iCloud: Troubleshooting iCloud Mail

Use the steps in this article to troubleshoot iCloud Mail when you cannot access your email or are unable to send or receive messages with your iCloud email address.

On your Mac, make sure that you've installed the latest OS X updates before trying the iCloud Mail troubleshooting steps in this article. New iCloud Mail accounts require OS X v10.7.5 or later. (Learn more about the iCloud system requirements.)

If you can't access iCloud Mail at iCloud.com

  1. Check the System Status page to find out whether any known issues are affecting iCloud Mail.
  2. Make sure that you're using a supported browser and that your browser is up to date: Choose Software Update from the Apple () menu and install any available Safari updates, as well as any security and OS X updates. Instructions for updating other browsers should be available from the built-in or online help for those browsers.
  3. If your iCloud Mail issue occurs only when using a particular browser, try clearing that browser's cache:
    • Safari 6 or later: Choose Reset Safari from the Safari menu, then select the "Clear history" checkbox and click Reset. Or choose Develop > Empty Caches (if you don't have a Develop menu, choose Safari > Preferences, click the Advanced icon, then select the “Show Develop menu in menu bar” checkbox).
    • Safari 5 and earlier: Choose Empty Cache from the Safari menu.
    • Other browsers: instructions should be available from the built-in or online help for the browser.
  4. If you're having issues accessing iCloud Mail from one location or Internet connection but not another, contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or network administrator. Some Internet configurations intentionally or unintentionally prevent access to certain websites or services, such as iCloud Mail.

If you can't send mail in OS X Mail

If you receive this alert or a similar alert when sending a message from your iCloud email address in OS X Mail:

“This message could not be delivered and will remain in your Outbox until it can be delivered. The reason for the failure is: An error occurred while delivering this message via the smtp server: server name.”

  1. In OS X Mail, choose Preferences from the Mail menu.
  2. Click Accounts in the Preferences window.
  3. Select your iCloud account from the list of accounts.
  4. Click the Account Information tab.
  5. Choose your iCloud account from the Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP) pop-up menu. Example: “Derrick Parker (iCloud)”.

Note: The Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP) menu also includes an Edit SMTP Server List command. If you choose this command, be aware that the iCloud SMTP server won't be among the servers that can be edited. This is normal.

If you're attaching a large file

Message attachments can't exceed the maximum size allowed by your email service provider or the recipient's email service provider. The maximum size varies by service provider. Try compressing the file before sending it, or send your message without the attachment to verify that there are no issues with sending.

If your recipient doesn't receive your message

  1. If an “unknown address” or “undelivered mail returned” message appears in your Inbox after you send a message, make sure that the recipient's email address is correct. Go to your Sent mailbox and make sure that the email you sent was addressed correctly.
  2. If you're using OS X Mail or accessing your iCloud Mail (icloud.com/mail) using Safari or another supported web browser, check your Drafts, Sent, and Outbox mailboxes:
    • If there is an unsent copy of the message in Drafts, try to send it again.
    • If the message appears in your Outbox, the message was not sent. You might be working offline or the outgoing mail server (SMTP) may be unavailable. Refer to the steps earlier in this section for details about how to select the iCloud SMTP server.
  3. Ask the recipient to check any Junk mail folders or mailboxes on their system. Perhaps your message was received but accidentally filtered.
  4. If your recipient still does not receive your message, but your message was sent without any alerts or “undelivered mail” messages, your message might have been blocked or filtered by the iCloud Mail servers or the recipient's mail server. To find out, contact iCloud Support and ask your recipient to contact their email administrator as well.

If you can receive messages but not send messages

Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may be blocking the protocol used to send email (SMTP) across their network. Contact your ISP and ask about SMTP traffic that crosses their network to an external service such as iCloud. If your ISP has a policy of blocking SMTP traffic, ask them how you can be made exempt from SMTP blocking.

If your ISP is not blocking SMTP traffic and you're still unable to send messages, contact iCloud Support for help.

If you can't receive mail in OS X Mail

Locate the name of your iCloud account on the left side of the main Mail window. If your iCloud account name is dimmed and has a lightning-bolt symbol next to it, your account is offline. To bring your account online, make sure that your computer is connected to the Internet, then choose Mailbox > Take All Accounts Online. If that doesn't resolve the issue, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Preferences from the Mail menu.
  2. Click Accounts in the Preferences window.
  3. Select your iCloud account from the list of accounts.
  4. Click the Advanced tab and verify these settings:
    • Port: 993
    • Use SSL: (selected)
    • Authentication: either "Password" or "Apple Token"

If you experience issues sending or receiving mail on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. Check the System Status page to find out whether any known issues are affecting iCloud Mail.
  2. Make sure that you're connected to the Internet: try opening a webpage such as apple.com in Safari on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
  3. Go to iCloud.com on a Mac or PC to verify that you can receive email for your iCloud account.
  4. Make sure that Mail is turned on in Settings > iCloud.
  5. Make sure that Push is turned on for your device in Settings > Mail, Contacts, and Calendars > Fetch New Data. Then send an email to your account to verify that Push is working correctly.
  6. Make sure that Push is turned on for your iCloud account in Settings > Mail, Contacts, and Calendars > Fetch New Data. If you're using iOS 6, tap Advanced. Then Tap your iCloud account and make sure that Push is turned on. If you have multiple iCloud Mail accounts set up on your device, Push can be used only with one account at a time. Make sure that Push is turned on for your primary iCloud Mail account.
  7. Turn your device off and back on.

If the issue persists, turn off each of the settings in steps 4, 5, and 6 above, then turn them back on. If that does not help, follow these instructions to delete the iCloud account from your device, then add the account back:

  1. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, and Calendars.
  2. Tap your iCloud account.
  3. Tap Delete Account. If you store Contacts, Calendar, or Bookmarks data in iCloud, you will be given the option to keep that data.
  4. On the Mail, Contacts, and Calendars screen, tap Add Account, then tap iCloud to begin setting up your iCloud account again. If data from your device is stored in iCloud, you will be given the option to merge that data with the data on your device.

If you're unable to set up Mail using the iCloud Control Panel in Windows

If you're using an Apple ID that was not previously a MobileMe account, you can create an @icloud.com email address for use with your iCloud account. However, the Mail option in the iCloud Control Panel may be dimmed if you signed in via the iCloud Control Panel before setting up your @icloud.com address. Try either of these steps to make the Mail option available again:

  • If possible, set up your new @icloud.com email address on a Mac using OS X v10.7.2 or later, or an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using iOS 5 or later.
  • If you already signed in to the iCloud Control Panel without setting up your email address using one of the devices above, close and reopen the iCloud Control Panel twice. If that doesn't help, sign out and back in to the iCloud Control Panel.

Learn more

For more information, refer to the steps for troubleshooting issues related to sending or receiving email messages in OS X Mail. If none of these steps resolve your issue, contact iCloud Support for further assistance.

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