Do you know what’s worse than getting spam about enlarging your penis, using Viagra and losing weight?
Not being able to delete them!
After ditching my Galaxy S4, I practically live off my iPhone 6 plus but there were still a few things that I couldn’t do that really bothered me.
For example, a few months ago I added my firstname.lastname@example.org account to my iPhone.
Emails started to cascade in like a veritable waterfall of work and I was happy. All was well.
That is until I received my first load of crap emails:
- Score with Babes! Limited time offer!
- Sex for hours: Viagra Slime
- Your wife need your attention? Solve all the problems with IT.
Allow me to cordially answer each one:
- Yes, I already scored with my wife so back off.
- Having sex for hours isn’t an issue and…
- I have no idea what IT has do with giving my wife attention. Oh yeah, and learning English grammar might help with your open rates.
In the next instant, I impulsively swiped the subject to the left and tapped the big red Trash button.
But then exactly 2 seconds later I received the following (and positively vexing) warning:
Unable to Move Message The message could not be moved to the mailbox Trash
I think I grimaced and exclaimed something like:
Why the f*(k not?
Tapping OK vaporized the warning but my defiant email crawled its way back into my inbox, mocking me for not being able to perform such a simple task.
This is absurd. If this is happening (or has happened) to you you don’t have to take it.
We’re about to get physical yo
Forcing emails to delete
- Crack your knuckles.
- Roll your neck.
- Shrug your shoulders
- Bounce on your tip toes like you’re Rocky.
We’re about to knock this error out like Buster Douglas did to Mike Tyson back in 1990.
Let’s start with what worked for me: changing the mailbox behavior.
1. Changing Mailbox Behaviors
Tap your way to Settings, choose Mail, Contacts and Calendar and touch your email account from the list of displayed accounts.
Now open the specific settings for your account by tapping the account name on the next screen (the screenshot below). In the graphic below you can see my email@example.com is tucked under the IMAP section.
Touch that and get ready to rumble.
On the next screen you’ll see a bunch of tech jargon about your account name, email address, description and server values.
Just flick past all that to the bottom of the screen and tap Advanced.
In the Advanced screen under Mailbox Behaviors tap Deleted Mailbox.
Now get into position because you’re about to land a hard right uppercut to the error…
Touch the Trash setting under On the Server so that the check mark moves from On my Phone to the server.
Now just back out and hit Done. In other words, hit the Advanced button in the upper left corner of the screen, the Account button in the same location of the previous screen and then tap Done in the upper right corner of the Account screen (the one with all the server stuff).
Revisit your unwanted mails and start deleting the dross.
2. Check your IMAP Prefix
If that doesn’t work you should make sure your IMAP Path Prefix is correct.
If you scroll down on the bottom of that Mailbox Behaviors screen you’ll see a bevy of incoming settings. Make sure IMAP Path Prefix has a single forward slash “/” or says INBOX.
3. Nuke the account
If your intractable phone still adamantly refuses to delete your spammy emails then you need to delete the email account itself. This typically doesn’t delete the emails inside the account but you should double check with your email service just to make sure.
Deleting the account is all too easy. Just touch your account from Mail, Contacts, Calendars and hit the big red Delete Account text near the bottom of the screen (why is it easier to destroy things then it is to build them? If you know leave me a comment)
The Bottom Line
There’s nothing more infuriating than telling your phone to do something and having it say the equivalent of:
The iPhone is a smartphone but feels like a dumb phone when it fails mundane tasks like deleting emails.
If this happens to you, you can usually make it work by:
- Changing the mailbox behaviors
- Fixing the IMAP path prefix
- Deleting and re-adding the entire email account
Alright, so that’s enough from me now I want to hear from you. Tell me about your experience deleting spam mail (Hold on I think I just figured out a new word. I’ll turn it into a contraction because it smells bad. Check this out: I declare that “Spam email” is now called “S’mail” – how’s that for a neologism?)
Okay I’ve got to run. I need to delete a new email that just popped in about Britney Spears donating her eggs to the Prince of Egypt. Don’t ask.