New bug resets the default iOS 14 mail app, but is it iOS or Gmail's fault?

Ios 14 Home Screen Hero
Ios 14 Home Screen Hero (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Users continue to experience issues relating to iOS 14 and setting default mail apps.
  • Some users report that their default mail app is resetting whenever they update the app in question.
  • But reports suggest this impacts Gmail, and Gmail only.

Apple added the ability to set a default web browser and email client when it launched iOS 14 in September but things haven't gone swimmingly. Some people noticed that restarting their device would reset the default app. That was fixed, but there's a new bug in town that resets defaults.

According to a report by The Verge, one user has noticed that their Gmail app is no longer the default email handler after updating it via the App Store. They shared video proof, too.

As the video shows, updating Gmail changes the default email app back to Apple's Mail. Which is bad. But is it an iOS 14 issue, or a Gmail issue?

The Verge says they confirmed the bug and suggested Edge might also be impacted, but didn't make it clear whether they tested it.

But now it's been reported — and The Verge has confirmed directly — that whenever you update your chosen default app (like Gmail or Microsoft Edge) in the App Store, it gets booted out of the default app slot. Credit to David Clarke for making us aware of bug, which remains present as of the iOS 14.1 update that was just released yesterday.

What I do know is that I haven't seen anything like this across iOS 14.1 or the iOS 14.2 betas. I use Spark as my email client – so is this only happening with Gmail users?

This is where I pass it over to you, reader. Shout out in the comments if you've had a default app setting reset after updating the app that was the default. If you have, which app was it?

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • Like you, I’m also a Spark user. This is happening to me too. (I do have the Gmail app installed, but have never set it to be the default.)
  • Happened with Edge every time it got an update (until 14.0.1), haven't received Edge updates after 14.1.
  • I use Outlook and Edge and this bug is present everytime I update the apps. I also notice apps don't always open in the defaults all the time
  • So it does it with every email app yet you put Gmail in the heading to get clicks....
  • Reason # 27 why I am still on 13.6.1 and 12.4.1 on various iPhones and iPads. It's always funny/sad/predictable when people rush to install the latest, then whine about bugs. 🙄 I have better things to do than be an unpaid beta tester.
  • I think this is a trivial bug, and Apple will fix it, and you should file a Radar (or whatever they call it now), and writing a freaking article about it is overkill. Also, Gmail is an amazing backend service, but it also one of the worst iOS apps in existence. Material Design is terrible on iOS, and it doesn't support multitasking on iPad - it's a very poor iOS citizen.