Can I change how often the iPhone checks for mail?

If you set up your iPhone to read email according to our instructions, it will automatically check for new messages in the background on a schedule that depends on how much power it has and whether it’s connected to Wi-Fi.

If you want to be sure it checks at a certain interval, you can set it manually:

  • From the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch main screen, tap Settings
  • Tap Mail > Accounts (for iOS 15 or iOS 14), or Passwords & Accounts (for iOS 13 or iOS 12)
  • Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Fetch New Data

You'll be able to choose a specific schedule, such as “every 15 minutes”:

iPhone Fetch screen

(Note that even after you choose this, the iPhone doesn’t guarantee that it will check that often — it may check less often if it has low battery or poor connectivity, for example.)

Can I get a notification the moment an email message arrives?

Some people want to receive quicker notifications as soon as a message arrives. You can do this with an app like Pushover.

The Pushover website will provide you with an email address ending in, like this:

Pushover email notifications

After you install the Pushover app on your phone, you’ll get a notification as soon as any email is sent to that address. Using our control panel, simply add a forwarding address that sends a copy of your mail to your own address.

That’s all it takes. Pushover will notify you as soon as mail arrives, and you can then use the normal iPhone Mail screen to read it.

The Pushover website lets you choose whether a sound should be played when a message arrives, set quiet hours when you shouldn't be disturbed, and other options.