It happens when you're in a poor signal area: your iPhone tells you there's a new email message but it won't show it to you. You can see who it's from, you can see the subject heading but when you go into it Mail gets stuck on the word "Loading". It's annoying but not unreasonable when you remain in that poor signal area but then you leave there for some Wi-Fi oasis and still that message will not get beyond Loading. Now what?
Somewhere along the line your iPhone has got confused and should really stop, take a breath and look for the message again but it doesn't. You can make it have another go – with the proviso that this only works most of the time, not all of it. Plus as you'll see from our example here, sometimes you can still be thwarted because of how a message happens to have been written.
This was tried in Apple Mail on an iPhone 6 with the latest iOS 8 but we've used the same trick since perhaps even the original iPhone. If you use another email system on your iPhone, give it try: there's no reason it shouldn't work but it is a bit of alchemy.
You've got a new email message. There's no way we know to rig this problem to happen so it's going to be a nice surprise the next time you see text in the To: and Subject: but just the word 'Loading' in the body. Now you wait. This doesn't sound like the very greatest of hacking workaround Pointers tutorial advice but wait for it. A lot of the time, the message will just get through by itself.
When your patience has run out, tap on the button to call up Reply/Reply All/Forward/Print. Choose Forward. Your iPhone will ask if you want it to download the rest of the message first and whenever it asks you that, you say yes.
It won't be instantaneous but most of the time you'll end up with a new email message that quotes the contents of the one you're trying to read. We can't guarantee it but it works enough of the time that we use this automatically whenever it happens and we're usually feeling pretty smug a moment later. If it doesn't work for you then the odds are that you're still in that bad reception area.
Then there is working and there is working. We've been hoping to tell you this for ages and feeling miffed that our email kept appearing just fine so you can imagine we were quite happy when it went into that Loading loop this week. Our workaround solution hack worked perfectly – or it would have done for any normal message. For some reason in this case the original email was effectively an attachment and there was nothing we could do.
When this works, by the way, it works whether you chose Forward or Reply but only ever choose Forward. The reason is that you just want to read this message, you're not actually going to send it to anyone, but if you choose Reply then there's the risk you will reply. You'd be sending them just their own message back and you know you'd do it, you know you would. It's one button to reply to someone whereas Forward would need you to type in a name: it's harder to do accidentally. So only choose forward.
-William Gallagher (@WGallagher