How to Delete GMail Messages in iOS 4

Upon upgrading my iPod Touch to iOS 4, I found one little change that really bothered me. My usual email workflow on my mobile device is to check-off and delete emails that are unimportant (server notifications, newsletters, etc.) and delete them. I would then proceed to read the important ones.

Unfortunately, Apple decided it would be a good idea to change the “Delete” button to an “Archive” button for GMail accounts under iOS 4. I don’t really need to keep messages about my server’s recent five minutes of downtime for any length of time, so I thought this was kind of stupid.

I was able to find a fix, however. Open your settings and navigate to the “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” page. Tap on your GMail account. Then turn off the slider for “Archive Messages.”

I don’t mind the idea of an Archive option in the Mail app, but not to the exclusion of a Delete function. Some things just don’t need to be kept.

  • Michael Martin

    I’d be the opposite here I think. As soon as I read this, I loaded up Mail wondering how I’d missed this option!

    Seems that it doesn’t apply to Google Apps accounts.

    I’d love to get an archive button instead of delete (or better yet, both). I archive most of my mail, and like you said, you never really look at it again, but with all the storage Gmail gives, it’s unlikely to ever be an issue that you’ve archived too much.

    Still, with multi-account support, the updates to Mail are still my favorite thing about iOS4! :D

    • Matt

      I’m using Google Apps. Maybe you have it set up as a plain IMAP account instead of using the GMail option?

      I’m particularly enjoying the message threading. Apple did a great job at the Mail improvements.