Delete All Mail on iOS 6+


It always frustrated me that you have to delete POP3 messages individually on iOS 6+. If you have IMAP set-up for your accounts, they’ll automatically delete with each deleted message on your PC or other devices, however,POP3 doesn’t sync in the same way that IMAP does.

Naturally, Google implemented the easy and obvious option of deleting all mail on your phone with the click of a button. Apple, however, is a company that consistently thinks they know what’s best for you. Deleting emails individually is a surefire way to ensure you’re not accidentally deleting an email you need or haven’t yet read,  spam included. I think of this as Apple’s version of eating your vegetables.

After much searching and tinkering, however, I’d nailed down the process of clearing my inboxes at the end of the night, an arduous task that used to involve 100+ clicks while sitting on the train-ride home. This process has reduced the number of clicks substantially to just five.

Note that I’ve added an additional step to clear the badge from the home screen mail icon, which taunts of phantom messages if this step is excluded.

  1. Click the Mail icon and go to “All Inboxes”
  2. Press the “Edit” button and select the first message.
  3. Hold down “Mark” and, with it still depressed, deselect the first message.
  4. Release the “Mark” button and click “Mark as Read”
  5. Click the “Edit” button and select the first message.
  6. Hold down “Move” and, with it still depressed, deselect the first message.
  7. Release the “Move” button and click the Trash folder.

That’s it, you’re done!

Update: 04/01/2013: Well, it truly is April Fool’s Day. Apparently, using the above method, the emails are deleted from the inbox and moved to the trash until you switch mailboxes and return to the “All Inboxes” folder, where they  mysteriously return. Bah, Apple. You’ve done it again. Either way, you can still use the above method to “Mark as Read” all messages, removing the badge from your home screen mail icon. But, you’ll still see the “read” messages in the list when visiting “All Inboxes” and the folder size will continue to grow until you manually delete the messages one-by-one. Frustrating, innit?

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