A new iOS 9 email error has surfaced and is causing problems for many iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners. It appears to affect users who connect to their email using POP3, although some IMAP customers are also claiming they have issues. 
The problem is that you may get an error that says “Message not yet downloaded from server” whenever you attempt to open an email message with an attachment. The problem appears to be causing issues with both new and old emails.
Some people say even claim they get this issue regardless if the message had an attachment – it affects all their mail.
This problem appeared after iOS 9 was released. The recent updates to iOS 9.0.1 and iOS 9.0.2 seem to have failed to resolve the issue. Apple has not officially acknowledged the bug or said if a fix is planned.
So what can you do about this issue while you wait for Apple or fix it? I have found some suggestions that may help you.
Possible fixes for this issue
Switch from POP to IMAP
The issue seems to effect POP email accounts so if you switch to IMAP it should fix the issue. I have created a list of POP and IMAP email setting for most of the popular email providers to help you figure out the new settings.
Use a different email App
The error appears to be restricted to the iOS Mail App. If you download a different email App from the App Store and use it instead of the default Mail App it should work properly.
Some good alternative email Apps include:
You can read reviews of the above email Apps over at lifewire.
Remove your email accounts and add them again
You can try removing your email accounts from your iPhone or iPad. After they have been removed go to the home screen and then reboot your device. Only after a reboot add the accounts back again.
Keep copies of messages on the server
Apple engineers are claiming that the issue occurs if your iPhone or iPad is configured to remove copies of email messages from the server after they have been downloaded to your device. If you configure your email settings to keep copies on the server the issue may be resolved.
To keep copies of messages on the server do the following:
- Click Settings
- Scroll down and tap Mail, Contacts , Calendars
- Click your POP email account name
- Scroll down and click Advanced
- Under INCOMING SETTINGS Click Delete from server
- Set it to Never
Switch off Wi-Fi to see your messages (but not to fix the issue)
The issue seems to cause your iPhone or iPad to constantly download messages from the server. If you switch off Wi-Fi it ‘breaks’ the connection and allows you to view previously downloaded messages. Unfortunately, this doesn’t allow you to see any attachments.
To switch off Wi-Fi
- Click Settincgs
- Click Wi-Fi
- Click the toggle switch to turn off Wi-Fi
Some users are also reporting that removing all the Wi-Fi connections and adding them back again also helps fix the issue. If you do this remember to return to the home screen and reboot your device before adding them back again.
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Kevin Craighead is iChimp’s chief technology editor and has been covering Apple’s mobile electronics, security, privacy and the wider technology sector since 2011. He is also a highly regarded Web Designer & Developer.
With a career spanning 30 years which began doing PC support (before the internet existed), Kevin’s technical expertise and experience is highly regarded in a wide variety of fields. His well-researched work resulted in highly regarded and often cited articles such as the infamous ‘Unable to move message to trash’ error on iOS devices.