Are you getting the message ‘The connection to the outgoing server “smtp.gmail.com” failed.’ whenever you are sending an email from the native iPhone mail app? In this article, I will show you how to fix this error so that you can send mails normally.
Why does this problem occur?
This situation occurs due to verification errors between the native iPhone mail app and Gmail servers. As the message indicates, ‘Additional Outgoing Mail Servers can be configured in Settings > Mail, contacts, Calendars,’ which means that Gmail will have revoked the app from accessing all its servers.
Solutions to the connection to the outgoing server smtp.gmail.com failed error
The following solutions will help you solve this problem.
1. Quit mail fully
Apps sometimes crash or lose connections when they are left on for an extended period of time. Mail apps can crash easily when data flow is broken since they tend to sync with the Gmail servers every few minutes.
If this is the case, simply quit the mail app and restart it again. If you are using iPhone 8 or earlier, simply double click on the Home button, navigate to the Gmail app and swipe it up and off the screen.
When using iOS 11 on iPhone X, simply press firmly on the left edge of your iPhone’s display. Drag your finger towards the middle of the screen and swipe upwards the Gmail app by flicking it off your screen.
2. Change from Wi-Fi to cellular
There have been many cases where the mail app doesn’t work with certain Wi-Fi connections. This can be due to their router settings or your iPhone’s settings. It could also be an issue with the weak Wi-Fi security settings of the network you have connected to.
In this event, your native mail app should be able to send Gmail emails once you switch from Wi-Fi to your cellular network. Go to Settings > Cellular and turn Cellular Data on after disabling your Wi-Fi. Ensure to select mail under the ‘Use Cellular Data For’ section. Once you have switched on cellular data, go to your mail app and resend the messages.
3. Update your IMAP Authentication Settings
Updating your SMTP will enable you to send emails when your current settings aren’t working. Remember that these settings are automatically added when you select Google from the list of mail providers. However, if you are adding Gmail manually, here is a guide for adding the SMTP settings:
- Open Settings > Mail > Add Account
- Tap Other (Don’t tap Google on this page)
- Ensure the IMAP tab isn’t greyed out
- Enter gmail.com as the Host Name
- The User Name is your FULL gmail address
- Host Name for Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP) is smtp.gmail.com
- Tap Save
- Once completed, tap Settings > Your IMAP Account > Advanced
- Enter Incoming settings as follows:
Server Port: 993
- Your Outgoing Settings should be as follows
Server Port: 587
- Exit the Settings app
4. Remove and re-add Gmail account on your iPhone
You can also fix this issue by removing and re-entering your Gmail account on your iPhone. In this section, I will show you how to do it.
Follow these steps to remove a Gmail account from your iPhone:
- Open the Settings app on your iOS device
- Go to Mail > Accounts
- Select your Email Account
- Tap Delete Account
- Tap Delete from My IPhone
And here is how you add a Gmail account to an iPhone
- Go to Settings > Accounts & Passwords > Account or Settings > Mail > Accounts for iOS 10.3.3 and below
- Select your email provider. In this case Google
- Enter your email address and password
- Tap Next and wait for Mail to verify your Gmail account
- Select the information you would like to Sync, then tap Save
Also: Fixing this for someone else? Learn how to access your iPhone from a remote location
5. Restart the iPhone
If you are using an iPhone 8 and below, simply press and hold the Top or Side button until a slide appears on your screen. You should then drag the slider to switch off your iPhone. Once it has switched off, press and hold the Top or Side button again until you see the apple logo.
For those using iPhone X, press and hold the Side and the volume button until the slider appears. Drag it to turn your iPhone off. Once it is in an off position, press and hold the side button once again until an Apple logo shows up on your screen.
Also: Here is how to restart your iPhone without using the Home or Power button. This is useful when your phone’s screen is broken or not responding.
6. Soft Reset your iPhone
Sometimes the smtp.gmail.com mail error can appear when you have messed up your SMTP settings. To resolve this, you can soft reset the iPhone by following the steps outlined here:
- Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons simultaneously for about 10 seconds
- Wait until an Apple logo appears before you release the buttons
- Your iPhone will restart normally
7. Add an Exchange account to your device
One of the solutions for solving the Gmail sync issue on iOS is by adding a G suite Exchange account if you use Google Cloud. This account will help you sync your mail, calendar, and contacts to your iOS apps. Follow the steps below to add a Gmail Exchange account to your iPhone.
- Open the Settings app on your iOS device
- Tap Accounts and Passwords then open Add Account. If you are on iOS 10.3.3 or earlier, you can access this section by tapping on Mail > Accounts > Add Account
- Tap on Exchange
- Enter your G Suite email address then tap Next
- Tap Server, then enter google.com
- Next to the Username, add your G Suite email address
- Enter your password, tap Next
- Follow any prompts that may appear, then choose mail, contacts, calendars, and other services you wish to sync.
- If there is need for your device to be approved, wait until an administrator approves the email
Your Gmail Exchange account will Sync and allow you to send mail.
I hope that you find this resource useful for solving the smtp.gmail.com error. If it solves or doesn’t solve your problem or if there is anything to be added, let me know in the comments below.
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Alex is an IT technician who shares his experiences with Apple devices occasionally. He has a collection of Apple devices (from iPhone 4) and has recently started trying out Android.
IG: @I M_Alex