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.
2) Tap on your account email address, then tap on Advanced.
3) Under the Move “Discarded Messages Into” tab, select 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.
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.