Ever since upgrading my iPhone to iOS 4, I’ve been having problems with Mail. Often, my inbox will contain tons of messages that say “No Sender” and “No Subject” (see attached screenshot), and I can’t get it to show my actual email messages until I shut down and reboot my iPhone.
We feel your pain. We’ve received many letters about Mail not refreshing properly in iOS 4, and we’re experiencing the same problems ourselves. These Mail-refresh glitches are showing up with a variety of symptoms, including emails arriving as “No Sender,” deleted messages still appearing in the inbox, the preview text not displaying anymore, email no longer being pushed to the iPhone, incorrect badge numbers showing up on the Mail icon, and IMAP folders not updating properly.
One of the many Mail refresh problems...
But you don’t need to completely shut down your phone to fix this. The first thing to try is to completely quit Mail, even from the multitasking tray, and then launch it again. To do this, make sure that you’re not currently in the Mail app, and then double-click the Home button on your iPhone to reveal your multitasking tray. Press and hold the Mail icon until it starts jiggling. Press the red minus sign to completely quit Mail. Press the Home button once more to stop the icons from jiggling. Relaunch Mail normally again.
...but you can force a refresh by quitting Mail and relaunching it.
This procedure should force Mail to properly refresh your emails, IMAP folders, and badge icon again. While repeating this process several times a day gets fairly cumbersome, the permanent solution will have to come directly from Apple in the form of an iOS software update. The iOS 4.0.1 and 4.0.2 updates didn’t fix these bugs, so we can only hope that Apple squashes all of them for good in iOS 4.1, which came out right as we went to press, or 4.2, which arrives in November. In the meantime, if you’re still using an iPhone 3G, which can’t take advantage of many of the nifty iOS 4 features anyhow, you can always downgrade your phone back to iPhone OS 3.1.3 by following our step-by-step instructions at tinyurl.com/3xcrpqd.