archive delete email

To my knowledge, Gmail was the first service to introduce this option that basically archives an email instead of properly deleting it. I believe other email services have followed Google’s steps, and for many people this is actually a convenient feature, especially now that online storage space offered by those email services are so large we can afford to not delete anything.

Personally, one of the very first settings I tinker with when getting a new iOs device, whether it is an iPhone, or an iPad, is the archiving behavior of emails. I just want my emails to be deleted, not archived. Unfortunately, unless you know where to look, altering this feature is not as obvious as you may think.

In this post, I will show you how you can permanently delete emails instead of archiving them.

1) On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars, then select the email account for which you want to stop archiving emails.

select email account

2) Tap on your account email address, then tap on Advanced.

advanced email settings

3) Under the Move “Discarded Messages Into” tab, select Deleted Mailbox.

deleted mailbox

4) Tap on the Account button at the top left corner of the screen. Finally, tap Done at the top right corner of the screen.

Account Done

Now when you return to the Mail app, you should notice that the Archive icon is now a Trash can icon, as seen on the image at the top of this post.

As you can see, the option is buried deep into advanced email settings. Not just that, you must also confirm your choice after selecting to move discarded messages into the deleted mailbox. It seems to me things could be simplified a bit here. I myself sometimes get confused by the whole process, so I can’t imagine how my mom would feel if she ventured deep into her email settings like this.

Advanced users probably already know how to switch from the archive mailbox to the deleted mailbox, but this is definitely not obvious to most people.



    Thannnnnnnnnnnk youuuuu…

    • You’re welcome! I’m glad I was able to help

  • What’s the philosophy behind delete? Sometimes you need to delete, sometimes you need to archive.

    Why not just always archive and make it easy? No decision to make!

    • A large majority of the emails I receive go to trash because they’re crap, spam, or stuff I know for sure I will never need to see again. For the stuff that I do want to save, I put them in a folder.

      I think it really depends on your workflow. I like to keep things clean and tidy. It would drive me insane to have thousands of emails archived that I know I’ll never have a need for.

    • Bufonse

      Cause most people don’t wanna archive their mail

  • Renato Faria

    Thank you very very much!

  • Jamie Petro

    You know you can long press the archive button and it will ask if you want to trash!

    • Yup, this tip was on my list to write about 🙂

  • I use both Gmail and Google Apps. Both these accounts are set to Delete (not archive), and it works flawlessly for me. I never had to go in sync settings either.

  • Bufonse

    Works fine for me maybe you don’t hit done after changing the settings so it doesn’t save

  • I love it when I find out articles like this one, which are talking about practical things. Good job!

  • Paul Brinzei

    this is by far the greatest tip I have received lately. Thank you!!!