How to Delete All Emails in a Folder in iOS Mail

Clear a folder whole with your iOS Mail's brooms. Fondo Antiguo de la Universidad de Sevilla; CC BY 2.0 license

iOS Mail on iPhone and iPad lets you delete (or move) all messages you see in a folder with just three taps.

Carefully Deleting Emails Slowly One by One?

One on one is the way to talk, to connect, to garner intimacy perhaps. One by one, then, is how we tackle emails from the people important in our lives.

Is one by one also the way—the best way—to delete emails, the most efficient method to clear a folder? Clearly, it is not; despite what perhaps appearances might suggest, email by email is not the only way to do these things in iOS Mail.

A Better Way to Act on Emails in Bulk

iOS Mail offers something simpler and much faster: you can act on all messages in any folder at once, not only to delete but also to move or mark (say, as read) the whole bunch in bulk.

Of course, you can select individual messages and act on them as a group, too. To get rid of a folder itself in its entirety, you can delete it (including all the emails in it).

Delete All Emails in a Folder in iOS Mail

To quickly delete all messages present in an iOS Mail 9 folder:

  1. Open the folder from which you want to delete the messages.
  2. Tap Edit near the top right corner.
  3. Now tap Delete All.
  4. Tap Delete All again in the menu that has come up.
    • Note that iOS Mail will delete all messages in the folder, not just those you have fetched to the device; if more messages are on the server, they will be deleted as well.
      1. You can always download more messages by scrolling to the folder’s very bottom.
    • Note also that deleting all messages does not work in iOS Mail smart folders (such as Unread, VIP or Today).

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

In iOS 10, to delete all messages from a folder, I am afraid you have to:

  1. Open the folder.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Now tap each message to make sure it is selected.
  4. Tap Trash.

Move All Emails in a Folder in iOS Mail 9

To move all messages you see in a folder to another in iOS Mail 9:

  1. Open the folder whose emails you want to move.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Tap Move All.
  4. Select the folder to which you want to move the emails.
    • Here, iOS Mail moves only the messages that have already been fetched to the device and are visible in the folder; to load—and move—more messages,

Mark All Mail Read in an iOS Mail Folder

To mark all emails in a folder read in iOS Mail:

  1. Open the folder in which you want to mark all messages as read.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Now tap Mark All.
  4. Select Mark as Read from the menu that has appeared.

Flag All Mail in a Folder with iOS Mail

To mark all emails in a folder with a flag in iOS Mail:

  1. Open the folder with the messages you want to flag.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Tap Mark All.
  4. Now select Flag from the menu.

iOS Mail will flag all messages in the folder. Note that you cannot similarly remove the flag from all messages in one go.

(Tested with iOS Mail 9 and iOS Mail 10)