How to Set Swiping to Delete or Archive Gmail on iPhone

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So you cringe roughly 96 times out of 100 when you swipe an email in the Gmail account you added to iPhone Mail—preferring to delete the message, not keep it forever under "All Mail." Relax. You don't have to move messages to the trash to delete them. You can tell iPhone Mail to delete mail when you swipe.

Preferences to Swipe Emails to Delete or Archive Them

Screenshots showing how to change the swipe action for emails on an iPhone

To set swiping to delete mail and move it to the Trash folder or to archive email in the All Mail folder for Gmail in iOS Mail:

  1. Go to the Home screen on your iOS device.

  2. Tap Settings.

  3. Open the Accounts & Passwords category.

  4. Pick an email account from the list.

  5. Tap the email address again where it says Account.

  6. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Advanced.

  7. Select either Deleted Mailbox or Archive Mailbox as the action when you swipe emails.

    At the top of this screen, 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 for discarding mail, you can still delete from the archiving button but not by swiping; you have to select More > Move Message and then select Trash.

  8. Tap Account at the top of the screen or swipe in from the left edge of the screen to return to the previous screen.

  9. Tap Done.

Swiping Email Messages

On your iOS device, open the Mail app and click on your Gmail inbox to see a list of emails. 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 the Trash (or Archive) button to process the email. If you have set the option to Trash instead of Archive, and you want to archive a particular message, tap the More button, select Move Message and tap the All Mail mailbox.