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IOS 14 Mail app Bug

artbuc

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Since updating to iOS 14, text will not display. This happens sporadically with email I send. As far as I can tell, email appears fine to the receiver and the text displays fine on the preview. I get an error message saying text can not be displayed because of incompatible format. Incoming mail is also fine. I have deleted and reinstalled email accounts and did a hard reset. Nothing works. As far as I can tell, this is strictly an iOS 14 bug. I have gmail set up in my Mail app as a pop account because my wife and I like to manage our common email independently. That is, I like to immediately trash most email and she likes to save those same emails for a while on her iPad. IMAP accounts automatically sync which does not work for us. We have had our Mail accounts setup like this for years without any problems. Wife’s iPad not yet updated to 14 and it works fine. Have researched all over and can not find another user complaining about this issue. Can anyone make a suggestion? Thanks.

Here is the error message:

“This message cannot be displayed because of the way it is formatted. Ask the sender to send it again using a different format or email program.

text/plain”

I get this when I send a message from one email account to another email account on my iPad. When my wife receives her copy on her iPad, the text displays fine.

One other clue, an email containing only numbers appear fine.
 
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NSquirrel

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Just checking: are you using iPadOS 14 or 14.0.1?
 
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artbuc

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14.0.1. This just a perplexing problem. Have deleted and reinstalled Mail app, deleted and reinstalled email pop accounts, reset network settings and did a hard reset. Problem is sporadic and totally unpredictable. Sometimes it works perfectly. Again, it only shows on my iPad. Receivers of my emails have no problems. Also, I have no problems receiving emails, including pdf files, pictures, etc. Also, even when I get this error message, text appears fine in the preview. This is obviously a random bug and I am resigned to live with it until Apple fixes it.
 

NSquirrel

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No problem, but don't expect too much. The best, I think, that one can hope for is that others report the same problem or that it is spotted by the developers and the correction is put into the next version of iPadiOS.

Meanwhile, hopefully someone here may come across the solution.
 

LannyC

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Consider creating a separate IMAP account for each of you instead of sharing one POP account. You can forward emails to each other as necessary; if you also have a Mac, you could make a Mail.app rule to do that automatically.

Seriously, POP has been on the way out for years, and support for it is bound to disappear before much longer. The sooner you switch, the less painful it will be.
 
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artbuc

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Wife and I have each have our own iPad. We each have our own separate email account but we also share a common email account. We like to manage the common account independently. She tends to accumulate emails in her Mail app inbox and I like to delete them since they are mostly junk. IMAP automatically syncs (or at least it used to) making independent control impossible. That is why I use pop email.


Consider creating a separate IMAP account for each of you instead of sharing one POP account. You can forward emails to each other as necessary; if you also have a Mac, you could make a Mail.app rule to do that automatically.

Seriously, POP has been on the way out for years, and support for it is bound to disappear before much longer. The sooner you switch, the less painful it will be.
 

Ron Gold

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I have experienced exact same bug with iPadOS 14 and 14.0.1. Followed the same steps to try to fix it without success. Reported bug and also spoke to Apple Support with the only suggestion being that perhaps there was intermittent connection problem with ISP.. The bug is intermittent. It occurs regardless of used and with all accounts. My Mail accounts are all POP. I will try IMAP. This bug has also been reported several times on iPad Discussion at Apple Support so we are not alone.
 
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artbuc

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Good to know we are not alone. I am confident Apple will fix in a future update. Definitely not ISP...I have high speed Verizon FiOS. Also, I am traveling and bug persists with a different ISP.
 

Perplexer

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Apple's Mail app has been buggy for quite a while now, actually. One other bug is that it keeps automatically fetching e-mails even when it is set to "Manually" in Settings.


Anyway, I noticed this "message cannot be displayed" issue as well, basically only on e-mails that I send to myself from my iPhone or iPad. The bug is still present in iOS / iPad OS 14.4. It was apparently also a problem in iOS 3 so I guess we can't expect a fix any time soon.


When you send an e-mail to yourself via the Mail app, you essentially end up with 2 copies of this e-mail. One arrives into your "Inbox" folder and the other copy stays in your "Sent" folder. The Mail app doesn't seem to correctly switch between the two copies when tapping between them. This might be what is contributing to the randomness of the e-mail being "readable" or "bad".


Anyway, here's what I found out in my testing (it gets a bit complex):


After you send yourself an e-mail from the Mail app, whether the received e-mail is "readable" or "bad" depends on where you open it first.


1- If you tap on the e-mail in the Inbox folder first, it will be random (so it seems).

  • If it is "bad" in Inbox, the copy in Sent is also "bad". If you delete the copy in Sent, the one in Inbox will become "readable".
  • If it is "readable" in Inbox, the copy in Sent is also "readable". If you delete the copy in Sent, the one in Inbox remains "readable".

2- If you tap on the e-mail in the Sent folder first, it will always (so it seems) be "readable". If you then tap on it in the Inbox folder, it will be "readable" there as well.

  • If you delete it from Inbox, the copy in Sent will become "bad".
  • If you delete it from Sent, the copy in Inbox will remain "readable".

So basically the bottom line is this:


If you send an e-mail to yourself and it ends up showing "message cannot be displayed" when you open it in Inbox, go to the Sent folder and delete the copy in there. That should make the one in Inbox readable.
 
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artbuc

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Perplexer, thx so much for taking the time to respond. Your solution is working for me. Because I use POP (so wife and I can manage common email account independently), all emails I send go to both Inbox and Sent folders in the Mail app. I have had the random error message several times since reading your post. In every case, deleting the message in the Sent folder allows me to read it in the Inbox. Very helpful tip! Thanks again!!
 

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