How to Delete or Move Email in Bulk on an iPhone

Manage Your Mail in Bulk to Save Time

Finger pressing delete on a keyboard.
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It's easy to delete the email when you only want to remove a few, but deleting several at once can become quite annoying unless you do it in bulk, especially considering you're on a phone. The same goes for moving messages; you can move dozens at once by selecting more than one at a time.

Be it that assortment of spam you want to move to the junk folder to teach your filter or the multitude of newsletters that shouldn't clutter your inbox, iOS makes it pretty simple to move or delete more than one message at once.

Move or Delete Messages in Bulk With iOS Mail

  1. Tap Edit at the top right of the Mail app (or the bottom right if you're in a search).
  2. Tap on all the messages you want to move or delete. Make sure the blue check appears on the side of the message so that you know for sure that it's selected.
  3. Tap on the message once more if you want to deselect it.
  4. Choose Trash at the bottom of the screen to send those messages to the trash.
    To move them, choose Move and then select a folder where they should go. To mark the message as spam, you can also use Mark > Move to Junk.

Tip: You can delete every message in a folder at once if you'd rather not deal with selecting each message individually.

How to Move or Delete Email Automatically

The Mail app on iOS does not let you setup email filters. A filter, in this context, is a rule that applies to incoming messages to automatically do something with them, like delete them or move them to a different folder.

The filtering options available by some email providers are accessible from the email account, so you have to log in to that email service through a web browser and set those rules up so that they apply on the email server. Then, once an email is automatically moved to an "Online Orders" or "Family" folder, for example, those same messages will be moved to those folders in the Mail app.

The technique for setting up email rules is a little different for each email provider. See how to do it in Gmail if you need help there. For email used on Outlook.com (e.g. live.com, outlook.com, hotmail.com), access the Inbox and sweep rules in your email options to set up filters.