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Setting up your email in iOS 7 is just like setting it up in earlier versions of iOS. Just like before, you are able to have Gmail set up in the Mail app. To set up your email you would go to Settings, then tap on Mail, Contacts & Calendars, and then press Add Account. By default in iOS, Gmail is set to archive your emails as opposed to deleting them. Archiving email keeps the messages in an Archived folder, but Deleting moves them to the trash.

If you are viewing your inbox, and you swipe from right to left on the message, you do not get the option to delete the message. Rather, you get an Archive option or a More option. The More option gives you every other option except for deleting the message. You could always tap on More, then press Move Message, and then choose the Trash folder. That’s rather tedious for a simple task:

Even when you try viewing the body of the message, you do not have a delete option, rather the button right above the home button, is a blue box. When you press that blue box it archives the message as oppose to deleting the message and putting it in Trash.


Under your settings, you can change archiving to delete for Gmail. In iOS 6, this was a lot easier because all you had to do was tap on your account in Settings and turn the Archive Messages switch off.

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In iOS 7, to change it so that way the emails will delete, go into Settings, tap on Mail, Contacts & Calendars and tap on your Gmail account that is listed.

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Then tap on Account.

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Down at the bottom tap on Advanced. You are going to change where it says “Move Discarded Messages Into:” by tapping on the word Deleted Mailbox.

Now that I turned on Deleted Mailbox, whenever I go to delete a message I will now have that option to delete the message and put it in the trash.

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31 Responses to “iOS 7 How-to: Easily delete, not archive, your Gmail messages in Mail”

  1. my solution… use the “Gmail” app

  2. Ryan says:

    I just have to say, you know you can hold down on the archive box icon and get the option to delete, right? That’s been there at least since iOS 6…

  3. If you press and hold the Archive button you get the choice to trash anyway, works on iOS6 and iOS7

  4. Kyle Guske says:

    I don’t get the More option along with Archive, does anyone know why?

  5. Mike Gruszka says:

    Thanks so much to Ryan and Richard’s comments here. The single icon to either Archive or Delete has been driving me crazy. So much that I have done occasional searches like this one as I assume someone else has figured it out. Press and hold – so simple, but I guess not intuitive enough for me!

    To the author: I would suggest updating your article. The commenter’s suggestion here is far more useful and flexible.

  6. greyjensen says:

    Get rid of Gmail and all of Google’s bullshit and byzantine settings. Get a personal domain, and pay a few bucks a month for hosted email. It’s absolutely easy to do this, and you’ll be glad you did it. There are many good hosting services out there — I can recommend Westhost and Bluehost. At Westhost, for example, $4 / month gets you web hosting with plenty of bandwidth (if you have a website or blog) and 100 free email accounts. Both of these companies offer 24/7 by-phone tech support, if something goes wrong with your mail (and you’re talking to someone in the U.S., who speaks English). Stay away from GoDaddy.

  7. dman238 says:

    Thanks for the tip! Was wondering how to do this…

  8. promise7 says:

    Thank you for the tip! It was driving me crazy not being able to delete messages from the Inbox. Now if only there was a way for the stock iOS Mail app to sync with new Gmail messages quicker. Instead of “fetch”ing them at the quickest, which is still slow, 15 minutes. Until then, I’ll keep using the Gmail app.

  9. This was exactly the solution I was looking for. Thank you.

  10. There is another poorly documented key. You may also need to change your Google sync settings by visiting from your ios device. There is a setting there called “Enable ‘Delete Email As Trash’ for this device”. If that is not checked then deleting or moving to the trash from the built in of iOS will still only archive your mail, despite what the button says.

  11. This was awesome information; thank you! It wasn’t at all the answer to my original question, but…this has been a nagging issue.

  12. Thank you so MUCH! I wasted a lot of time trying to figure this out. This was VERY helpful!

  13. This has been so frustrating. Thank you for solving the mystery! made my day!!!

  14. kevindeisher says:

    I have done all that and still have the stupid archive button

  15. Doesn’t work for me. Cant figure out why. Followed your steps too.

  16. gumbygoogoo says:

    Yes!! The exact issue I was hoping to solve – thanks!!

  17. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    It’s ridiculous that we have to do this to get a delete option instead of archive. The default should be delete — as all gmail ends up being archived anyway.