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

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

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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. Modern versions of Mail don't include this option, and Gmail handles emails more efficiently. If your sent emails show up in your Inbox, and you don't plan to access your Gmail account with another mobile device or email program, 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.

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 have 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. In the Incoming Mail Server section, tap Username.

  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 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 why sent email show up in the Inbox. Another possible cause is that you have all emails from yourself set up to be marked as starred emails while 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 the Inbox settings, and filtering options are available in the 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 a side effect of the recent mode, which serves a useful purpose. The Gmail 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 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 that are downloaded to iPhone Mail if you connect to the same Gmail account from another email program.