Fixed: Why Am I Not Receiving Gmail Emails on My iPhone (iOS 17)

What to Know

  • Gmail not updating on iPhone? Check for app and system updates, check your connection, and restart your device.
  • If you use the Mail app, the issue could be with your IMAP settings or fetch frequency.
  • For the Gmail app, you may need to check your sync, background app refresh, and device settings.

With Gmail, you can log in to an app, change passwords on other websites, receive important alerts, and much more. If Gmail is not updating on your iPhone, it can cause your day to become chaotic. In this article, we'll take you through our best troubleshooting tips to get Gmail working on your iPhone.

Jump To:

General Solutions for When Gmail Is Not Working on iPhone

  • Update iPhone: Oftentimes, updating your iPhone's operating system can fix a lot of mysterious bugs, including Gmail problems. Read our article on how to update your iPhone to the latest iOS software
  • Restart Your iPhone: While restarting your iPhone seems basic, it is an essential fix for many minor issues. Simply turn off your iPhone and after a minute, turn it back on. 
  • Check Internet Connection: If you're having problems with Gmail not working, make sure that you are connected to cellular data or Wi-Fi since Gmail needs one of the two to function. You can toggle between cellular data and Wi-Fi or enable or disable Airplane mode. Read our article on how to join a Wi-Fi network to learn how to turn your Wi-Fi on and off. 
  • Update Mail/Gmail App: Like with all apps, updating the Mail app fixes bugs and improves overall compatibility. Open the App Store, and tap your profile icon in the upper right. Tap Update next to the Mail app or Gmail app, depending on which one you use.
  • Uninstall & Reinstall Mail/Gmail App: Check out our article on how to uninstall an app on your iPhone. You can also read our article about Apple Mail to learn how to re-download the app

Related Article: How to Add Multiple Gmail Accounts to Your iPhone (2022)

    iPhone Not Updating Emails

    Confirm IMAP Is Enabled

    If your iPhone email is not updating, the problem could be with your IMAP (Internet Messaging Access Protocol) settings. IMAP allows you to access and sync Gmail with third-party email clients like the Apple Mail app on your iPhone. If you're having trouble receiving Gmail in the Apple Mail app, try making sure that IMAP is enabled.

    iPhone Life
    Discover your iPhone's hidden features
    Get a daily tip (with screenshots and clear instructions) so you can master your iPhone in just one minute a day.

    Note: Because some of these steps deal with the desktop version of Gmail, you may need to zoom in to see the options better.

    1. Sign in to the web version of your Gmail account.

    2. If you see a screen asking you to use the Gmail app, tap I am not interested.

    3. In the top left corner, tap the hamburger icon.

    4. Scroll to the bottom and tap Desktop.

    5. Choose I'd like to use HTML Gmail.

    6. Go to Settings.

    7. Tap Forwarding and POP/IMAP.

    8. Choose Enable IMAP.

    9. Tap Save Changes.

    10. Now, try signing in to Gmail in the email app of your choice again.

    Check Fetch Settings

    While some email providers can "push" new emails to the iPhone's Mail app as soon as they are received, others, like Gmail, only allow your iPhone to periodically "fetch" new emails throughout the day. This can make it seem like you are not receiving emails on iPhone. Check out this helpful tip to find out more about how to adjust the fetch frequency on your iPhone.

    Remove Your Gmail Account & Add It Again

    If Gmail is not loading new emails on your iPhone's Mail app and the above solutions did not help, the next thing to do is to remove your Gmail account from your iPhone and add it again. Read our article on how to remove an email account, and then check out our article on how to add an email account.

    Gmail Not Updating on iPhone

    Check Gmail Storage

    If your Gmail is not updating on your iPhone, it could be caused by a storage issue. Make sure that your Gmail account isn't over the storage limit. Normally, Google provides 15 GB of storage for each Gmail account, and the storage is shared between Gmail and other applications such as Google Photos and Google Drive. On your computer, visit, scroll down to Get your space back, click on Free up account storage, and follow the instructions on-screen. 

    Go to Gmail Website to Check Alerts

    Sometimes, Google will accidentally detect your login as suspicious and will send you an email informing you of any suspicious activity. You can try signing out on that device and back in, or you can sign out of any suspicious devices.

    1. Open the Chrome app.

    2. Tap on the three dots.

    3. Tap Settings.

      chrome with settings circled in red
    4. Tap your name.

    5. Tap your email address.

    6. Tap Manage Your Google Account.

    7. Tap Security.

    8. Tap Your Devices to check any suspicious activity.

    9. If you see a suspicious device that you don't recognize, tap on that device.

    10. Click on Don't recognize this device?

    11.  A pop-up will appear. Click Sign out on this device.

    Check Background App Refresh 

    Sometimes, an app can stop working in the background or become inactive. You can check the background app refresh for Gmail by doing the following steps:

    1. Go to Settings, scroll down, and tap on Gmail.

    2. Enable Background App Refresh.

    Check If Sync Settings Are Enabled 

    Gmail may not be able to sync because the sync settings are disabled. 

    1. Go to Gmail app.

    2. Scroll down and tap Settings.

    3. Scroll down and tap Data Usage.

       gmail settings with data usage circled in red
    4. Tap on Sync Settings.

       gmail data usage settings
    5. Select how many days you want your email to sync.

      iphone gmail sync settings 

    Restart the Gmail App

    Having too many apps open in the background can cause apps to malfunction. Check out our article on how to close apps on an iPhone.

    We hope that one of these tips has helped you get your Gmail working on your iPhone again. If you have a different tip, please let us know in the comments!

    Top image credit: Diego Thomazini /

    Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.


    Author Details

    Kenya Smith's picture

    Author Details

    Kenya Smith

    Kenya Smith is a Feature Web Writer for iPhone Life. She has a bachelor's degree in Strategic Communication and has written articles for two newspapers in her home state of Virginia. She also won first place in non-daily column writing for the 2019 and 2020 Virginia Press Association Awards.