Galaxy S3 Email Problems: Notification Shows Negative and Incorrect Number of Emails

We received hundreds of emails each day from our readers telling us about their problems and there are two issues I found really interesting. Both are email-related problems and at some point, if you’re a Galaxy S3 owner (or have been), you may have encountered them. I will try to go deeper into each one of them and would provide recommendations on how to fix both.

Negative Number of Emails

Now, here is the actual email message our reader sent us:

My work email is set up on my Galaxy S3. If all my emails are “read” my inbox shows a -1 instead of 0 unread emails. How is that even possible? How do I fix it?



It’s not actually a common problem but owners who reported to have experienced it didn’t come from one place only or didn’t get their phone from one carrier. Some Sprint owners had it, others were from Verizon and a few owners of the international variant said they had it too. If you are currently experiencing this problem, don’t worry because you’re not alone.

Developers whom we have talked with regarding the problem said it may have been caused by TouchWiz but nobody provided an explanation why it happens. One developer had a theory, though. According to him, the negative number indicates the notification was not set, which means by setting the notification it would solve the problem…it didn’t.

The  only fix that worked for this problem is the clearing of the email cache and data. Be advised that by doing so you would delete your personal settings and messages

  1. Go to Applications Manager.
  2. Swipe to choose All tab.
  3. Find and tap Email app.
  4. Touch both the Clear Cache and Clear Data buttons.
  5. Reboot the phone.
  6. Re-setup your email account.

Incorrect Email Notification

Here is one common Galaxy S3 email problem and the following is the actual email from our reader:


I keep receiving notifications that new email has arrived, when that is not really true.  I will get the notification in the bar at the top of the screen, and when I pull it down, it will say that I have 32 new messages, for example, even if I have already read all of those.

I will clear that notification, and a little while later I’ll get a notification that I have 16 new messages, and so on.

The notifications are for my work email which is associated with an Exchange server.

Any thoughts on why this is happening, and what I might do to be able to get more accurate notifications?  Thanks in advance.

Best regards,


The problem can be replicated using the stock email app in Galaxy S3 or the Gmail app from the Play Store. According to experts, this problem occurs when the app failed to update its notification data thus displaying a number that doesn’t represent the number of unread messages left in the inbox.

Owners who have setup more than one email address on their phone may experience this issue more often that owners using only one account. The number overlaying the email icon is the sum of all unread emails in all accounts.

The solution to this problem is by clearing the app’s cache first. If the problem persists, clearing the data would do the trick but then again previously saved data and settings would be lost along the process. Owners need to follow the procedure used above.

We’ll Find Solution To Your Problem

If you’re experiencing a problem or two with your smartphone and don’t know how to fix it, maybe we can help. Tell us about your problem through email. The address is [email protected].

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