iPad Inbox Wiped Out? (and that's the "good" news)

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by TexBax, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. TexBax macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2011
    Kind folks,

    I have experienced a puzzling event today that Apple support has so far been unable to resolve: the Mail App in my iPad today deleted ALL of the emails in my Inbox, across Yahoo, Gmail, and MobileMe. This occurred in conjunction with my selecting 3 recently received emails and deleting them (same process I always follow - and, by the way, my iPad inbox at that time contains hundreds of emails, so I didn't "accidentally" select them all for deletion).

    More troubling (and totally surprising to me) is that this event also simultaneously wiped out all three Inboxes on my respective MobileMe, Yahoo, and Gmail accounts on their servers. If that were not enough, my Mail app on my iMac now has a completely empty Inbox for MobileMe and Gmail (IMAP accounts), but Yahoo was not wiped out there (POP3).

    Of course, the Apple iMac and iPad support experts first tell me this is "impossible" (typical when things happen that don't make sense), and that here must be a problem with my servers - until I point out that we are talking about three completely independent servers with different usernames and passwords. The probability of all three having same exact problem at same exact time is outside any reasonable realm of likely. Morevoer, I discovered (while on hold with Apple) that my experience is not unique - if one googles "iPad Inbox empty" or similar, one finds numerous reports of EXACTLY the same iPad instigated wipe of users Inboxes - and no one seems to have a clue what to do (other than deny and hope it gets forgotten).

    I find interesting that ONLY the Inboxes were wiped clean - Sent items and Draft items remain on all platforms. Further, there are emails in the Deleted Items/Trash folders on the iPad for all three email accounts, but these are ones I had deleted on the iPad earlier in the usual way. Apparently whatever glitch caused this incredible train wreck bypassed normal deletion routines in iOS (and possibly on the respective servers, as also the Deleted email folders on each only contain those emails I deleted, and none of the mysteriously vanished Inbox items).

    Clearly this is a MAJOR operating system integrity issue with the iPad, and potentially a legal liability issue as it involves unauthorized destruction of private intellectual property. I am not the litigious type, but there are plenty of others out there who would take that avenue if necessary, so important for our friends at Apple to get this fixed ASAP. Although rare, like most disasters, when they happen it's a - well, it's a disaster.

    This unnerving episode raises a number of issues/questions:
    1. How to recover my Inboxes on Yahoo, MobileMe, and Gmail servers?
    2. How can I collect more information from the various platforms/providers to help better determine what may have happened (e.g. would Google be able to provide a history log of when this happened, and possibly what command it received from what source to implement such a devastating delete?)
    3. How could the iPad have been able to delete ANY emails on the servers in any case? I am not aware of an option in iPad Settings to Delete ANY email on the server (although my iMac and PCs provide such an option, so the servers will certainly allow it)
    4. How do I raise the profile of this issue with Apple so they can work with me to find the cause and correct the problem, before this becomes a higher profile issue?

    I would greatly appreciate any perspective and advice on this episode and the questions I pose. Meanwhile I will press forward to try to recover from this unfortunate system error as best I can - and remain calm.


  2. propita macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2011
    At last!

    The exact same thing happened to me!

    My yahoo accounts on my iPad had their inboxes emptied. Just gone. My husband's various yahoo accounts--NOT on the iPad, were just fine. There is no way I could or would have deleted every email. If nothing else, it takes a couple of steps, not just a "global delete" type of thing.

    I will be reading this thread to see what you find out.
  3. TexBax thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2011
    Apple now seems to "get it"

    Hey, propita, thanks for letting me know you had the same experience! Maybe we should start a support group ;-)

    I have since combed the web for similar stories, and while there ARE clear cases of server error and "operator error", at least one third have exactly the same story as ours - and that one third numbers well in excess of one hundred folks. Interestingly, almost all were only using ONE email service (mostly either Gmail or Yahoo), so it would be very difficult to see that the issue was within Apple's territory - the ISP was always blamed (but neither Goggle or Yahoo found any error on their servers in the specific cases). In my case, I had the same thing happen across 3 servers simultaneously, so very high correlation that this is an iPad or Apple server problem.

    One other thing I noted is in nearly every one of these cases, if the reporter mentioned what device they were using when this happened, it was predominantly an iPhone, and second was the iPad. Another very strong correlation, and supports that iOS is the most likely culprit.

    Since I posted this on the day of the event, I have the following update:
    - after "pestering" Apple on Sunday, I finally got some cust serv reps who proved helpful - not once did I get the dreaded "Denial of Situation".
    - the first Apple rep told me he recognized that this was clearly a problem within Apple's systems, and that I should first speak with the MobileMe folks.
    - When I asked him why (besides trying to get my MobileMe email restored), he told me that ALL of the email traffic from the iPad/iPhone passes through MobileMe's servers!! Wow! Suddenly it made far more sense how all three independent services could be impacted and have the normal safeguards bypassed.
    - When I spoke to the MobileMe rep, he agreed that this was a problem within Apple's system, but contended that it would have originated within the iOS in the iPad. So, he put me on hold while he conversed back with the iOS folks. After he returned he told me (get this): "just synchronize your iPad, and if it happens again, call us". LOL - NOT!
    - So, I told the MMe rep that wasn't satisfactory at all (which, to his credit, he actually agreed with) and he then said he would put me through to the iPad folks.
    - another iPad rep came on and after I explained the situation, he said that my case was noted and they would let me know if they found anything. To which I replied that response was not acceptable, so he put me through to his "supervisor" (why do I now have the feeling I'm buying a used car?).
    - the Supervisor came on and was very pleasant and understanding, and after reading up on my case, agreed to elevate this to "Engineering" to see if they could find a cause. She said that if they found anything, they would let me know. Good try, but not sufficiently proactive.
    - she agreed she would keep track of this issue and get back to me. She also gave me her direct extension. I then said I would like to send her additional information, and she offered her email address.
    - I followed up by email to her with a copy of my original post here, and also tried to provide her additional business justifications for why she/Apple might want to get this fixed ASAP.
    - I have not heard back as yet, but it is a holiday weekend, so understandable.
    - Finally, shortly after I got off the phone, I checked my MobileMe account and all of my deleted emails had been restored. And, I have copies of my Gmail and Yahoo emails on my PCs, so not a disaster (this time). I only had to spend about an hour restoring my Gmail onto the server.
    - I haven't yet posted this on my Facebook or Twitter accounts, but probably a next step if nothing happens within a week.

  4. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2011
    Austin TX
    I thought I was going crazy. My Gmail account did the same thing the other day. I KNOW I'd didn't delete my email. I only lost 3 but I was holding on to them because they were online orders and was keeping track of the shipments. Now I'm nervous about my accounts and am thinking about removing them from my iPad until this is resolved.

    I too will keep track of this thread. Please do update as you get information.

  5. propita macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2011
    I use yahoo. Three email accounts were on my iPad. All three inboxes were emptied, nothing from any emails saved in other folders. Yahoo accounts not on the iPad were untouched.

    The lost emails were lost from the yahoo inbox, no access from any other commuter. Just totally gone.

    I don't have MM.

    Thanks for keeping the updates. Looking forward to reading what you find out.
  6. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Are they all unjailbroken running the latest iOS? Only synced to one computer?
  7. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2011
    Austin TX
    Mine is not jail broken, synced to only one computer and up-to-date on the OS. Only my gmail account was affected. My hotmail and live accounts are ok. Since this came up and I discovered I'm not the only one and I'm not going crazy I have stopped using gmail for anything until we get a resolution.

    Hopefully my 2 Microsoft accounts will be ok (they are set up via Exchange so I guess it could change them to POP accounts). Otherwise i'll have to remove them. I can't just "lose" emails. Makes one wonder if any have disappeared before being read.
  8. propita macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2011
    Same here. Synched to a single computer, not jail-broken, and updated.

    This was a few weeks ago. My husband was blaming me until I showed him the steps necessary to delete emails on the iPad. Then he thought I had selected all on the computer inbox. When I pointed out that this was three accounts, one of which I rarely open on the iMac, he quieted down. (I handle most of the software stuff at home. He avoids it.)

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