Archiving or Deleting Messages in Mail

Archiving or Deleting Messages in Mail 1

If you’re using a Gmail or iCloud account in the iOS Mail app, you actually have the option of choosing to have the standard Trashcan button either delete messages or archive them. While the default behaviour for the button can be configured in the Mail account settings to archive instead of delete—in which case it will display as an archive bin rather than a trashcan—you can also override the behaviour on a per-use basis simply by tapping and holding your finger on the button for about a second; a pop-up menu will appear with both Delete and Archive options available. This works when viewing an individual message as well as when performing an archive or delete operation on multiple messages. Of course, this won’t work if the messages you’re working with are already in your iCloud Archive or Gmail All Mail folder, and sadly it also isn’t available for other types of Mail accounts—even if you have an Archive folder in your mailbox.

Archiving or Deleting Messages in Mail 2

  1. If you set your GMail account up as an Exchange account (which gives you the benefit of Push e-mail and being able to actively sync your Google contacts) this account setting to choose between Archive and Trash is not available.

    The workaround for that limitation on Exchange was to use Safari on your device to navigate (one time) to and change your setting there. But sadly, Google seems to have taken that ability away. So if you want your GMail set up as Exchange, you can’t set it to Trash messages — all deletions get Archived.

  2. Yeah, sadly that’s one of the limitations of using Exchange ActiveSync, which I guess as far as Apple is concerned should only really be used with actual Exchange accounts 🙂 Personally, I just use the Gmail app, and keep Google Sync configured primarily for push VIP notifications.

    I’m surprised that setting has disappeared, as it’s still there for me. Then again, however, I’m on a paid Google Apps account, and I know that Google is in the processor of phasing out Google Sync for standard Gmail accounts, so that may be part of the reason.

    Note as well that for Google Apps users, the setting can be locked down in the administration panel.

  3. I’ve been trying this feature for a while with a couple gmail accounts on both an iPad 2 and an iPhone 5, and it doesn’t seem to work as expected. Holding the archive button, getting the buttons to either delete or archive the message seems to both archive the message. In other words, choosing delete still seems to leave the message in All Mail. How’s this different than archiving? I use both archiving and deleting quite a bit, but was hoping this feature would provide both easier than “move message”.

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