How to Fix If You Can’t Delete “Trash” Folder on iOS 13

can't delete trash folder on iOS 13

Can’t delete trash folder on iOS 13?

Several users have reported over in the Apple Support Community forums that they can’t delete emails in their “Trash” folder. It was mentioned that whenever they select all the emails in the Trash folder, they only see the options: Move, Mark, or Archive. There is no Delete option, and hence it’s been a trouble to remove emails from the Trash folder because the only other way is to manually swipe each email one-by-one to delete them, which is tedious.

Now there are a few potential solutions and workarounds which we’ve tried and tested, and we will be front with you: there is currently no definite known cause for this issue. We do highly assume that this is directly an issue with the iOS itself, and the following solutions in this guide should help address that accordingly.

Without wasting another second, let’s get right into it.

  1. Enable Permanent Deletion in Settings
  2. Restart the Device
  3. Delete All Trash in Mail
  4. Update to the Latest iOS Version
  5. Contact Apple Support

How to Fix Can’t Delete Trash Folder on iOS 13: 5 Ways.

1. Enable Permanent Deletion in Settings.

Before your “Trash” folder gets flooded with deleted email messages, there is a way to avoid your deleted messages to go to the “Trash” folder. You must enable the Permanent Deletion function on the Mail app, so whenever you delete an email message, it will be deleted permanently. Now, you must understand that when you do this, you won’t be able to recover your deleted emails or restore it from the “Trash” folder.

Here’s what we mean and you can follow along:

  1. Go ahead and open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on Passwords & Accounts, then tap on the mail account you want to edit under the Accounts section. For this guide, I’ll be using my Gmail account “Jake’s Email.”

can't delete trash folder on iOS 13

  1. Now once again, tap on the account.

can't delete trash folder on iOS 13

  1. Then tap on Advanced option.

can't delete trash folder on iOS 13

  1. Over here under the Move Discarded Messages Into section, tap the Deleted Mailbox option. This is the crucial step that changes how your emails are discarded.

can't delete trash folder on iOS 13

  1. Next, tap on Account at the top left of the screen and tap on Done.
  2. After that, tap on Accounts and close the Settings app.
  3. Close the Mail application and relaunch it.
  4. Finally, in your Mail app, select any of the mailboxes (I’ll be selecting Jake’s Email) then tap on your Trash folder. You should be able to see an Edit button at the top-right hand corner. Tap on Edit and then tap on Select All. You should be able to see the Delete option, which you can hit to remove all your thrashed emails.

can't delete trash folder on iOS 13

This particular method is also effective for those who are using Gmail accounts on Mail application (as shown above with my own Gmail account). It is worth taking note that you need to be successfully signed to your account with the correct username and password. If not, you will not be able to see the “Advanced” option under the Accounts section, and you will also subsequently not see the Delete button. So make sure to log and log back into your account. If you do not know how to do that, you may refer to our steps here shared in this guide.

2. Restart the Device.

You may have perhaps changed the settings of your Mail app on your iPhone or iPad recently, but as a result, it is affecting how you delete your emails in your Mail app. In which case, a restart can help get your device back working again.

This occasionally happens to users, as discussed in our previous guides, when your device does not have enough resources to perform the tasks. The symptoms that are often shared is that the device can be glitchy, buggy, and slow. The reason for this is these resources, such as memory and processing capacity, tend to get overloaded when the device has been running for a very long time.

To restart your device, simply open your Settings app, tap on General, and then hit the Shut Down option located down below the page.

can't delete trash folder on iOS 13

Slide the Slide to Power Off button to the shutdown direction to confirm the process.

Once your device shuts down, turn it back on. Try testing your Mail app and see if you’re able to delete all your emails from inside the Trash folder. If the problem persists, check out the next method for another possible workaround.

3. Delete All Trash in Mail.

One workaround which you can try immediately is to compile all the trashed emails from all your email accounts into under the All Trash folder and then delete all the emails from under there.

The caveat to this workaround, however, is that you’re essentially removing all the trashed emails from all your mail accounts, which can be risky as you may want to recover an email from your “Trash” folder in the future. In such a case, we suggest that you choose to archive the ones in which you’re having second thoughts or move them into a separate folder.

Once you’ve moved those emails you can proceed to do the following steps to delete all the trashed emails:

To do this on your Mail app, tap on the Edit option at the top right corner of the screen, then tap on the All Trash button.

can't delete trash folder on iOS 13

It will show all the deleted emails in your All Mail section. You can tap on the Edit button once again and then Select All to Delete.

can't delete trash folder on iOS 13

After trying the above workaround, you should be able to delete all your trashed emails in a single tap. Now you can delete all of your trash emails on all of your accounts in the Mail app.

4. Update to the Latest iOS Version.

If you’re having issues with the Mail app, then it comes down to the iOS (or iPadOS if you’re on an iPad) itself.

Almost all the mail problems in iOS are directly tied to iOS since the Mail app is an Apple stock app. This means, if you’re unable to use your Mail app or delete all the emails from inside your Trash folder, then you will need to wait until Apple releases a fix to address it. We usually recommend that you have another email, such as the Gmail or Microsoft Outlook app, to provide a backup as they’re regularly updated via app updates.

When a new iOS/iPadOS update is released, you can choose to download it to apply the bug fix. Do make sure that you have a backup of your iPhone on your iCloud or computer, just in case. 🙂

Here’s how to update your iPhone or iPad:

  1. First, it is essential that you plug-in your iPhone or iPad into a stable power source and connect to the internet using Wi-Fi.
  2. Then open the Settings app, then tap General, and choose Software Update.
  3. Now, choose and tap Download and Install option. If you see a message that it will be temporarily removing apps because of space requirements for the update, tap Continue. Don’t worry. iOS will reinstall apps that it removed after the process.
  4. Next, tap Install to install the update immediately. You can also choose to tap Later where you can choose Install Tonight or Remind Me Later. If you select the Install Tonight option, then plug your device into power before you go to sleep. Your device will update automatically overnight.
  5. Finally, provide your passcode if applicable.

can't delete trash folder on iOS 13

After the update is complete and your device is restarted, launch your Mail app and try once again. You should be able to locate and use the previously missing Delete option in your Mail app when you select all the messages in your Trash folder.

5. Contact Apple Support.

If the iOS update or none of the methods worked in this guide, then be sure to submit feedback to Apple Support. This way, you can help them diagnose the issue more by providing more information about your device. Apple does actively read and, at times, respond to feedback sent to them to follow up and address the issue.

can't delete trash folder on iOS 13

Should you need an immediate option, you can always talk to an Apple representative over the phone over visit them at your nearest Apple Store. They can provide you with information regarding the latest iOS features as well as share if the “can’t delete trash folder” bug is persistent for everyone.

We hope that it helped you fix your new iOS 13 update can’t delete the Trash folder issue. If you have questions related to this topic, please feel free to leave a comment below, and we will love to help. ❤

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂

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