Can't Get Mail on an IPad

By David Weedmark

Several layers of technology are operating behind a simple task like getting an email message. If the Mail app on your iPad isn't working, first ensure that the device is connecting to the Internet. After that, take a look at the Mail app's settings. If you're using Gmail, Yahoo Mail, or any other mail service that uses two-step verification -- in which your cell phone is used to help prove your identity -- the best solution is usually to create a new password specifically for your iPad.

Connectivity Issues

On a portable device like an iPad, a poor network connection can often cause an email failure. Look at the Wi-Fi or cellular signal icon at the top of the iPad's home screen to verify you have a good connection. To connect to a different network, launch "Settings" and select "Wi-Fi." Launch Safari or an app like Facebook to make sure you do have Internet access. Try to access the Internet from a computer on the same network; if it can't connect, there's likely a problem with your router, or the Internet may be down. If you can't fetch your email from another computer, your email server may be down.

Mail App or Password Issues

Sometimes there is a problem with the Mail app. Restarting an iPad can possibly clear up a problem with the app. If Mail still isn't working, another fast fix is to simply delete your account in the Mail app and create it again. Just to go into "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" in the iPad's Settings, tap the account and then tap the "Delete Account" button. Of course, if you recently changed your email account password, you need to change the password in the Mail app, too. Tap the account name after selecting it in Mail, Contacts, Calendars and then enter the new password.

Advanced Outgoing Mail Settings

If your iPad sends mail without problem but can't retrieve new messages, there could be an issue with your incoming mail settings. To verify this, select "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" in Settings, select your account name and then select it again in the new screen. Tap the "Advanced Settings" button in the pop-up window and compare these settings to the requirements of your email provider. In most cases, the "Turn on SSL" option should be on. If your email provider recommends a specific server port number or IMAP prefix, those should be entered on this pop-up window. After you click "Save," launch the Mail app to retrieve your messages.

Two-Step Verification Accounts

Two-step verification, offered by services like Gmail, Yahoo Mail and, protects your email by sending a text or voice message with a code whenever you try to access the account from a new device. The iOS 7 Mail app on an iPad doesn't always work with this heightened security, failing to connect with the email server even when your settings are correct. Fortunately, each of these services can give you an app-specific password to be used with your iPad's Mail app. Log in to your account using a Web browser and navigate to the security or account settings for your service. When you get to the security or passwords page, select the new app password option. Once you get the password, type it into your Mail account on the iPad in the Mail, Contacts, Calendars section of the iPad's Settings.