How to Delete Deleted Emails From Your iPhone

Empty the Trash folder to keep fewer deleted emails

E-mail application on iPhone 6S Screen
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When you delete emails from your iPhone, they go into the Trash folder so that you can easily restore them. It's a good idea to occasionally delete the deleted emails so that they don't pile up and use storage space. Removing deleted items from the Trash folder frees up storage on your phone and declutters the Trash folder. It's easier to find a deleted email if you don't have to sift through hundreds of other messages.

Information in this article applies to iOS 12, although the directions are similar for currently supported versions of iOS.

How to Remove Deleted Emails

You have two options for deleted emails that have been sent to Trash. Either choose which ones to permanently remove or empty everything in the Trash folder.

  1. Open the Mail app and tap Back.

  2. On the Mailboxes screen, select Trash.

    If you have more than one email account on your phone, find the Trash folder that corresponds to the account from which you want the emails deleted.

  3. Tap Edit, select the specific emails you want to permanently remove, then choose Delete. Or, to remove all the emails at once, select Edit > Delete All.

    Back, Trash, Checkboxes in iOS Mail
  4. The emails you deleted are gone from the Trash folder and can't be recovered.

Another way to delete emails from Trash is from the webmail site for your email provider. For example, access the Trash folder at Gmail.com to delete the deleted items. This method deletes emails from the iPhone Trash folder only if IMAP is set up.