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My Inbox Folder Disappeared in iPhone

My Inbox Folder Disappeared in iPhone

Problem Summary:

Your “inbox” in iPhone Mail application suddenly disappeared. New emails still download, but you cannot see them.

The first thing that comes to your mind is that you may have accidentally deleted your whole inbox folder instead of an email. But that is not the case, the inbox is still there in iPhone Mail application, just not showing, and don’t ask me why!

Some people have experienced this problem after an IOS update on their iPhone.

Switching your iPhone off and on may bring back the inbox briefly, but then it disappears again!

The Fix that Works!

There are actually two fixes that I know will resolve the problem of missing inboxInbox Missing in iPhone on iPhone. Both solutions have worked for many, but the #1 is my preferred option to try first, and if you struggle with it, then try option #2

#1 – Use the Edit button in Mail ApplicationMissing Inbox in iPhone

  • Launch your Mail app on iPhone
  • Click on the arrowed Edit button in the upper-right corner.
  • Re-add the Inbox folder to your Mail folder list, by tapping the circle next to the Inbox. This will add a tick to the circle as shown in the picture.
  • Tap on Done. Your Inbox will now re-appear in your iPhone.

I have used this fix #1 to resolve many iPhones that suddenly have their Mail Inboxes disappeared. I have however heard that fix #2 below has worked for others, but I have not used this method to resolve this issue, since #1 has always worked for me.

#2 – Switching Mail off and on in Mail Application Settings

  • Launch the Settings icon on iPhone
  • Scroll down to Mail, Contacts, Calendars and expand it
  • Expand the row Exchange > Mail, Contacts. Calendars, Reminders, Notes
  • Use the slider to the right of Mail to switch it off and on

If any of the two fixes resolved your missing inbox frustration on iPhone, let others with same issue know by leaving your feedback in the comments section below.

Do you know any other solution that also work? Share it with all.

If you have any question about this topic, please leave a comment below and I will reply. And if you find it helpful, or have any other thoughts to share, your comments are welcome.


  1. Switching off Call Forwarding on iPhone has worked for me thank you very very much

  2. Option 2 worked for me as I couldn’t see the Inbox as shown in Option 1, only the VIP folder. Thank you very much!

    • Jeff Adam says:

      Hi Tammy,

      Thanks for the feedback. Good to know option 2 my suggested solutions helped you cover your missing iPhone inbox folder.


  3. Thank you so much! I lost my inbox & your fix #1 did the job. Much appreciated!


    • Hi Maureen,

      Thanks for coming back to let others know the fix restored the missing inbox folder on your iPhone.


  4. Number 1 worked for me! Thanks!!!

  5. Thanks!!! It worked

  6. Jay Bryant Orr says:

    #1 worked. Thanks!

  7. Caroline Boyd says:

    I accidentally made my inbox disappear on my iPhone 5c with latest iOS Step one brought the inbox icon back but not the emails!! Inbox is empty! If I search for an email I know is in the inbox it shows as being inbox on the message. How do I restore them so I can see in the inbox?? If I go to the move to folder option the inbox is faded out. If I try and move to another folder and then bck to inbox it won’t allow!!! Frustrated. Please help!!

    • Jeff Adam says:

      Hi Caroline,

      Try restarting the Mail App with the following steps. It has resolved missing iPhone Inbox for some:
      1) Press the Home button twice
      2) Swipe the Mail App Up- forcing it Quit
      3) Re-launch the Mail App
      4) Check if your Inbox is ok


  8. Lisa irwin says:

    Thank you for this helpful post! All fixed after frustration of seeing emails line up but not bei g able to access them!

  9. #1 worked for me thanks…

  10. Maureen Haigh says:

    Brill #1 worked for me

  11. Carter Mandy says:

    Option 1 fixed my problem. Thank you!

  12. Thanks for the directions to get the Inbox back. That worked for me!

    • Jeff Adam says:

      Hi Marilyn,

      Happy to hear you were able to recover your iPhone missing inbox with the solution I described.



    Thanks a million, #1 worked great for me!

  14. Number one work for me

  15. Marilyn says:

    Thanks, Jeff. Option #1 worked for me!

  16. Found your post and fix# 1 restored my missing inbox. Thank you!

  17. Thank you so much! #1 worked. It’s rare that one finds a simple solution online for a problem.

  18. #1 worked for me.
    Thx so much.

  19. Michael D Melet says:

    No 1 worked for me. It took 20 secs. and I was back in business. Thank you.

  20. I accidentally deleted the word inbox from my iPhone mailboxes menu. Your option #1 was excellent!! It is fine now THANKS

  21. Hi, Neither worked for me, but lead me to a solution that worked in my case. I had kept the Mac.com email address as my main address, when I went through your second solution and it didn’t work I decided to turn off the Mac.com address and use the me.com address. My inbox instantly appeared. Thanks for you solutions, without them I would have never even tried this!

    • Jeff Adam says:

      Thank you Sophie for sharing the solution that worked for you. You never know, it may help many others.


  22. Jim Testa says:

    Thanks a bunch !! your option 1 worked a treat and problem solved.
    again thanks a bunch for taking the time to help us.

  23. Thanks a lot, I got my inbox within few seconds by applying your method 1.

  24. Thank you! Option 1 worked for me! Yay

  25. I have a new iPhone 6s Neither fix worked for me. Not sure the edit function works the same on the iPhone 6s. The in-box circle is checked and grayed out. You can manipulate it by checking another box but all that seems to do is change the placement of the folder. All my other folders have the appropriate contents. Have also tried turning the phone off and on. Any other suggestions? Thanks

    • Hi Linda,

      If you have not already done so, I would suggest deleting your mail account and re-installing.


      • Thanks for this suggestion. I tried all the others and finally got a screen saying that the imap address for my Comcast account wasn’t right. I deleted the old Comcast account and reinstalled it and am now getting emails.
        Thanks for all the suggestions. I was getting discouraged when #1, #2 and none of the other ideas worked. I’m so thankful for this last suggestion!

  26. Neither worked for me

  27. Thank you so much. Option #2 worked! Got my Inbox back.

  28. Hello, I have the opposite problem to the one decribed here. On my work iPhone, I keep getting a second (duplicate) email Inbox popping up on my phone. This will happen several times a day and it drives me a bit nuts. I know how to get rid of it using the EDIT function, but within a few hours (sometimes less), it’s back. Bizarre, huh? Anybody had this recurring and persistent problem? How did you fix it so a second email Inbox doesn’t keep reappearing? Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Robert,

      If you have not tried this, delete the mail account on your iPhone and add it again. Your inbox will repopulate from your mail server, and hopefully without the duplicate.

      Hope this works for you.


  29. Renate Hagerman says:

    Thank you so much. Number one worked.

  30. Fix #1 worked! Thanks so much!

  31. Option worked for me, thanks for posting!

  32. Walter Richards says:

    Thanks for this GREAT Fix, after spending hours Restoring several Backups from the “Manual Backup” feature in iTunes WITHOUT SUCCESS I came across your website. It worked first time with your “~#1 – Use the Edit button in Mail Application”.
    Thanks for the TIP

    One mistake I have made is NOT “Backing up to iCloud” in iTunes since 2014.
    For years I have simply copied “Photos and Videos” directly from iPhone when attached to my Desktop and done a Manual Backup in iTunes to my PC.

    Please dont hit me with loads of emails!! I don’t mind the occasional email
    Thanks again

    • Jeff Adam says:

      Hi Walter,

      Thanks for letting us know the #1 fix restored your iPhone inbox.

      I don’t hit my visitors with emails – never have, and never will. This site is only for knowledge sharing.


  33. Worked first time! Thanks very much.

  34. Michael Walker says:

    Please cancel my earlier comment as this was resolved using edit. Thank you

  35. John Fell says:

    Many thanks for that, feel pretty dumb when you find how simple it is

    • Jeff Adam says:

      Thanks John for the feedback. Good to know the simple solution worked to restore missing inbox on your iPhone.


  36. Melissa E says:

    I need help… When I go into my inbox, the edit option is not in the top right corner anymore so I have to open every email to delete them. The top right now just says “Done” Any suggestions?
    Thanks, Melissa

    • Jeff Adam says:

      Hi Meissa,

      I am not quite sure what would be the root cause of your missing inbox edit option. If you have not tried it already, I would suggest you delete the mail account, and set it up again. This has often resolved many unexplained problems with mail accounts.


  37. I have tried deleting and reinstalling, option 1 and 2 here, I have tried turning my phone off and on and still my emails do not show in inbox, though I can search for them and they come up faded and says no sender?!? Help

    • Jeff Adam says:

      Hi Tanya,

      If you have tried the options and reinstalled your email, but still the inbox is missing, and your mails are faded in search results, I suspect an issue with iOS (iPhone Operating System). Or, it could be a conflict with an App.

      Have you check that ALL available updates have been installed? Go to Settings, General, Software Update, and if there is any update, install it and try the options again.

      If the steps above show “Your software is up to date“, you may have to backup and reset iPhone.

      Hope that helps, and good luck :)


  38. Thanks a lot Jeff. You solved my panic when I realized my Inbox disappeared. Really appreciated.

  39. optoon one worked brill!thanks. marie

  40. John Klassen says:

    Hello, you are a genius… thank you for this quick fix, worked beautifully!

  41. Fix 1 worked a treat, as a prize Luddite I can only say thank you very much.

  42. Option #2 worked for me, thank you

  43. Patricia Taylor says:

    Yay! Option 1 worked for me first time! Thanks.

  44. Lisa Johnston says:

    Yes, option 1 worked for me first time so thank you!

  45. CaptainP75PCR says:

    Solution # 1 just worked for me. About a week ago I had updated iOS w/ ver 9.x.

    Will it, or worse, happen when I go to ver 10?

    • Hi,

      Happy to know solution #1 worked for you. There is really no specific reason why we have this issue with iPhone, but iOS update is certainly one of the reasons users have mentioned.

      Now you know a solution that works, if you experience your calls going straight to iPhone again.


  46. Molly Lipps says:

    Thank you so much! This was the only site I could find with the answer!
    I have dealt with a missing inbox for over two years; if I ever go to Drafts or Sent and I want to return to Inbox, I would just restart the app and it would default to Inbox. After updating to ios10 it didn’t default anymore, and when I did your #1 fix I started laughing at how simple it was! I should have taken the time to find your website two years ago 😜 Thank you!

  47. Jack Leathers says:

    Option #2 worked. I tried #1 but it showed that the inbox was already checked. I went to option 2 and it worked right away.

  48. Hi Jeff,
    Thank you so much. #1 worked for me – so easy. Your info is so easy to understand – great stuff!


  49. Fix #1 worked for me! Thanks.

  50. Thanks for your help, I used option 1 to get my inbox back after a recent software update to my iPhone deleted it. 2 seconds later it was back. Couldn’t have been easier!

  51. my email accounts disappeared. I tried no 1 and no 2 and got no results. I composed an email to myself, sent it and then went to check it and my email accounts appeared.


    • Jeff Adam says:

      Thanks Dail for the feedback. That is a new solution folks should try.

      Folks if all the suggested fixes did not work for you, why not try Dail solution. Compose and send an email to yourself, and hopefully that will bring back your missing iPhone inbox :)


  52. Hi, Jeff,

    I’ve lost one of my accounts completely on my iPhone 6S. The account is still there, but *all* of the contents are gone – inbox, sent, trash, outbox, flagged messages – everything. I had gotten a message that something was corrupt, asking if I wanted the phone to repair the mail, and when I said yes, suddenly everything disappeared. The account is still there, but also won’t download anything new.

    I *think* the messages may still be in the phone somewhere as I found at least part of one when searching elsewhere for a particular sender’s name, but I wasn’t able to restore it and had to just take a screenshot of it.

    How can I find and restore the file? I’ve thought about deleting the account then adding it back, but I don’t know if that’s safe to do or not.

    • Jeff Adam says:

      Hi Wendy,

      Your emails should still be on your mail server, so long as you have not actually deleted them. I would remove the email account on the phone and add it back. Removing email accounts on smart phones does not delete emails.


  53. The mail app has disappeared for my home screen and in my settings. So I can’t not try either option. If I open up my phone settings the tab that used to say mail,contacts,calendar is gone. Are you aware of any fixes?

    • Jeff Adam says:


      You can restore your missing mail icon by resetting your Home Screen to it’s original default.

      1) Go to Settings > General > Reset
      2) Click on Reset Home Screen Layout


  54. Fix number two worked for me – I couldn’t see my inbox in the list to add it back in! But switching mail off and on again worked. Classic IT solution!

  55. Your solution to hit the Edit button in the Outlook list of folders hit the spot and allowed me to restore my Inbox to my list of folder options. First time this had ever happened to me, and yes, it was after a recent upgrade to my iOS system! Thanks so much for your help. Brilliant!

  56. Lois Keefe says:

    INBOX acct disappeared though it says I have 44 emails. How do I restore this? Have and iPhone 6

    • Jeff Adam says:

      Hi Lois,

      If you have tried fix #1 – using the Edit in your Inbox, and fix #2 – switching your mail account off and on in Settings, and none of the solutions worked for you, I would suggest you delete your mail account from the phone, then add it again.

      Hope you find the suggestions helpful.


  57. Thank you. #1 was am easy fix!

  58. I have a problem with missing Gmail folders on my iPhone 6. Inbox, Drafts, Sent, Junk, Trash, Important and Starred are still there, but individual folders I need for filing purposes have disappeared. They are still on my iMac desktop. Can anyone help?

    • Jeff Adam says:

      Hi Susana,

      I am not sure if I can help with your missing Gmail folders. Can anyone help Susana?


  59. Thank you! Option 1 was the perfect solution.

  60. Thanks option 1 worked straight away when 1 of my mailboxes vanished on my Iphone 6S

  61. Omg! Thank you for #1. I have never had a problem with any of the iPhones I’ve had and this one is being ridiculous 😏 In the last week I’ve lost contacts in my regular folder and in the WhatsApp,.. ugh!

    Thank you again for helping, this is awesome πŸ‘ πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  62. claudette says:

    Mail retrieved. Option #1. Great. Thank you.

  63. Option #1 worked. Thank you!

  64. This morning the same happened to me. However Ive followed step 1 which seemed to work. My inbox came back. Then only 30 mins later it vanished again. Ive tried both of the steps but neither work. I tried deleting email account and re adding it. but that didn’t do anything either.
    Any advice would be much appreciated.



    • Jeff Adam says:

      Hi Ed,

      Apology for my late reply. If you are still experiencing your iPhone inbox missing, check that you have the latest IOS for your iPhone, restart the phone and try option #1 again.


  65. Miguelito says:

    #1 of worked! Thanks!!


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