Fastmail and the Mail app on iOS

Fastmail outgoing mail

Back to the saga of my iPhone 5S, you may remember that a couple of days ago my beloved iPhone decided to take a cold water bath while in the middle of the downpour. The good news is that after switching it on yesterday morning… it lives!

The bad news is that the left speaker on the bottom now no longer outputs any sound; and unknown as to how this could have possibly happened, my email that I have hosted with Fastmail no longer seemed to work (although I can’t be sure if this happened before or after the bath, since I never really sent email from that account anyway).

iOS7: Cannot Send Mail

I was receiving mail without any issues, but I wasn’t able to send email to anyone. In addition, a few particular emails could not be opened. I cycled between 3G and WiFi and retyped the password a few times and checked it on Fastmail’s desktop interface to ensure I wasn’t using the wrong one, before I removed and added it a few more times.

This seemed to fix my email opening error if not the sending issue. Logging in on a desktop computer and testing by sending an email also served to check I wasn’t having account trouble because of unpaid fees or other reasons.

I checked Fastmail’s documentation to ensure that I wasn’t just doing it horribly wrong, as I’m wont to do:

The instructions and screenshots in this setup guide are for iOS 7. Previous versions of iOS are very similar, although the screenshots may not match exactly what you see on your device.

Set up your email

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  3. Tap Add Account, then Other (at the bottom of the list), then Add Mail Account.
  4. Fill in your name, email address and password:
    • Name: The name people will see on the email you send.
    • Email: Your full FastMail username, including the domain.
    • Password: Your FastMail password.
    • Description: A name to identify this account (anything you like).
  5. Tap Next, then tap Save.

  6. Your FastMail account is now ready to use; open the Mail app to read your email. To sync your calendar with your device, see the instructions further down the page.

I had followed all these instructions, yet while this worked flawlessly on iOS7 on my iPhone 4S, I was experiencing issues on iOS7 on my iPhone 5S. Potential problems to do with the iPhone being in water aside, it could only be something to do with my settings.

Finally, I came across an old post from 2009, where there was some additional information not mentioned anywhere else within Fastmail’s documentation.

  1. Under Incoming Mail Server, set the Host Name to be:
  2. In the User Name field, enter your FastMail user account ID (e.g.
  3. Your Password should already be pre-filled from above.
  4. Under Outgoing Mail Server, set the Host Name to be:
  5. The Outgoing User Name must be entered. Enter your FastMail user account information again.
  6. Don’t forget to enter the Outgoing Password as well
  7. Press Save
  8. At that point, it should verify your connection information. If you’ve misspelled your account name or password, you will have to fix them before you can proceed.

Although all of this IMAP information appears all to be set up automatically in iOS7, in this case it had not been. Ruben tells me he always set this up manually, and when I think back to my difficulties setting it up initially I remember something of the like, yet this was not mentioned anywhere until you delve deep into the IMAP settings.

iOS7: Cannot Send Mail

Nonetheless, I deleted and reentered my details for ‘outgoing server’ and this resolved my sending issues. Nothin’ to it… apparently.