How to Stop Emails from Going to Archive on iPhone (2022)

Wondering how to swipe left and delete email, or how to delete old emails in Gmail? Here's how!

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Have you been swiping emails away and wondering, "Why are my emails going to archive on my iPhone?" Here's how to delete emails on your iPhone, by changing the default swipe action from archive to delete.

Related: How to Delete or Mass Delete All Emails at Once on an iPhone

Why You'll Love This Tip

  • Delete emails with one swipe.
  • Avoid wasting storage space by archiving spam.

How to Turn Off Archive in Apple Mail

Below I'll show you how to change these settings for two different email apps. The Apple Mail app will need to have its settings changed from your iPhone's Settings app, while disabling Gmail auto-archive can be done from within the Gmail app. To find out more about how to customize the Mail app, sign up for our Tip of the Day newsletter.

  1. Open the Settings app.

    iOS Home Screen with Settings app marked
  2. Tap the Mail option.

    Settings screen with Mail option marked
  3. Tap the Accounts option.

    Mail Settings screen with Accounts option marked
  4. Tap the account you wish to adjust.

    Mail Accounts screen with Gmail option marked
  5. On this screen, tap Account again.

    Gmail accounts settings with Account option marked
  6. Tap Advanced.

    Account screen with Advanced option marked
  7. Tap Deleted Mailbox to switch to deleting by default.

    Advanced Account screen with Move Discarded Messages Into options marked

Repeat these steps for every email account you want to change. Now when you swipe all the way left on an email in the Mail app, the email will be moved to Trash.

How to Turn Off Archive in Gmail on iPhone

Here's how to send emails straight to Trash in the Gmail app on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Gmail app.

    iOS Home Screen with Gmail app marked
  2. Tap the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner. 

    Gmail inbox screen with hamburger menu button marked
  3. Tap the Settings option, with the gear icon.

    Gmail hamburger menu with Settings option marked
  4. Tap Mail swipe actions.

    Gmail Settings screen with Mail swipe actions option marked
  5. Here you can tap either the Right swipe or Left swipe option.

    Mail swipe actions settings screen with Right swipe & Left swipe options marked
  6. On the next screen, tap Trash if you want mail to be deleted by default.

    Right swipe options screen with Trash option marked

This will change the swipe action for all email accounts in the Gmail app. Now when you swipe in the chosen direction on an email from any account in the Gmail app, it will be deleted to Trash.

With your emails sent to Trash instead of archive by default, you'll save on storage as emails in Trash are typically erased after 30 days. If you use another third-party email app like Yahoo! and your emails are archived by default, try opening its settings within the app similar to the instructions above for Gmail.

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Author Details

Hallei Halter's picture

Author Details

Hallei Halter

Hallei is a 2018 graduate of Maharishi University of Management with a BFA in Creative & Professional Writing. She's currently working on a novel about people using witchcraft to clean their houses.