How to Delete Email on the iPad

Stay productive by deleting unwanted email on your iPad

What to Know

  • In the Mail app, select the email message and tap the trash can in the upper-right corner.
  • Alternatively, swipe right on the message you want to delete in the Inbox, then tap Trash.
  • To delete multiple messages: Go to the top of the list of emails and tap Edit, select each email you want to delete, then tap Trash.

This article explains how to delete email on iPads with iOS 12, iOS 11, or iOS 10.

Tap the Trash Can in Apple Mail

The easiest and most familiar way to delete a single message on the iPad is to select the email and tap the Trash can. This deletes the mail message you currently have open in the Mail app. The Trash can icon is located in the upper-right corner of the Mail screen.

Trash can icon in Mail on iPad

This method deletes the email without confirmation. It goes to the Trash folder, where it can be retrieved if you make a mistake.

Swipe the Message Away in Apple Mail

If you want to delete more than one email message or if you want to delete a message without opening it, use the swipe method. A swipe from right to left on a message in the Inbox, reveals three choices: Trash, Flag, and More. Tap the Trash icon to delete the email.

Trash icon from swipe in Mail on iPad

If you're in a hurry, you don't need to tap the Trash button. If you continue swiping all the way to the left edge of the screen, the email message is automatically deleted. Use this method to delete several emails quickly without opening them.

Delete Multiple Email Messages in Apple Mail

Want to delete more than a few email messages? Swiping to delete is fine if you want to get rid of a couple of emails. However, if you need to seriously clean your inbox, there's a quicker way.

  1. Go to the top of the list of email messages and tap Edit.

    Edit button in iOS Mail on iPad
  2. Tap the circle to the left of each email you want to delete.

    Selection checkboxes in iOS Mail on iPad
  3. Tap Trash at the bottom of the screen to delete the messages.

You can also use this method to move the selected emails to a folder, mark messages as Read or Unread, or move messages to the Junk folder.

How to Delete an Email From the Gmail App

If you use the Google Gmail app for your inbox, delete messages using the Trash can method similar to the Mail app. It's located at the top of the screen.

You can also delete or archive messages by swiping the message in the Inbox. Delete is the default when you swipe from right to left, but this option can be modified in Gmail.

Trash icons in Gmail on iPad

If you access Gmail from inside the Mail app, it works the same as Apple Mail. The app has a separate mailbox section for each email provider with the same options.

How to Delete an Email Message in Yahoo Mail

The official Yahoo Mail app makes it simple to delete a message. Slide your finger from the right side of the message to the left to reveal the Delete button. Or, tap the message in the Inbox and select the Trash can button at the bottom of the screen to delete the highlighted email message.

Delete button in Yahoo Mail app for iPad

Yahoo Mail can also be configured to be accessed in the Mail app.

Where Deleted Emails Go and How to Recover Them

Email services apps Yahoo and Gmail each have a Trash folder that contains deleted emails. To view the Trash folder and undelete any messages, open the app, then look for the Trash folder. Tap the Trash folder to open it. You can move any email you want from there back to the Inbox or another folder.

If you access your email in Apple Mail on the iPad:

  1. Open the Mail app and go to the Mailboxes panel. It contains separate sections for each email service that you access through the Mail app.

    Mailboxes panel in Mail app
  2. Scroll down the Mailboxes pane until you locate the section for the mail provider you seek. Tap the Trash folder for the provider to open it.

    Trash folder in iOS Mail for iPad
  3. To undelete a mail message, move it from the Trash folder to the Inbox folder. Select the message you want to undelete and tap the Move button. In Mail, it is the button at the top of the screen that looks like a folder.

    Move (folder) button in iOS Mail on iPad
  4. Choose a destination folder from the side panel. For example, tap the Inbox folder to send the message there.

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