How to Swipe to Delete (or Archive) Gmail Messages on iPhone

Quickly delete or archive Gmail messages with a swipe

Swiping to delete or archive an email makes managing your Gmail messages more accessible in the Mail app for iPhone. After changing a simple setting on the phone, a Trash or Archive option appears when you swipe messages.

Use the trash option on your iPhone to delete emails instead of archive them. Or, if you want to keep emails when swiping them, but not remain in the Inbox folder, switch the swipe option to perform an archive.

These directions apply to iOS 12 but might also work in older versions of iOS.

How to Enable Swipe to Delete or Archive Emails

Here's how to turn on the option to delete or archive emails with a swipe:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Go to Passwords & Accounts (formerly Accounts & Passwords).

  3. Go to the Accounts section and choose an email account.

    Three iOS screens showing Settings app icon, Passwords & Accounts, and a Gmail account
  4. Tap the email address again where it says Account.

  5. Scroll to the bottom and select Advanced.

  6. In the Move Discarded Messages Into section, choose either Deleted Mailbox or Archive Mailbox. This determines whether you see a Delete button or an Archive button when you swipe in Mail.

    Three iOS screens showing Account, Advanced, and Deleted Mailbox buttons
  7. Confirm that Deleted Mailbox redirects to Trash if you want to swipe to delete emails. When you set swiping to Archive instead of delete, set the Archive Mailbox to All Mail.

    With archiving set as the action that discards mail, you can delete from the archiving button but not by swiping. Instead, select More > Move Message, then select Trash.

  8. Tap Account at the top of the screen, or swipe in from the left, to return to the previous screen. Finish by selecting Done.

    Two iOS screens showing Account and Done buttons

How to Swipe Email Messages

When you're in the Mail app, and viewing the emails from the account you edited above, swipe from right to left on an email to see either a Trash or an Archive option (depending on your settings), a Flag option, and a More option.

Tap Trash (or Archive) to process the email. If you set the option to Trash instead of Archive, and you want to archive a particular message, go to More > Move Message > All Mail.

Swipe to move messages on an iPhone