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

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

Stop Sign on Blue Sky

Roger Wright / Getty Images

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.

If your sent emails are showing up in your Inbox, and you don't plan to access your Gmail account with another mobile device or email program, you can prevent Gmail from sending them by switching from POP to IMAP.

This problem with Gmail and Mail only occurs with the 2007 version of the iOS Mail app. You're most likely using a modern version, but if not, 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 the Inbox: You have set up a filter 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 the version of Mail in which this problem occurs.

  1. Open the Settings app from the iPhone 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 these steps don't stop sent emails from appearing in your 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 to your Inbox folder, then that's clearly what's going on. Another possible cause is that 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 these situations, the fix is to examine your Gmail filters and other settings and edit as needed. The starred settings can be accessed in 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.