How to Stop Gmail Sent Mail From Appearing in Your iPhone Inbox

Older versions of Gmail and iPhone Mail didn't play well together

Man and woman holding iPhone 3GS

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Gmail sent mail used to show up in the Inbox of the iPhone Mail app if you enabled a specific setting that allowed it. Modern versions of Mail, however, don't include that option anymore, and Gmail handles emails more efficiently these days.

However, if this is a problem you have and you don't plan to access your Gmail account with another mobile device or email program, you can prevent Gmail from sending these copies by switching from POP to IMAP.

This issue with Gmail and Mail is only relevant with the 2007 version of the iOS Mail app. You're most likely using a modern version, but if not, some of these instructions might apply to you.

If this doesn't sound like what's going on, there might be another reason sent emails are showing up in Inbox: you have filters set up to move all emails from yourself into the Inbox folder.

How to Prevent Sent Gmail Messages Appearing in Your Inbox

Follow these steps if your iPhone isn't updated to the latest iOS version. You might be running a really old version of Mail where this problem takes place.

  1. Open the Settings app from the home screen.

  2. Go to Mail > Accounts.

  3. Choose your Gmail account.

  4. Tap Username under Incoming Mail Server.

  5. Remove "recent:" from the username. For example, if the username is recent:example@gmail.com, make it example@gmail.com.

  6. Tap Save.

If the steps above didn't work to stop sent emails from appearing in Inbox, there might be something entirely different going on, which can happen even with modern versions of Mail and Gmail.

If you have a Gmail filter set up to send all emails from yourself into your Inbox folder, then that's clearly what's going on. Another possible cause is if you have all emails from yourself set up to be marked as starred emails, while simultaneously having all starred messages included in your Primary folder.

With either of these situations, the fix is to examine your Gmail filters and other settings, and edit what you need to. The starred settings can be access through a web browser via your Inbox settings, and filtering options are available in your Filters and Blocked Addresses settings.

The Price You Pay for Not Receiving Sent Mail

The copy you get in Inbox when you send messages from Mail is an unfortunate side effect of the recent mode, which serves a useful purpose.

Gmail's recent mode sends all connecting email programs or mobile devices the last 30 days of Gmail messages. With this mode turned on, you can access all your email on all programs and devices, provided you check once every four weeks.

With recent mode turned off, you might not be able to access messages already downloaded to iPhone Mail if you connect to the same Gmail account from another email program.