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Fix iOS 9 Mail App Wrongly Showing Massive Unread Emails

We are seeing issues with the new iOS 9’s Mail app.

In fact, pick up your iPhone / iPad, go the Mail app and you may notice lots of unread emails under the “All Inboxes” section.

Even if you have read these emails before, the numbers don’t change.

To make it worse:

These numbers are wrong. These unread email counts are wrong. Look at this picture, for example, which shows over 2 billion unread emails on iPhone:


This is a bug visible only on devices running on iOS 9 from what we hear. And looking online, we see several thousands of users affected with this issue.

As mentioned on Reddit:

It doesnt even show which of the Mail Accounts supposedly have these unread mail, its just in the subfolder Unread Mail and in All Inboxes – aswell as ofc the popup number on the app icon.

edit: It just showed me I have unread Mails, lol


What’s the fix?

Apparently, marking all the emails as read from the Mail app solves the problem.

It seem to be working for a couple of users, while others – especially iPad users – are saying that selecting all the emails and tapping on “mark as read” doesn’t change anything:

On my iPad Air.

No matter how many times you edit it to either “mark as read” or “mark as unread” the email icon still shows a few thousand unread emails.

Not as many as you – but they have all been read! Hope somebody draws this to Apple’s attention.


User scopex also mentions a solution:

-> Delete your POP or IMAP configured email accounts from your Mail app. After which, your device will automatically display the correct number of unread email messages.

Another solution: Just delete all the email accounts you have and add them back one by one.

  • MajorWebUser

    Actually, this issue cropped up just before I installed iOS9. Prior to 9, it was showing a few dozen to a couple hundred ‘false’ unread e-mails. I was able to clear the problem in one of two ways: [A] Mark them as “read” and [B] cycling the iPhone off and back on. iOS9 brought the problem back with a vengeance. I now sport nearly 30,000 unread e-mails that I simply can’t shake.

    I have nine separate e-mail accounts in a mixture of POP and IMAP as well as public (e.g. iCloud and GMAIL) and private e-mail servers. Trying to resolve the problem has been an aggravating game of ‘whack-a-mole.’ The only thing I could see as more aggravating is having to delete and reenter all of these accounts on my iPhone.

    • Beyoncé Knowles

      I have the same problem with lots and lots of accounts.

      Settings>Notifications>Mail App

      Turn off Badge App icon in each email account.
      This will give you a good idea of the offending account.
      But to be sure, continue turning off all Badge App Icons in Mail (returning to home page after each one) until they are all off.
      Now, do the reverse and turn them all on ONE-BY-ONE.
      This confirms the offending email account!
      Now delete that account and add it again.
      Problem solved, woohoo!!

      Tedious? Yes!
      Better than deleting all accounts, re-entering them and having to remember loads of different passwords? Definitely!!

      Hope this helps you guys because it’s been p**sing me off for days!!

      • MajorWebUser


        Thanks for the badge tip. Why these accounts get out of sync is an issue that Apple should have attacked years ago (not a new problem). There should be a better way to “fix” it without having to jump through the hoops of deleting and reentering an account. It may be an ‘easy fix’ if you have one or two accounts, but when one needs to have multiple accounts to separate business activities it is a pain. [As one associate said, “Not as bad as running your own mail server, wa ha ha.”]

        Apple should also provide a spam filter in iOS. They should do a number of things to improve a number of things (gripe, gripe, gripe). All-in-all, still the best damned system out there.

  • KristaJ

    Done the mark all unread/read, uninstalled and reinstalled all accounts and nothing is working

  • Sandy M

    I did all that and the problem came back.

  • Disabling individual accounts will help determine which account is the culprit (hint : all POP accounts will be), but the only way I got the unread email count to go away was to enter each offending accounts’ inbox, and scroll all the way down. The account would then start loading the unread emails, and I could use the Mark All Unread action to clear the unread emails.

  • Kristy Simmons

    Mine is slowing increasing…nowhere near what has been reported, but it is only in one email account and shows zero in the “All” account area.

  • Mike

    Delete the pop account and add back. problem goes away

  • Jim Reddington

    If you go into Settings->Notifications->Mail app and turn off notifications. Solves problem.

  • Tom

    Yes…just deleted and loaded them back and it works! thanks.

  • Chris

    I scrolled all the way, began marking all, and the number just kept coming back. Just now deleted my POP account, after figuring out which was the culprit. Re-added it, and the number of phantom unread came back with force, quadruple the previous number. Solution suggested here did not work.