How to Delete All Emails in a Folder in iOS Mail

You don't need to open each email to delete it

Young person using a smartphone

Towfiqu Photography / Getty Images

Having your email on all your devices is convenient, but depending how you set up iOS Mail on your iPhone and iPad, you may end up with email you've already read and dealt with elsewhere begging for your attention. Maybe you set up filters to keep your inbox tidy and later on you don't want to wade through the contents. When this happens, you may want to delete all the messages you see in a folder, rather than go through them one by one.

Information in this article applies to the Mail app in iOS 9 through iOS 12, as indicated.

Delete All Emails in a Folder in iOS Mail

To delete all the messages from a folder in iOS 12, iOS 11, or iOS 10:

  1. Tap the Mail app to open it.

  2. If the Mail app doesn't open on the Mailboxes screen, swipe backward until you reach it. Each email provider has its own section of folders.

  3. Scroll down the Mailbox screen until you reach the folder you are looking for. Tap the folder to open it.

  4. Tap Edit at the top of the screen.

  5. Tap each message to place a check mark in the field to its left.

    Don't bother tapping Mark All at the bottom of the screen to save time. It doesn't include a Delete option. However, it does include Flag and Mark As Read, if those work for you. The only exception is the Trash folder.

  6. Tap Trash to remove the emails from the folder. There is no confirmation screen or Undo button.

    Deleting all the email in a folder on iPhone

The only folder that doesn't require you to tap each email to select it is the Trash folder. After you tap Edit at the top of the screen, you can choose Delete All at the bottom to empty the trash folder without selecting individual emails.

Delete All for Trash folder in iOS Mail app

Delete All Emails in a Folder in iOS 9 Mail App

Deleting messages is even faster in iOS 9 because you don't have to tap each one. To delete all the messages present in an iOS 9 Mail folder:

  1. Open the folder from which you want to delete the messages.

  2. Tap Edit near the top-right corner.

  3. Tap Delete All.

  4. Tap Delete All again in the confirmation menu that comes up.

The Mail app in iOS 9 deletes all the messages in the folder, not just those you fetched to the device. If more messages are on the server, they are deleted as well.

Deleting all messages does not work in iOS Mail smart folders such as Unread, VIP or Today.

In addition to deleting email, you can move all messages in a folder and act on them in other ways.