How to Delete Mass Email on an iPhone

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Removing a single email in the iOS 8 Mail app only takes a leftward swipe and a tap of the Trash (or Archive button), but clearing out emails in bulk isn't quite as straightforward. To delete a selection of several emails at once, press Edit and select them one by one. If you want to wipe clean an entire folder, there's a hidden trick to save you from having to check each message separately.

Both methods start with a tap of the Edit button
Both methods start with a tap of the Edit button

Delete Multiple Emails

Tap Edit in the Mail app to display check boxes by each email. Check the messages you want to delete and tap Archive or Trash.

The Archive button, seen in a Gmail account.
The Archive button, seen in a Gmail account.

Tip

  • Whether you see the Archive or Trash button depends on your email service. Gmail's inbox uses Archive, which moves emails out of your inbox without permanently erasing them. Most other services, such as Yahoo, have a Trash button instead.

    To permanently erase messages from Gmail, perform this task in the All Mail folder instead of the inbox. While in All Mail, you'll see a Trash button instead of the Archive button.

The Trash button, seen in a Yahoo Mail account.
The Trash button, seen in a Yahoo Mail account.

Empty an Entire Folder

Step 1

Tap Edit in the Mail app and check the box by any single message in the inbox or other folder that you want to empty. Press and hold the Move button. Do not release the button yet.

The email you check makes no difference.
The email you check makes no difference.

Step 2

While still holding down Move, uncheck the checked message using another finger. After unchecking the email, release the Move button.

Even though Move looks grayed out, it will work when you release it.
Even though Move looks grayed out, it will work when you release it.

Step 3

Pick a location to move the entire contents of the folder. To delete the messages, choose Trash. If you use Gmail and want to archive the messages, choose All Mail.

This method moves or deletes all emails from the folder, not just those on-screen.
This method moves or deletes all emails from the folder, not just those on-screen.

Tip

  • If you can access your email service through a website, you might find the Web interface easier to use for deleting multiple email messages than the Mail app. Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Outlook.com (Hotmail) all display mobile-friendly interfaces when you load them in Safari.

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