How to delete ALL mail messages from iPhone/iPad in one step

How to delete ALL mail messages from iPhone/iPad in one stepHere’s how to delete ALL mail messages from iPhone/iPad in one step. Yes, there is a way to delete all your unwanted iPhone/iPad emails from the Mail app in one step! No more left-swipe:tap Trash for every individual message. No more Edit: tap the single open circle next to every individual message and finally tapping Trash. And you don’t need to jail break your device.

If you leave your iDevice on for a few days and come back to find a few hundred messages on it that you’ve already downloaded elsewhere this trick will save you time and irritation. I didn’t discover the method—it’s far from obvious—but found it on one of many Apple discussion threads bemoaning this irritating hole in Mail functionality.


GOOD NEWS UPDATE [added October 3, 2015] IOS 9.0.2 finally displays a “Trash All” button after Edit is pressed! If your phone won’t handle 9.0.2, the following procedure is often successful; read the comments for a detailed description of hundreds of people’s successes and failures.

BAD NEWS UPDATE [added September 25, 2016] IOS 10 has removed the “Trash All” button. Who knows why? The procedure listed below (the original 2014 post) still works for many people.

GOOD NEWS UPDATE [added January 5, 2020] IOS 13.3 allows you to “Select All” your emails and then touch “Trash” to delete all selected emails! If your phone can’t be updated to this IOS version, the following procedure is often successful; read the comments for a detailed description of hundreds of people’s successes and failures.

It works! I present to you this great tip from shashbasharat found on MacRumors (slightly edited for clarity).

How to delete ALL mail messages from iPhone/iPad in one step

How to delete or move ALL emails at once in non-jail broken ipad or iphone

It took me weeks of research to figure out finally how to decode this yet another secretive secret of apple. There is a perfect way of deleting ALL emails at once without jailbreaking your iphone or ipad…and here it is:

  1. If any of your messages are marked as unread: Open Inbox >> Edit >> Mark All >> Mark As Read [added May 21, 2014 by Adrian; this extra step makes the difference between success & failure for some.]
  2. Open Inbox >> Edit  >> Check/select the top message; it will highlight the Move button.
  3. Press and hold the move button and, keeping your finger on the Move button, use another finger to uncheck the message that you had checked earlier.
  4. Lift all your fingers off from the iDevice screen and leave it alone. Wait until all your messages pile up on the right hand portion of the screen (in ipad); iphone will give you the actual number of emails it has selected for the action.
  5. Choose trash to delete all of them or any other folder where you want to move them. Remember this will replicate your action on the server so you will ACTUALLY move them or delete them on the server and not just the iDevice.
  6. After moving all messages to the trash you can leave them there for the scheduled cleaning or empty it right away. To empty immediately go to the trash folder and touch Edit. The Delete All button shows up at the bottom of the screen. Hit it! You’re done!
  7. If you do not see the effects of your actions on the server make sure you have enabled your email accounts for such actions.


  1. Allow enough time (could take several minutes depending the number of emails to be moved) for selecting the emails to move. Your screen may be unresponsive for a while. On an iPad you will see them zoomed out on the right hand side of the screen. On an iphone you will see a message showing you the actual number of messages selected.
  2. Avoid purging very large number of emails, the mail app might freeze or crash. If your inbox has thousands of emails change your sync settings to store less emails in your inbox.
  3. [Added Jul 20, 2014 by Adrian] Many people have reported needing to repeat the above procedure several times before it succeeds. (I too have found this to be necessary a few times on my iPhone but not on my iPad—go figure.) So my final tip is to repeat the procedure 3-4 times if the mail doesn’t disappear the first time. In my experience, if your messages disappear momentarily and then reappear, repeating the procedure will eventually make them stay deleted for good.

That’s how to delete ALL mail messages from iPhone/iPad in one step!

404 thoughts on “How to delete ALL mail messages from iPhone/iPad in one step

  1. Doesn’t work. It looks as if all the messages have been moved to Trash, but Edit button doesn’t show up when I go into Trash to actually delete the messages.

    1. The method does work (i.e. moves everything out of your Inbox to your Trash)—you just need to empty the Trash when desired. In the Trash mailbox, touch Edit, then Delete All, and the Trash will be emptied completely.

      1. sorry Adrian it does send them to the chosen trash folder then when you get out of inbox and choose trash folder to delete all at once they are back in the INBOX!!!!! annoying!!!

        1. Some people (including me) have found that repeating the above process a
          few times eventually proves successful. In my experience, if you see
          the emails disappear momentarily and then reappear, repeating the
          procedure will eventually make them stay deleted for good.

          1. Again, Adrian, that is not a solution for those of us who can’t get this to work. I have gone through your solution step by step more than a dozen times now, still with no success.

            I wonder, do you think it has anything to do with the type of device or version of software or the number of emails one is trying to delete?

            What do you think?

      2. Adrian, I respectfully point out that you are wrong here. I believe you now that this has clearly worked for a number of people. I wish those people who had success would put in their posts what device they are using (iPhone, iPad, etc.) and the OS they have on their devices.

        It is clear that this method works only for some, while about an equal number of people have no success, and those people are all saying the exact same thing about what is happening when they are trying this method.

        It isn’t a question of simply emptying the Trash. There is no trash to empty. The Inbox stays empty as long as you don’t leave that screen. Once you go to empty the Trash, the Trash has no messages in it; they can be found in your Inbox again. They never actually move, they only appear to move.

  2. For those of you this is not working for you probably have a newer version of software just like I do. I experienced the same issue rmgross1, Stevo63, and rhymedoggie did when following Adrian’s instructions. I have 7.0.4 and the 3 others this didn’t work for probably have 7.0.4 as well (actually an update is available that will take you to 7.0.6.) It is a security update. If you don’t know your version, tap settings, tap general, tap about. Scroll down until you see “Version”. With 7.0.4, here is how to do it. When you open your inbox, tap on edit, then select the message or messages you want to sent to the trash. Now all you have to do is tap on trash at the bottom right of the screen. It is greyed when you first tap edit but once you select a message or messages it turns blue. You actually have the option to trash or move the message or messages. Once they get in the trash, tap trash, tap edit, and you will have the option to move or delete all at the bottom of the screen. Also with 7.0.4 or newer, the way you close apps changed as well. So, the moral of the story is you can’t assume things aredone the same way from version to version. :0 ).

    1. I just wanted 2 comment on Steve’s comments. Man, did u miss tha whole point of why each person has come 2 this point on this particular site?! We’re all wanting 2 delete our emails, plural. Our entire inbox & all @ once.
      I’m not tryin 2 b a smartass but, the entire point of this discussion has been 2 keep from having 2 do what u just explained.
      I’m sorry Steve, I know u meant well.

      1. AJLZ, is it really so difficult to type two additional letters for the word “two”? Or, for that matter, the additional “e” it takes to complete the word, “be”?

        I’m sure there are people who, like you, think it is cool to replace words (that are already short) with 2, b, u and even @. But, to type words as they are spelled, let’s see how that would work:

        two, be, you, at

        Wow. That was hard. I can see now why you felt compelled to shorten them.

        Look, when you replace words that are already short with single letters, your post screams, “I’m a teenager trying to be cool.” I wouldn’t think that is the message you want to send when trying to convince others of your position on a subject. But, that’s just me.

    2. Steve, I don’t believe you are understanding the problem, (even though it’s been a year since you posted this). With thousands of emails in an Inbox, or, as in my situation, TENS of thousands of emails in an Inbox, selecting “Edit” and then having to click on more than 10 thousand Spam emails is the problem to which we are all trying to find a solution. Would you like to manually check every email when there are thousands of emails to check? Of course not. We are all looking for a solution that will allow us to mass select the Inbox emails and then trash or delete them.

      I don’t think the issue is at all connected to the version being used. I am using version 8.3 and have at this moment 10,837 spam emails. That number will be well over 11 thousand by the time I finish this post, review it and then posting it.

      This attempt at a solution, however kind it is of someone trying to help the rest of us, simply doesn’t work.

      1. it works. the instructions may b off a bit. u have to mark as “read”. so if u have to mark all as “unread” first,so be it. then -the critical instruction mistake- u need 2 hands/fingers. hold the move button,while still holding it tap the one selected message to unselect it then when u release the move button it takes u to a diff screen where it says xxxxxmessages {something or the other} then u look down the list and (hit wherever u like to send em) hit TRASH messages gone. if they come back i suspect u may b using the cloud,that screws everything up on a smartfone regardless of brand. i dont use cloud and only had 400 messages so it worked in a few seconds. if u have thousands it may take a while

  3. Thanks Steve, but I am trying to delete or trash all the email at once without selecting individual emails. I see the same behavior that rmgross1, Stevo63, and rhymedoggie see when I use Adrians method. I am running IOS 7.0.6 on my Iphone 4S….

    1. Sorry Pete. I don’t know of a way to delete all from the inbox without having to select them one by one on an iPhone 4 with os 7.0.4 or higher. Fortunately, once they get to the trash there is a delete all option. The main objective of my post was to clarify why some can’t get the way Adrian explained to work on their iPhone. David claims Adrian’s way works on his IPhone 4 with os 7.0.6 but evey time I try it doesn’t work. When I try Adrian’s way, all goes according to what he explained but after they “appear” to go to the trash, when you look in that folder nothing is there and when you go back to the inbox, the emails are still there. I have tried it his way several times with no success. I don’t know what else to say. Have a good one!!

      1. Tried it-no luck, the MOVE button on my iPad appears inactive, doesn’t light up and holding it does nada. I cannot delete any emails unless I do it manually one at a time and have 9000 in my inbox! HELP!!! I cannot delete from server due to company constraints.

  4. Just tried this on my iPhone 4 had 4400 emails in inbox. Just as Adrian said, I waited until everything was selected and them move to trash and deleted all. Current os on iPhone is 7.06 (11B651). Worked like a charm. Now to remember it the next time I need some cleaning done

  5. This still works for me! Thanks. I had to mark all as read and try it twice before it finally deleted everything for good and didnt show back up in my inbox! 🙂

    1. Don’t forget the server. If the messages are left on the server they may continually populate your inbox depending on your mail settings. Especially if there are several computers sharing the same accounts, iPhones etc…
      This fix was a welcome relief, Thank you Adrian


      1. Does anyone know how to delete the messages on their windows or mac and have those messages simultaneously be deleted on all devices? My mac sorts the messages into groups from the same senders so I can delete more than one at once.

  6. Just to confirm; this does work well on an iPad running 7.1

    Thank you very much. Apple should really make this either clearer or easier in iOS Mail. Best of all they should make it possible to do the normal Finder bulk selection by shift-click. I know that iOS is a toy OS initially just for phones, but its limitations become more irritating and disabling every day I use it. The trouble is that I like the bits that work, and the devices it works on, too much to switch.

  7. Thank you so much for this! Even the so called Apple genius guys don’t know this trick. I am so grateful.

      1. YES! I tried repeating the process like 4 or 5 times and it finally worked. I had over 7500 “unread” messages and now it’s perfectly clean and back to 0. Thank you very much.

      2. My iPad doesn’t read “Mark as Read”, it reads “Mark as Unread”. Above procedure doesn’t work after multiple repeats. HELP

    1. Same thing is happening to me. Every time I delete them they come back. I bought a new one and Citymac transfered my old one to my new one. Cant mark as read, doesnt pop up only unread.

    2. That happened to me too then I went to my webmail account and found it was no longer deleting mail after sending to me (there were 4000+ emails in there) so deleted them all and problem sort of solved (still have to go into webmail daily to delete the daily mail – will be contacting them this week about this.

      1. Who’s “them”? If it’s Apple don’t expect any relief. Apple obviously has no interest in ordinary customers’ problems.

  8. For those for whom this is not working, try going into [Settings], [Mail,Contacts,Calendars],[your email account’s name],[Advanced],[Delete from server] and check [When removed from inbox]

    1. I do not see a delete from server option. I see Mailbox behaviors, move discarded messages into:, and Incoming settings.

      I have every Apple gadget know to man but am rapidly losing my patience.

      1. Go to your laptop or PC open your e mail ac delete all your mails.automatically all your unwanted mail on iPhone will get deleted

        1. Instead of deleting at the server, move the emails you want to keep to a different folder, like Already Read, or Save For Later.

  9. If you are using an iCloud email address, you need to log into your icloud ( and delete them there…otherwise they will keep coming back on your iPhone because they are still in the cloud.

  10. If this doesnt work for you, you want to first mark all as read then follow the steps listed in the article. This should mass delete.

    1. Kat, sorry, but first marking emails as “Read” is already part of the steps of this solution, and it has no impact on whether or not this work-around works. And, the results are in, and this method does not work.

        1. Adrian, a glance at the comments on this post shows me that this has worked for a few people, and about the equal number of people have had no success.

          However, if there are even one or two people who find success with this, then it is worth the trouble you took to post this.

          All the best.

  11. The emails are gone and have not come back but the email icon still shows 448, any idea how to get rid of the number count above the email icon? Thank you.

  12. How to remove my name from appearing on each email I send? I want “From” to be blank. iPhone 5c. Thanks.

  13. These instructions don’t work. I can only move my 1000 messages back into the Inbox and there are no Trash folders in the list. This trick also doesn’t work with the Trash link, it only works with the Move link which is useless.

  14. It does work! The key is marking all as “read” THEN it works! Slow on iPad 2, Fast on iPad Air. It does work. Took me an hour.

    1. There is no “edit” for iPhone6+. The “move” is from a pull down tab so you can’t uncheck box and lift fingers. Please update.

  15. Why doesn’t Apple make it easier to do this? I have read many online posts complaining about this kluge of a feature.

  16. I posted the other day saying not working. The post hasn’t appeared yet. But I’m thinking this is a fix for IMAP mail. My main account is POP, which must mean the messages actually download to the device. So it’s one by one for me I think, unless anyone has any ideas?

      1. Wonder what I’m doing wrong? Seems to have worked on the iPhone (5 on iOS 7.1) but not the iPad. So maybe it can’t be a POP / IMAP thing…

  17. I just erased nearly 5000 old emails from wife’s IPhone 4 in less than 5 minutes. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!

  18. So I want to delete from my iphone but definitely not from my server or other devices. Will this actually delete everything from my server? How can I avoid this? Also, does anyone know a way to have the iphone atomically delete messages after a certain amount of time or keep only a certain number? Thanks!

  19. Wait does this just select/trash all the email that is showing in your inbox at the time? What if I want to delete all email, i.e. All Emails Sent from Facebook –> DELETE ALL!!!

    vs. having to individually select every facebook sent file to delete… 🙁

  20. Awesome post!

    >> Press and hold the move button and uncheck the message that you had checked earlier.

    That is, while holding the move button, uncheck the said message. Took awhile for me to figure it out. lol.

  21. I cannot even find the TRASH on the iPhone! I have swiped and searched to no avail which explains the almost 30’000 emails!!! I have looked in Settings to see if Archives vs Trash was activated but no luck. I am desperate.

    Once someone can help me find the trash and before trying the above process and deleting ALL the emails from my iPhone, I have a question – when I sync with my Mac, will it also delete them from the computer?

    If not, assume that it is then also necessary to do the same with the iPad. Please confirm.

    My pen name should have read DESPERATE! 🙁

  22. This does not appear to work if you try to delete a specific group of emails via search term.

  23. Thank you–Apple getting complicated which is not usually like them!! I have been looking for this for a year!!

  24. If Steve Jobs were still alive he would scream at some-one to change it because it is not intuitive!!!

  25. Doesn’t work anymore. Deletes them. Double check and they are gone then I empty trash and they are back. What’s up with that?

    1. Some people have found that repeating the above process a
      few times eventually proves successful. In my experience, if you see
      the emails disappear momentarily and then reappear, repeating the
      procedure will eventually make them stay deleted for good.

  26. I had over a thousand emails on my wife’s ipadmini, the suggested method didn’t work for me so I accessed the aol account via the web browser using the ipad (not the email app) and deleted the old mail with ease. Then accessed through the app and Hey Presto! all gone.

  27. I just did this! First: mark all mail as read, then edit, then click on first message, then press and hold move button, click on first message again. release move button. then click trash. Ta-da!

      1. I’m on an iPad with no gmail app how do I delete all messages at once. I do not have my Apple ID or password. Is their a way to delete without it? And I do not have an edit button.



  28. Thank you so much for this tip! Worked like a charm my first try and I’m not super iphone smart!! Freed up a lot of storage for me.

  29. worked for me. Had to try several times. It is confusing, but I had 10009 and they all deleted on one swoop. Thanks so much!

      1. At this point I just want to know WHY Apple will not make a Delete All E-mail button!?!?! It just makes no dam sense to me. Other phones have it and it just makes sense. I just would love to hear why they don’t have it!

        How hard can it be? They have it so you can delete all the emails at once in the trash folder.

        Frustrating is right!!! It’s seriuouly making me consider buying a different phone because of it!

        1. I agree – incredible that an app as important as email – apple cannot make that happen – I tried marking all as read 1st and it worked like a charm . I have iphone 5 and 7.0 something – not sure.. Too many photos can’t update to 8.0 another separate issue

        2. Where on earth did you get the idea that Apple made sense when trying to make life easy for customers. Now! They do know how to make money out of us, but make sense-no way.
          What is the chance of Apple giving us a logical reason for this foolishness. They have the worlds best programers and loads and loads of cash but a simple button to allow the removal of all junk mail at one go seems beyond them. Come on Apple what about a simple answer. I wonder if everyone who has this gripe were to send an email to whoever could solve this would it work? Anyone know where to send the request?

          iPad 2air user all up to date,and yes I love it!

        3. Apple phones have inbuilt capacity 16GB , 32GB etc , so the trick is the more the mails the more memory is used , and then one would like to upgrade within Apple so a potential sale , I don’t see any other reason to not have such common sense at Apple

  30. I had over 1300 emails because deleting them was such a nuisance. It’s a catch all account and I get a lot of ads. I’m so happy they’re gone!

  31. I tried this on my iPhone, and it went terribly wrong. It deleted all the messages from the inbox on my iPad and server, but NOT from my iPhone where I was trying to get them off of. I repeated the procedure 10 times. Each time it would show them as deleted, but the next time I opened my inbox they were there again.

  32. totally worked….amazing!. my limit is 250 emails and it froze on me the first 2 times. Third times a charm.

    thanks for the useful hint!

  33. I had the same problem with my iphone 5, with over 9,000 e-mails occupying 3.5 Gb of storage. I tried the suggested method but after over 10 times the messages kept appearing again and again.
    In desperation I deleted them manually marking them individually, about 300 at a time and trashing them. After one attempt at this the messages were still in the inbox.
    I repeated the manual selection and with each batch, I went to the trash box and deleted each batch by selecting “delete all” option. The e-mails have now disappeared from the inbox. They are not in any other mail box either.
    Now my inbox is empty but the storage has not cleared and the storage for the mail shows 3.5 Gb. Can someone please suggest how I can free my storage?

  34. This worked on iPhone, not iPad, fast and well deleting 3000 emails from iPad mini IOS 7, COX email:

    From the iPhone or iPad home screen, tap Settings.

    Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars, then Add Account.

    Tap Other.

    Tap Add Mail Account.

    Enter Name, email Address, Password, and Description, then tap Next or Save.

  35. Did not work for me. Keep coming back. I don’t want to delete from my server ever, and I don’t use an icloud email address. this is ridiculous.

    1. iphone 4S. Have done it about 30 times. Marked all as read. They come back next time I go into the inbox (and they never appear in my Trash folder).

  36. Thank you so much for the hint to delete email messages from Iphone. It’s made my life so much easier deleting my manager’s email messages. It worked a treat the first time.

  37. I’ve used this in the past. The process is sufficiently arcane, that I’ve maintained a bookmark to your instructions.

    Today, I was saddened to discover that this process does not work with iOS8 (at least not for me on either my iPad2 nor iPhone 5s).

      1. I’ve tried this a dozen time on my 6 plus and every time I go to Trash they all go back to my inbox. even if I delete them all from Trash they go back to inbox.

      2. Matt, I am wondering if I was wrong to say this fix is not version-restricted. I am using a 6 PLUS phone with OS of 8.3 and have followed Adrien’s work-around at least a dozen times over the course of an hour and a half and get the same – bad – result each time. Perhaps it doesn’t work on the latest versions.

        1. Perfect! Following your steps to delete emails all at once, I just trashed 510 unwanted emails off of my Iphone 6+ in two tries. I have tried unsubscribe, deleting one at a time – I just keep getting more junk emails. I am not very computer savvy, so I would never have figured this out. Thank you.

          1. Mollie, I wish I could take credit for your positive outcome, but I’m afraid I had no solution to offer. Quite the contrary, I am here saying the proposed solution doesn’t work, at least for me. Still, while this attempt at a solution didn’t work for me, I am very happy it worked for you.

  38. Thanks it worked to solve another problem. I cleaned my emails out individually on my iPad. Then suddenly I had a count of 176 messages but no messages, so the Edit, Mark All was not available. In order to use your method I sent myself an email and followed your procedure and it cleared out the miscount.

  39. If your using a for example Virginmedia e-mail. Log into your web based e-mail and delete from there. This updates your i-phone/i-pad mail and removes the e-mails from your device. If you follow the above instructions without deleting from your mail provider the e-mails will constantly download to your device.

  40. I’ve performed this operation several times on my iPhone 5. Each time I see that there are 116 messages. After they are supposedly deleted, I see no messages in my inbox, trash, VIP, etc. However, when I return to the home screen, the red balloon above my mail icon on the home page, reads “3347” messages. When I look at my inbox again it, too, reads 3347. So…I’m unable to see all 3347 when I open my inbox to delete them (only the 116) and most (if not all of the 3347) are not being deleted. Help! (Musch appreciated)

  41. Thank you from the bottom of my heart… my mailbox is now empty on my iPad… when I called Apple, they said there was no way to delete all messages at once on an iPad… you Rock!!!

  42. I get to the point where it’s ready to move them “all,” but my only options are to 2 other Email accounts I have set up, no option to move to “trash?”

  43. Follwed all the instruction above and checked setting.
    When I check the mail icon shows 0 mail when I open inbox there are still 100+ mails showing (month of Aug/to date) I can’t seem to be able to delete these lot in one go.
    Does anyone have an answer to this??

  44. Sir/Madam, You are a genius. Months of teeth gnashing saved in just a few short lines. Perhaps there is a God, after all. You are definitely in the ranks of the angels. Many thanks.

  45. I was so excited to find this and to see my emails deleted….only they keep coming back. I have tried all methods you mention….any advice?

  46. It finally worked! I tried following Adrian’s instructions and it was not doing anything. Then before trying again, I emptied my trash first. Then went through the whole process and it worked. Not sure if it was because I emptied the trash first or if it was because it was the 5th attempt. But, TG, it worked!

  47. This isn’t working. The mail just keep coming back after I delete it. I’m have iPhone 6 on iOS 8.0.2

  48. The inability to clear all my email inmass is the main thing I have always hated about my iPhone email client. Why in the world isn’t there a “clear all” mail mail button like there is in the trash folder? This is the next best thing. Thanks for sharing.

  49. 1. Does your system for deleting bulk mail from ipad mean that mail will be deleted from the server which means from my PC as well?
    2. How do i do step 2 in your system? I have over 7,000 mails. Can I chose the date from which I want to delete or is it an allor nothing thing?

    1. Good questions.
      1. It depends on how your email is set up on your iDevice. Go to Settings->Mail, Contacts, Calendars and pick the email account you’re using (there may just be one). Touch Advanced and check the option “Delete from server.” The options I see are “Never”, “Seven days”, or “When removed from Inbox.” What you choose here will determine whether/how your email is deleted from the server when you delete it from your iDevice.
      If you’re using GMail, deleting email from your device will delete it from the server.

      (Incidentally, you should already know the answer to this question, from what happens when you delete a single email from your iDevice; is it also deleted from the server?)

      2. This method is all or nothing.

  50. I could literally hug you! I am a computer nerd and this issue of marking all messages read in one go has been driving me nuts. You’re my absolute hero Adrian thank you for taking the time and trouble it’s very much appreciated.

  51. Just switch from Android to Iphone. I already start to regret it. This function on Android is much simpler.

  52. So I’ve followed your steps perfectly but every time I got to my trash folder it is empty and all my messages go back into my inbox

  53. It’s really f***ing stupid that it is this hard to delete all the emails. This worked but I see that sometimes you have to do it a few times. Wtf?

  54. It looks like this is for IOS 7. IOS 6 does not have the mark all command. You could have mentioned this before wasting my time.

  55. Thanks for telling me how to get rid of my emails in a few strokes instead of a couple of hundred…… thank you, thank you.

  56. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, 8024 emails finally deleted in a few strokes! THANK YOU THANK YOU, THANK YOU VERY MUCH INDEED!

    1. Hang on, I went into trash and it was empty, then I went back to inbox and all my emails are back in the inbox?
      I have tried doing this over and over again with the same result……..
      Is there a way we can petition Apple to get off their ass and fix this?

  57. It appears to work at first but then if you close mail and get back into it the messages are still there. I marked all as read first. Doesn’t work. I have delete from server when removed from inbox selected as well.

  58. Just does not work for version 8 users as far as I can tell. Tried several times and it gathered the emails but did not delete them.

  59. I cant thank you enough for this! How are we supposed to know how to do such a hidden task but i am now extremely grateful for you sharing this tip! My inbox is finally empty ;-)))

  60. It worked for me the first time but only the first time. Every time after that the same emails kept coming right back.

  61. Thanks!!! worked great. Just for the record, and for others who may be having trouble, I used the bottom section of my email rather than the top email names. I hope that makes sense. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ve been individually deleting, and it’s driving me nuts. What a timesaver!

  62. hello all, Emails are coming into my inbox 250 at a time every few minutes. Have tried this method but iPad just keeps freezing. Soon all my space will be full, then what do I do? Very glad this has worked for some though!

  63. “4. [Added Sep 18, 2014 by Adrian] If you are using IOS 8, there is a setting that may reduce emails piling up on your device! Go to Settings -> Messages and select Keep Messages under the Message History header. You’ll be able to choose to keep your messages for 30 Days, 1 Year, or Forever.”

    But that’s iMessages, not mail.

  64. Tried and tried this. Only one message at a time is deleted. They do show up on the list but when I make the last click on trash, only one email goes in. Help?

  65. Just want to say ever figure this out I love you and thx u so much played with it all the time tryed everthing so thx from a very happy person u made my night

  66. Its is impossible to delete sent emails without clicking on each one of them individually. what a pain in the ass!

  67. Just bought a new phone and had over 8000 emails downloaded. This trick saved me hours and worked like a charm. Thanks!!!

  68. Thank you! This worked for me on an iPad 2. Keys: I had to Mark all as Read. And I had to try it a few times before it worked–but it worked after the 4th time! Yay!

  69. omg, you’re a life saver! I’ve asked dozens of I.T. people and anyone else who would listen how to batch delete my 1,000+ emails and no one could tell me…I finally googled and saw your post. I am no tech genius and the fact that I followed the instructions and did this in just a few minutes is phenominal…it’s like Christmas all over again 🙂 Thank you so much!

  70. Great thanks. Took two operations to clear about 1300 emails. It did not delete from server on web, which is good because I search at my office; also of course did not delete from my desktop. Just got deleted from iPhone so easy to see when I’ve gotten new mail.

  71. why is my email on my pc not linked to my email on my iphone. I just spent hours cleaning up email on pc and it doesn’t reflect it on my phone!

  72. I cannot get all of my messages marked as read on my IPhone 5S. I follow the right procedure but afterwards, I scroll down and many of my messages are still not marked as read. So I cannot get this process to work – any ideas?

  73. Didn’t work for me. Tried the solution above 20+ times, with four different inboxes, and got the same result with the emails re-populating. What did Apple take away the 200,150,100 email setting for the inbox? Oh yeah, icloud subscriptions. Very Microsoftish of Apple to do this to their customers.

  74. I was able to delete all the mail following you direction but when I look at my email it has number of emails I deleted showing. How do I make that number go away?

  75. Absolute waste? Time and time again I search, how do I delete all messages from drafts I have thousands, and yet again this same answer pops up like a virus? It’s years old and makes no sense and does not work? Apply seem to be a dead product time to move to Microsoft I think…….

  76. I have the iOS 8 upgrade on a 4s and it does work, but you need to go into your main email account online and permanently delete everything from there. Go back to your iPhone and click edit, then mark all as read. Once this is done, you can follow the instructions above and it will work. It may take a few times until the cached emails have been cleared but eventually they will no longer be downloaded because there will be nothing out there for the phone to fetch.

  77. Worked for me; however, when I went to
    >> Open Inbox >> Edit >> Mark All >> Mark As
    Read [Added May 21, 2014 by Adrian; this extra step makes the difference
    between success & failure for some.]
    I only saw “Mark as Unread” so I chose, instead to Flag everything. That ended up working first time out on my iphone 5 (8.02 IOS) I am incredibly happy I found this post.

  78. I’m sorry…but i have done this a gazillion times and am not getting any joy! just updated today to ios8.2 on my 5s and am cleaning up the email boxes. I have done this before on an ipad and my old 5, and had to do it a couple of times, but this time IT’S NOT WORKING!!!!
    pleeeaaase help…driving me batty!

  79. After letting go of the move button and the unchecked message, my mail app crashes, so I can’t use thus method. Any help?

  80. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Took a few times, but my emails have finally been deleted…What a relief!

  81. well even this method has been blocked with apples newest operating system. Apple is just too darn greedy for me . I am going to get a new Samsung where your memory con be changed out with a new card and nobody is trying to get every cent from you without regard for how many e-mails you have to go through. Regards.

  82. Thank you so much! Some how my phone downloaded 10,000 emails after i updated it…. This helped so much!!! Thank you!!!!!

  83. My emails now read this really carefully because I have this problem ok I send 1 email ok just 1 people get a hold of my personal information ok everything about me my life me and send it over and over again to people 24 7 and flood there box with my photos my personal. Information to stop it you can’t and to delete any emails it is impossible it has to be fixed the bloody end

  84. I have found that this method of deleting multiple messages works fine on my iPad but I cannot get it to work on my iPhone 4. The messages will go into trash, but then when i open the inbox they all come back again. Help please.

  85. I have just bought an IPad and have found a way to bulk delete my Inbox.
    I use a Laptop using Windows7 and access my Gmail account, I select a page, by using the ‘All’ option. I then delete about 15 mails. After 3 pages of deleting, Gmail gives the Option to Bulk delete.
    I then look on my iPad and the Inbox is now empty.


  86. 1,879 inbox email’s trashed and then deleted in about the time it took me to read the instructions. Thanks !

  87. Just want to say a big fat thank you. It worked. Was a little dubious at first also it took a couple of tries but did it in end. Thanks for taking the time posting !!

  88. this is not working at all for me. when i uncheck the first message it just sits there for a minute, then reverts to a blank page with the notice to move these messages to a box, and freezes. i tap trash anyway, even though there are no messages, but bupkis. i back out of the app and close it, then open it again and still have all the messages, don’t know how many, but mail is nowthe largest space hog on my ipad!if i ever get rid of them i wil never, ever use it again, promise!

  89. This worked for my Roadrunner account but not Gmail. I finally just deleted Gmail from settings. All I really want for email on my iPhone is my iCloud account. Few know about it so I get little email but I need an account to send photos by email from my phone. Hope it all works.

  90. “If you leave your iDevice on for a few days and come back to find a few hundred messages on it that you’ve already downloaded elsewhere…”

    Then you need to leave the 19th century and start using IMAP!!!

    1. Using IMAP means all your email is sitting on a server somewhere that you probably don’t control. Some people prefer to have their own data (emails) stored on their own devices rather than relying on a third party.

      1. If you are worried about privacy, when you use a third party for email, just because you delete it doesn’t mean they can’t access it still.

        With IMAP you still store emails locally as well as on a server, it just syncs it when you make changes so you don’t have to worry about issues like this.

  91. I have over 2000 emails stacked on my iPad and the app is frozen. How do,I get it open so I can erase the emails?

  92. I have no desire to use mail on my phone – except I need to turn it on in order to accept a request for “find my friends”. Then I have to turn it on, and it gets a bunch of e-mails (I have POP, which my brother pays for). So I want to delete all of my messages before I miss too many. I have some old messages from when I did use it when I was on vacation. I’ve been waiting 15 minutes to push the trash button, and am wondering if anything is happening.

  93. OMG, THANK YOU! I have struggled with this for so long. For a while I’d have to go through and check each one and delete…and then they would all reappear in my inbox! Maddening! Crazy that Apple doesn’t have a simple option to check and delete all, but now that I know this trick I’m happy! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  94. I was able to delete all my emails after two attempts, however, now I show 17,001 emails in my Inbox but there are none there. Hmmm. This shows up on the Home Screen and on the first screen that you come to after tapping Mailboxes. Any thoughts on how to delete that? Ok, I’ll try a reboot first and let you know if that works. Nope, all 17,001 “there”…maybe on the server, but not local as far as I can tell. All mailboxes empty. Help!

  95. To get rid of those phantom unread emails, I had to go back in and do the following:

    1) Go to your Mail app

    2) Under the Mailboxes section at the top of the screen select the email account that is causing you issues

    3) Select the Edit button at the top-right corner of the screen

    4) At the bottom-left of the screen select the Mark All button

    5) Select the Mark as Read option that appears

    1. I’m sorry, Jennifer, but I don’t at all understand what you are saying. Why is it relevant whether someone’s spam email is recognized as “Read” or “Unread”? It has no bearing on whether they can be mass deleted.

  96. Everything was going fine until I released MOVE. It comes up with the
    list of folders and a sentence saying: “Move these messages to a new
    mailbox” when I do and send to the Trash folder, it appears to have
    worked until I access email again and there they are… all of them in
    my inbox. I am using an A1549 model. Please help.

  97. Tried this many times, individual mailboxes, all mail, you name it, the mail always comes back, seems there is no way to delete your mails. When my iPhone is full it will be smashed with the largest hammer I can find and I will never purchase anything with piece of fruit in the name again.

  98. Thank you for that info. I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate it. 4,000 + messages and it in seconds deleted over 3,500. A few were still remaining. But overall awesome !!!!

  99. You do not know how much I appreciate your posted information … It saved my nerves system !!!!! Thank you very much !!! Live is good ageing 😀 !!!

  100. Ridiculous that we need to go to these lengths for a simple delete of mails. Best way is to just delete and recreate the account on your device!!

    Better still, just smash the bloody phone against a brick wall !! Problem solved !!

    Apple !! You should be ashamed !!

  101. I followed the instructions. Had to carry out the process twice but all 8000 plus emails are now in my trash box

  102. Looks like the latest download of the IOS 9.0.2 (13A452) has finally made it simpler. Now when click Edit at the bottom there is a single button “Trash All”

    1. Bryn, you’re right! The pleas and struggles documented in hundreds of comments below have finally been answered. Upgrade your IOS, if your phone will take it, to IOS 9.0.2 and a Trash All appears after clicking Edit!

  103. I tried your method for deleting all emails many times-they only worked once. So I was excited to learn 9.0.2 has a Trash All button-except mine doesn’t. What am I doing wrong. I go my inbox then click edit. No Trash All button. Worse, now iOS dumps me out of mail when I try your old method. HELP!

  104. I cannot seem to get all the emails checked. When I uncheck the top email the move is unhighlighted, therefore it doesn’t let me highlight them … Only if I tap on each and every one then move them to the trash. Suggestions?

  105. I have been deleted a lot of emails and messages from Ipad. My memory usage increased to 1.2gb. After deleting.
    Before deleting, memory usage 300mb on email how can I avoid this?

  106. Despite following these instructions many times, my Sent folder still transfers only the one marked file to Trash, leaving the other 936 Sent messages intact. I have an iPhone 4 using 7.1.2.

    I am hesitant to have my iPhone delete messages from my server because my primary email management occurs on my laptop. Any suggestions? Meanwhile, my only recourse seems to be deleting 937 Sent messages one at a time.

    Is it possible to stop the iPhone from saving Sent messages entirely? All messages from my iPhone contain a blind copy to me, which appears on my laptop. I don’t need to save any Sent messages on my iPhone. Many thanks.

  107. Although audio articles are fine when I have the time to listen, I wonder of you would consider also providing a transcript. It’s much easier for me, and I assume others, when I am pressed for time to scan text, quicky looking for the parts that interest me, than to listen to an audio that I have to devote extra time to. Offering both would seem to me to reach more people. I often miss audiocasts for time reasons and I am sure there is valuable information in them.

  108. somehow i have 8,196 emails flagged and i don’t know how to unflag them all at once. Can anyone help?

  109. So, how can I get e-mails off my phone to free up space for pictures without *actually* deleting them in my e-mail account. I just want them off my phone, not gone.

  110. As in, I just tried this recommendation with my computer in front of me with my e-mail account open. Everything was moved to the trash there too. Not what I want.

  111. Also tried logging off of my e-mail on phone then logging back in. All gone and then back again.

  112. When I do

    >Open Inbox >> Edit >> Check/select the top message; it will highlight the move button. >> >Press and hold the move button and uncheck the message that you had checked earlier.

    the mail app crashes/crashes

  113. I loved the iOS 9.0.2 b/c it did give the ability to “delete all” emails at once. Then came the 10.0, 10.0.01 and now 10.0.2 and that feature is no longer available. UGH!!! So frustrating. I will try this method and will be keeping my fingers crossed. Please iOS bring that very useful feature back, I’m begging!!

  114. I have ios10 on my new ipad pro 9.7.. so i followed the instructions.. i clicked the first message. click and continued to pressed move and unselected the first message. and let go all fingers.. it deleted all the junk mail in the junk mail folder. thank you.

  115. To those of you who keep saying it only says ” Mark as unread”…. that’s beacause you read all your messages already………………………………………………..

  116. IT worked so far, 300 emails erased from iphone, will report if they return. I continued to hold the button with right hand while removing select from email one.

  117. I didn’t have a problem until it upgraded yesterday. Now the setting have all changed.
    I won’t ever upgrade again. It was quick and easy before. Thanks, Adrian. Why don’t they beta test this stuff on the public instead of their own techie staff??? Same with all technology.

  118. Needed to clear off some storage. Did what you said above a few times. Not only did they keep reappearing, my mail went from 8XX MB to 9XX MB to 1.27 GB each time I checked.

  119. This is a better way after you have reviewed you e-mail for ones you want to save or keep, make sure you save them. go to your mail box and tap it then tap all trash this will remove all the mail in your all boxes file.

  120. I don’t have that EDIT option on my i phone …. now what ? How do I delete all G mail at once from the phone ?

  121. To delete all messages at once…. Select the Inbox, not Unread. Edit on top right hand corner, then Mark All in bottom left hand corner. Mark as Read, Then you may delete all Read messages.

  122. I did exactly what Adrian stated above and after 5 attempts it worked and cleared over 9000 e mails from my iPhone 5s running ios 10.2. I also tried the clearing individual accounts as I have 3 running for mail and this works as well. Many thanks for your help.

  123. Amazing. Worked the first time, including removing from server (that latter part was a little disconcerting).

  124. As I don’t want to delete all emails in one go, as there are some that I do need to keep. Is there a way of selecting all individual accounts at the same time, groupon etc to then gradually get them down? Thank you

  125. I dis as directed and my 13,000 +’emails wear moved to my choosing great instructions thank whomever programmed this feature my appreciation

  126. None of this stuff works anymore but wit the 10.0.3 update you can at least manually select messages one-by-one and then click on the newly restored “trash” button. Not sure it really saves time over left swiping.

    1. That may be your experience Dylan, but the method described in the original post still works fine for me and many other IOS/iPhone/iPad users.

          1. I stand corrected. It not only works, it works great.
            I got hung up on #3 in your directions because it wasn’t clear that I needed to continue holding the move button while I unchecked the message.
            Thank you for posting the tip and correcting my incorrect comment. I just might suggest that item 3 is clarified by adding “while holding down the move button” ( or something to that effect) at the end because if you press and hold move and then release it it takes you to a new screen and it was there that I was looking for a message to uncheck.

          2. Glad to hear it worked for you — I’ve implemented your suggestion to clarify item 3. Thanks!

  127. thank god this exits i have over 15,989 emails to delete as i couldn back my phone up due to limited icloud space………i wonder why lol thanks for this trick!! works awesome!!

  128. It worked! Thank you – only took a few seconds to select all my mails (over 1000) and chuck ’em in the trash!!!!! Hoorah!

  129. in order to stop the e-mails coming back, you need to delete them from the main service provider you get your mail from.. I.E. BT, Virgin, Gmail, Yahoo, otherwise the iphone will continue to download everything that is being stored up, while you do this, have a look at your mail setting so your mail is deleted from the server once downloaded to whichever device you use, and that will stop this

    1. If you are using IMAP to access your email, deleting email from any of your devices will also delete it from the server and any other devices that use IMAP! Only use the process in this post to bulk delete emails from your iDevice if it is using POP email access. You can check the access method you are using by going to Settings –> Mail –> Accounts and checking for your specific email account that the section “POP ACCOUNT INFORMATION” exists.

  130. At one time I was able to delete emails as described on my iPad, but now it won’t work. I have thousands of emails I don’t need in several files. The process doesn’t work with any of them. Apple really screwed up on this. It shouldn’t be so complicated to design a way to mass delete emails, but Apple seems incapable or unwilling to do it.

  131. It doesn’t work. Nothing works but deleting every email one at a time. Meanwhile I have run out of storage space on my ipad and I can’t do much about it. My emails remain undeleted. Why anyone would design such a ridiculous system I will never understand.

  132. I found it easier to delete the mail app altogether on the iPad. I had been using Microsoft Outlook for a while as an alternative to see how I would get on.. In the end Microsoft Outlook won hands down ..

  133. What a pain! Microsoft has this one, why can’t Apple fix this nonsense. In Outlook on a PC you just click on the first msg you want to delete, hold down the shift key, scroll to the last message and click on it. All messages between first and last are highlighted. Then click delete and they all go to trash. There’s an “Empty Trash” option so it only takes seconds to trash those hundreds of messages that came in while you were not looking.
    As another post noted, Apple has removed the “Trash All” option in later versions of IOS – why would they do that?

  134. Adrian Segar is a true genius. Thanks for saving me a load of time deleting all my unread messages in my Inbox.

  135. I have been using your method for some time and totally appreciate your sharing the instructions. I think with the latest OS it is now possible to select all and move them all to trash without any special steps!

  136. I am surprised at this statement “IOS 10 has removed the “Trash All” button. Who knows why?”
    Seriously? I am sure it is because they got too many complaints about people who deleted all their e-mails unintentionally and complained “WHY IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE”?
    So once again, we were hobbled by the SUPER loud minority of people who don’t know what they’re doing, but whenever they make a mistake, it is not their fault.

  137. I had to do it a few times, but, it did work. Many thanks!!!!! This is an old I-Pad. I don’t know it’s name. I think it was a matter of following your instructions.

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