iPhone Delete Multiple Email Problem Solved

  • Comments: 16
  • Written on: March 20th, 2008

Apple iPhoneI have been exploring the wonderful world of the iPhone for the past couple weeks and there has been one nagging thing that was really starting to get to me.

It is literally impossible to keep up with mail on the iPhone when it is hooked up through a POP email account. On my old Treo and HTC Touch if you got 100 spam emails in an hour you could at least select them all and delete them at once. With the iPhone you are forced to delete each email manually. It takes so long to process all of the spam I was getting that it was literally a waste of time to even check the email on it.

I wasn’t about to spend $400 on “the coolest phone ever” and not be able to use it for basic email, so I started pounding Google for an answer. My worst fears were realized when numerous articles confirmed there was no actual way to delete multiple emails at once on an iPhone.

Some of the blogs talked about an IMAP workaround though. It sounded complicated, and it still wouldn’t reduce the amount of spam I was receiving from my Schrock Innovations POP accounts. The name of my company is Schrock Innovations, so I sat down and tried to think of a way I could have my email filtered for spam for free on the server side without missing important messages while at the same time maintaining the ability to check my email on my notebook AND my cell phone.

Long story short, I figured it out and here is how you can experience the pure joy of checking email on your iPhone, avoiding almost all spam, AND as a special bonus have everything you do on your iPhone synchronized with your Outlook email client in REAL TIME no matter where you are in the world!

Step 1: Get a Gmail Account

If you do not already have one, go to www.gmail.com and get a free Gmail account from Google. This process is pretty straight forward. Once you have your new Gmail account set up, enable POP and then program it to check your POP email. Once you have it set up and working, delete all POP accounts out of your Outlook account and your iPhone. You won’t be needing those anymore.

Step 2: Set up an IMAP account in Outlook

By this time you should already have Gmail checking your POP accounts and loading email into your Gmail account. This give you the benefit of one of the world’s best spam filers. I went from literally 600 spam messages a day to a mere 1. After two days of use, Gmail did not nab a single legitimate email as spam.

Now that we have killed the spam, its time to get your email back into your Outlook client. To do this, you need to enable IMAP in your Gmail account and then set up an IMAP account in your Outlook client and on your iPhone. IMAP is similar to POP except for one difference. POP is a one-way communication. It simply connects to the server and brings down your email. IMAP is a two-way communication that brings down anything that has not been brought down before. That way your iPhone and your Outlook get all of the same messages.

Secondly, IMAP allows your iPhone and your Outlook to communicate using your Gmail account as a central hub. This means if you delete an email on your iPhone it is also deleted from your Outlook inbox. If you send an email from your iPhone, a copy of the email is filed in your Outlook Sent Items folder. It’s as if you are right there at your desk, even when you use the iPhone.

Setting up an IMAP account in Outlook 2007 is a snap. Just go to the add new accounts wizard and fill in the blanks. Outlook will contact Gmail and download all of the technical server settings, and the like. It’s even more simple than setting up a POP account!

Step 3: Test Your New Setup

Go ahead and give it a whirl! Send your self an email from your Outlook client. You will see it appear in your Gmail inbox. Then, as your iPhone and Outlook client check for mail the next time, that email will be on all three interfaces. Now delete the email using your iPhone. The email will also disappear from your Gmail and Outlook inboxes in a few seconds. SWEET!

While this is not technically a fix for the iPhone multiple email dilemma, stemming the tide of spam in your inbox almost negates the need to delete 20 emails at a time. I have found that if I don’t have to dig through all the spam, I can enjoy my iPhone’s email features the way they were intended to be enjoyed!

  1. Chuck said on March 30th, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Not sure if I want an iPhone or not. I have a Treo and I like it a lot.

  2. ipodtouchman said on August 28th, 2008 at 12:14 am

    It is hard to believe that a company such as Apple, who spends so much time delivering great products, screws up on something as basic as e-mail. However, they have managed to do it. By not providing a method to delete multiple e-mails, Apple has introduced the most inferior e-mail client to date. Apple, please correct this most grevious oversight (To be honest, it is hard to beleive this is an oversight. If deliberate, it makes me wonder why it was left out).

  3. Mike Kazmerski said on November 12th, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    I think it’s possible that Apple either fixed the problem you are describing or maybe this is something people don’t know. On my new I-Phone, (just got it last week) there is an “edit” button at the top of the inbox. This button puts a check box on all e-mails in your inbox. To delete them all (or individually) all you have to do is quickly touch the check box. All they need to do now is add a “check all” feature and they will be there. Even without the “check all” I was able to delete 100 e-mails in a less than a minute. Hope that helps. I love this this phone.

  4. Marty A said on June 11th, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Thor – thank you so much for writing this article. I can’t believe more hasn’t been made of this issue. I just want to be able to delete everything older than “X” like I could on my treo. I don’t want to have to tap 200 emails every day just so that I can get my most recent messages. I get a lot of e-mail so most of this is not spam… especially if I don’t check e-mail on my phone for a few days. And why can’t I keep a few thousand messages, why only 200? I am baffled as you are about this. I gues most iphone users don’t use their e-mail or don’t know that it could be better! PS I love my iphone, and apple, so am really disappointed about this issue. Hope 3.0 fixes it. Will find out next week.

  5. Kerry said on July 5th, 2009 at 8:38 am

    I just got the iPhone 3Gs yesterday and this is my first Apple product, EVER. As far as phones go, I’ve had them all – blackberry, treo, etc. I also am a business owner that gets deluged with spam email, daily. Imagine my dismay to research this issue and find out there is no “select all” feature in the iPhone’s email component! I read your instructions about how to correct this obvious BLUNDER on Apple’s part (at least if they’re going after corporate business.) Here’s the deal: I’m no techie. In fact, if it’s not pretty basic, I hire someone to do anything remotely techie for me! Do you really think someone like me can follow your instructions, word for word, no assumptions or other knowledge necessary, and this will work? I don’t want to screw everything up so bad I have to hire someone to fix it for me! HA! Thanks!

  6. Jay said on July 3rd, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Hi Just recently purchased a Iphone and set up my email account on it which is the same email as my outlook email but the emails on the phone just simply dissappear. I have set up never delete emails in the settings but they dissapear. Can you help

  7. Dave said on July 26th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    SPAM? thats just stupid. get a mail account with some spam filter. since when was deleting 100+ emails a day acceptable on any device? christ if that happened to me id be swapping accounts or asking why my provider has limited anti spam functions.

  8. Luis said on September 18th, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    I don’t a iPhone yet but ( but I’ll next weekend 🙂 ) and I think for what my friends said is the best phone I hope I can have the same experience.

  9. Neil said on September 6th, 2011 at 3:19 am

    Thanks for your reply, i have tried to do this several times, now its a good option to stop receiving spam mail, and if you reply to emails it sends the email using your domain account, however the downside to this is if you want to send an email from one of your domains on the iphone and you only have a gmail account then the new email comes from your gmail account and not your domain, any workaround on this and that would be the best solution, i actually have five different domains on my iphone

  10. Ryan said on November 16th, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    All I can say is thank you… I have been trying to figure out a solution to 3000 + email for 20 different accounts… 2/3 is spam… Thanks for a solution that works!!

  11. Jen said on February 11th, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I kind of went off a bit here …I cant get over the many obvious challenges that should have been ironed out on old and new iPhones ie grabbing a bunch of emails clicking delete like on the blackberry as I’m
    hearing you can do – the lack of entire circle thinking omg what were they thinking highlight emails flag them create folders etc in a simple process – cant believe how unfinished this is – do I have to get another app and take up more space to grab a bunch of emails to delete – this is a joke I think BLACKBERRY is way ahead of iPhone as much as they are knocked down wrongly – they THINK OF THE ENTIRE CIRCLE the entire process and don’t leave steps out .
    It just seems maybe many features were rushed over not fine tuned due to the illness of the creator but I’m very surprised that things are not tended to and even better fine tuned at this point in time – very surprised and I may be re-homing this iPhone – I have had to wait for emails to appear screens go white it reboots etc – no time for this – especially when I am trying to locate medical info I know I emailed myself regarding medication for our 84 year old mother – it’s upsetting to see the email page go white and flip out to the desktop 6x up to 10x when I need the info – now for the hospital she’s in – who has time to call for help at iphone and get the abrupt whats your serial number sorry you pay your out of warranty and mess around with these things – its been rough I hear from the store no charge I hear from the 1800 a charge I hear from cell provider I’m still in warranty it’s the date of sim card being activated – a real shame these cell phones have been over hyped – in many cases they aren’t living up to their hype when you can’t grab a bunch of emails and hit delete you have to do each one at a time select each box I’m told. I’m also after a cell that is dual CDMA any ideas ?

  12. brian said on March 7th, 2012 at 7:21 am

    when in your inbox simply click edit and then you can check all the mail you want and hit delete at the bottom

  13. Anna Bagson said on October 22nd, 2012 at 11:24 am

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. you’re right, it’s amazing that this friggin phone doesn’t have this most basic feature. Yours is the first real solution I’ve come across, seeing as how I have oh, 1,087 emails on THIS account alone.

  14. […] Web Design and Maintenance Provided by Mountain Vista Technologies wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt Post from: Peanuts to Profits With Thor Schrock I have been exploring the wonderful world of the iPhone for the past couple weeks and there has been one nagging thing that was really starting to get to me. It is literally impossible to keep up with mail on the iPhone when it is hooked up through a POP email account. On my old Treo and HTC Touch if you got 100 spam emails in an hour you could at least select them all and delete them at once. With the iPhone you are forced to delete each email m […]

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  16. iPhone Delete Multiple Email Problem Solved said on March 20th, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptIt is literally impossible to keep up with mail on the iPhone when it is hooked up through a POP email account. On my old Treo and HTC Touch if you got 100 spam emails in an hour you could at least select them all and delete them at … […]

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