How to Delete All Emails at Once on Your iPhone or iPad

How to Delete All Your Unread Emails at Once

Need iPad and iPhone help? Sign up for iPhone Life Insider and I’ll help you with all of your iPhone troubleshooting and iOS-related issues. Here’s a question from an Insider who wants to know how to mass delete emails on iPhone. In my answer I cover how to get rid of all emails at once on iPhone or iPad and how to clear all unread email on iPhone or iPad:

Related: How to Delete Most Frequently Visited Sites on iPhone

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Hey Sarah, 

How do I delete ALL 17,000 of my UNREAD emails at once?

Sincerely,

Inbox 17,000

Dear Inbox,

With iOS 10, Apple got rid of the Trash All option everywhere but in Trash. In all other mailboxes, Mail users must individually select emails and then tap Trash in order to delete all their emails at once on their iPhone or ipad. Most iOS users find this to be a tedious waste of time. Fortunately there is a hidden workaround to this problem. Apple may eventually eliminate this workaround for mass deleting emails on iPhone with the next iOS update; but for now, it works as a way to get rid of all your emails at once.

  • In All Inboxes, if you only want to delete all unread emails on iPhone or another subset of emails, such as flagged emails, tap the filter icon in the lower left of your screen. Unread is the default Mail filter, but it’s easy to change

  • When you are sure only emails you want to delete are in the inbox, then tap Edit in the upper right corner.

  • Select an email (doesn’t matter which) by tapping the empty circle to the left of it.
  • Now, place your finger on Move at the bottom of the screen and leave it there.
  • Unselect the email you selected. (If you selected more than one, you must unselect them all.)

  • Lift your finger off Move and then tap Trash in the screen that comes up.
  • All your emails will be moved to trash.

  • If you realize at this point that you’ve messed up and don’t want to delete everything after all, don’t panic. Undo the mass deletion by using Shake to Undo. Just give your iPhone a shake and then tap Undo. It may take a while to restore the emails.

  • Otherwise, complete the process to clear all emails on iPhone by going to the Trash folder for each of the email accounts in Mail and tapping Edit and then Delete All.

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Sarah Kingsbury is the Senior Web Editor of iPhone Life magazine. Previously she wrote for savvyvegetarian.com and was the Associate Editor of the Iowa Source for many years.