn on airplane mode

2-Restart your iPhone or iPad by pressing and holding the on/off (sleep/wake) button until you see the red slider. Slide the read slider. Wait a few seconds. Then again press and hold the on/off button until the Apple logo appears.

3-Do not turn off Airplane Mode

4-Launch the Mail app

5-If you have more than one email accounts, select the one you are having problems with, e.g., iCloud, Gmail etc

6-Tab Outbox. Note if you do not see an Outbox, this means that your email was already sent successfully. 

Outbox stuck email remove

7-Now you can tap Edit as you will see this option is no longer grayed out or dim.

8-Select the stuck email message in the Outbox and then tap Trash

Now you can turn off Airplane mode. You may want to resent this email again.If your cannot send the email again, you may want to do the followings:

  • Contact your email provider
  • Make sure that your email account settings are correct
  • Remove your email account and add again by going to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Your Email Account > Delete

See also:

Did these tips work for you? Let us know.

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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25 thoughts on “Email Stuck In Your Outbox? Unable To Send & Delete? Fix”

  1. Help! This fix did not work for me. When I get to the Outbox screen and see the spinning symbol, there is nothing to choose that says “edit”. So, I can’t delete the stuck e-mail.
    It will allow me to search for an e-mail or write a new one. No edit option.

  2. i had the same found a very easy way, remove the email addres you wanted to send to, then cancel message. IOs will ask do you want to remove the message or keep it as a concept. Just remove, done

  3. Thought this was going to do it. Loved the visuals, thank you.
    Unfortunately, when I launch the mail app in ios 9.3.5, all I get is the white page before the app closes itself.
    Tried airplane mode suggestion.
    Any further ideas are welcomed!
    Thank you.

  4. I had an email that just kept trying to send and I didn’t even know it. I followed the advice here and it worked great. Thanks.

  5. Sorry this did not work for me as I was prompted to turn off Airplane mode prior to accessing my e-mail outbox. I deleted the e-mails but once airplane mode was turned off in settings the mails appeared again. Any ideas?


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