How to Configure Your iPhone to Ask Before Deleting Emails

Posted by Melissa Holt on May 25, 2017
email trash

When you’re checking email in the iOS Mail app, you can delete a message by clicking the trash icon at the bottom of the screen. You probably know this because that icon is way too easy to tap by mistake, and there’s a good chance that all iPhone and iPad users have accidentally deleted an email at least once.
The ability to conveniently delete an email is important, but let’s be honest: it’s not worth accidentally deleting an email, which then forces you to leave your inbox, switch to your email account’s trash folder, and recover the potentially important correspondence (or, if enabled, physically shake your device). Even worse, depending on your email provider and account settings, it may not even be possible to recover an accidentally deleted email on your iPhone! Wouldn’t it be great if iOS would at least ask for confirmation before deleting an email? Well, good news, that’s a feature of iOS! Here’s how to turn it on.
iphone mail trash icon

Confirm Before Deleting iPhone Email

To configure iOS to warn you when deleting an email, grab your iPhone or iPad and head to Settings > Mail.
iphone mail settings
From the Mail Settings screen, scroll down to find the option labeled Ask Before Deleting, which is found under the Messages section:
iphone mail ask before deleting
Tap the corresponding toggle switch to turn the option On (Green). Once “Ask Before Deleting” is enabled, head back to your Mail app and open a message. Now, when you tap the Delete/Archive icon, you’ll receive a pop-up confirmation box asking you to confirm the action. Tap Trash Message (or Archive Message, depending on your email provider settings), to confirm the deletion, or tap Cancel to prevent the deletion and return to the email message.
iphone mail confirm trash
Note, however, that this “Ask Before Deleting” option only covers deleting an email while it’s open, as shown in the screenshots above. It will not give you a confirmation if you use the “swipe” method to delete an email from your inbox view.
ios mail swipe to delete
Enabling the “Ask Before Deleting” option won’t prevent every accidental email deletion, as it’s still possible to accidentally tap both the delete icon and the “Trash Message” button, but it’s a great safeguard that can eliminate a lot of headaches when checking email on your iPhone. If you find yourself deleting lots of emails and don’t want that confirmation box to pop up every time, you can either disable the option by heading back to Settings > Mail or use the swipe method shown above.

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