Can't Delete Email from iPad or iPhone?




  • Eefke Christis

    Hi Ben,

    I have tried all of the above steps. however I still end up with the mailbox settings being gray. I have another account hosted at the same provider and with the same settings and that one goes fine.

    I have copied the settings but it still does not work out.



  • Eefke Christis

    got it, a imap prefex was needed for 1 account.

    Filled in the INBOX value in the IMAP prefix and it worked.

    Thanks anyway.

  • Ben Greiner

    Hi Eefke, Thanks for contributing! Great to hear you got it working and I wish email providers would be more clear on when the IMAP Path Prefix is required.

  • Ben Greiner

    Recent commend from Jill

    Yesterday 11:29 pm

    I just wanted to say thanks for the tips on adjusting the settings on my IPad. I am not a tekkie,and I have been struggling with not understanding why I couldn't get rid of most of my emails. I followed your step by step instructions and they were wonderfully clear and worked perfectly. I appreciate it greatly.Thanks!

  • David Kinsey

    Many, many thanks.  Your simple method worked like a charm.  Verizon Wireless help could not figure this out; they even sent me a new iPhone, but to no avail.

  • Ben Greiner

    Glad to hear David. Thanks for sharing!

  • Deborah Maurer Felstein

    i did this and it worked a treat bu the next day the problem returned and it doesnt work a second time? any suggestions its driving me nuts!

  • Ben Greiner

    Hi Deborah,

    1. Ensure you're running the latest iOS for your iPhone (Settings > General > Software Update).
    2. Double-check that you're using IMAP on ALL devices that check your email account. (On the iPhone check Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar > Your Account. IMAP should appear at the top of this page.)
    3. Contact your email hosting provider if the problem continues.

    Good luck! 

  • alexblare

    How can I wipe data (messages, contacts, photos) off my iPhone 4? I want to sell my iPhone 4 and need to get a iPhone, I tried to erase all contents (messages, contacts) from my iPhone 4, but it seems cannot permanently erase them at all, I need help! How can I completely deleted, erase iPhone messages, contacts, photos without restoring before selling? 

  • Ben Greiner

    Hi Alex,

    Summary: Go to Settings > General > Reset, then tap Erase All Content and Settings.

    Details:  What to do before selling or giving away your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch 

  • Pong Chee Kuang

    Hi Ben, thanks for the solution, I able to delete mail now. But unfortunately there another new issue occur. Now I can't send mail, and a message : "Cannot Send Mail - A copy has been placed in your Outbox. The recipient "XXXXX" was rejected by the server." Did any of you have the same issue? Any suggestion? Thank you in advance for all your effort and help.

  • Ben Greiner

    Hi Pong Chee Kuang, "The recipient "XXXXX" was rejected by the server." typically means there is a typo or the email address is otherwise not valid.

  • Ben Greiner


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  • Lyndseyskidmore

    I'm having this same problem and have just tried the above fix.. However, when I go into settings and then mail.. All of my accounts are greyed out. I've also noticed that my iCloud account is greyed out too! Do you have another step to get them back? Thanks

  • Ben Greiner

    Hi @Lyndseyskidmore,

    "Greyed out" might be normal. What are you trying to select that is not selectable?

  • Cathrine Rushwaya

    i wish school was as is this instruction, spot on thank u

  • Ben Greiner

    You're welcome, Cathrine!

  • Hamsa Mohamed

    It's sti not working with my outlook mail , help plz.

  • Hamsa Mohamed

    It's st not working with my outlook mail can't delete anything, help

  • Ben Greiner

    Hi Hamsa, I recommend reaching out to your email provider. We have not tested these instructions with Outlook for iOS.

  • Thomas

    Still works. thank you I just followed these instructions with an IPhone 6

  • Ben Greiner

    Excellent. Thanks, Thomas!

  • Susan Ward

    I have tried all the steps above and for now it seems to delete my emails. (sends them to trash) yet, I'm still getting the error message. Help!!

  • Ben Greiner

    Hi Susan, Have you tried restarting? :) Or check for iOS updates ... Settings > General > Software Update.

  • Linda Pesonen

    This helped a lot, but I also needed to change the check mark in the section titled "move discarded messages into:" and the check was on archive mailbox, so I switched it to deleted mailbox. Now, my swipe allows the deletion of the email instead of the archive. the "move discarded messages into" section is right below the "mailbox behaviors" section. FYI. Thanks!!

  • Linda Pesonen

    By the way i'm using an iPhone 6 on iOS 9.2

  • Jen S

    So helpful! Clear, concise instructions, and it worked beautifully. Thank you for posting this!

  • Betty

    May 9, 2016...... iPhone SE Thank God for this...I had been on with  Apple for hours.....Came here and fixed it right away....Thank you so much for sharing the solution....I was pulling my hair out.....  had me back up phone and was a horror story....They will not be getting a good survey...

  • kimzey

    When I go into Account / Advanced / Mailbox Behaviors, the "on the server" section is greyed out for all mailboxes...  Appreciate any suggestions!

  • Ben Greiner

    @kimzey, I'm guessing your email account may not be IMAP ... maybe it's POP? Who is your email provider?

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