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branch155 Level 1 (0 points)

I have two email accounts on my iPhone:  a gmail account and an exchange account.  The gmail account is the default account.


On Wednesday, I deleted 3 emails from my PC on the exchange account that weren't deleted from my phone.  I deleted numerous other emails before and since from my PC that correctly deleted from my phone, also.


I have tried to delete these messages from my phone, but I get an error message: Unable to Move Message - The message could not be moved to the mailbox Trash.


I've read several solutions on the web, but they all tell me to go to Settings/Mail/click on the Exchange account/click on the Account address/click on Advanced.  There is no Advanced button in the Exchange account in Settings.  The Advanced button does show up in the gmail (default) account.


Thanks in advance for your help.

iPhone 4, iOS 5
  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)

    Try turning your account off, wait 10 seconds or so, then turn it back on.

  • branch155 Level 1 (0 points)

    How do you "turn off" an account?

  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)

    Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calendars>Your Account>Mail>Off.

  • branch155 Level 1 (0 points)

    That didn't work. I deleted the account and re-added it. That cleared the problem.


    Thanks for your help

  • kentiler Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same problem.  I just deleted and recreated the Exchange account.  However, each time I try to delete an email, it gives me the error about unable to move message.  Any suggestions?



  • JenDat Level 1 (0 points)

    I was trying to post to this subject but all I could see was reply. I am getting "unable to move messages to trash" and i have tried everything, deleting the account, checking and unchecking trash folder in advanced settings, typing INBOX on the smtp.  This is a new problem and nothing helps. Any other suggestions?

  • TurboCanuck Level 1 (0 points)

    Try this (it worked for a customer of mine)


    in the emai "Mailboxes" screen (open "email" and keep clicking the back link on the top left of the screen until you get there) you should see your email address(es) under the "Inboxes" title at the top.  Below that you'll see the heading "Accounts".  You should see the same email accounts as above, but with a different symble on the left.  Click on the account that you are unable to delete from.  On the top of the page, you should see "Mailboxes" on the left, the account name in the middle, and "edit" on the right.  You should also see a list of folders down the page, including "Inbox", "Sent", "Trash", etc.  If you see more than 1 "Trash", click it and see if there is a folder inside it called "Error".  If this is the case, click "Edit" (top right), click the "Error" folder, and you should see an option to "Delete Mailbox".  Click this, and it should warn you that deleting the mailbox "Trash" will delete all messages in it.  Continue.  Go back and try to delete your unwanted mail.  If it still doesn't work, at your own risk, delete the other "Trash" folder (the one that isn't a picture of a trash can).  So far, that is what we had to do, and it all seems to work now.


    Hope this works for you also!

  • Calgary2012 Level 1 (0 points)

    There was an exchange server interruption and it orphaned a bunch of e-mails in my Iphone exchange inbox (they were gone from my PC inbox/trash folders).  I could not delete them out of my Iphone Inbox.  To remove them I did 3 steps (not sure which one did it)  Set my Iphone email account to "Mail days to sync" to only 1 day.  On my PC I preformed an outlook send/recieve all.  Then on my Iphone mailboxes --> accounts I went to the exchange --> Inbox then selected the edit button.  Selected the messages that won't delete, then selected the mark button and answered "Mark as Unread" and the messages dissappeared.

  • OctoberGuy Level 1 (0 points)

    The "Mark as unread" technique mentioned by Calgary2012 made these undeleteable emails disappear.

  • Babak.S Level 1 (5 points)

    Hi there, I found the great way to deal with error mesage says: "Unable to move message to trash". To find out more and follow simple and step by step in this article:





  • SilentMountain Level 1 (0 points)

    OctoberGuy's suggestion worked perfectly for me. Just select the email and choose Message > Mark as Unread.


    As soon as the message is marked as unread, it increases my Inbox's new message count by one, momentarily, then disappears from Inbox (presumably to trash).

  • Bladibla3 Level 1 (0 points)

    I was also helpend by OctoberGuy, thanks!

    I had been staring at a couple of old inbox mails for months and had replied twice to a mail by accident once already.


    To help others in the discussion:

    There are DIFFERENT problems with not being able to delete mails from your iPad / iPhone:


    - One is for IMAP mail accounts, fe Google.

      This can be solved with the mailbox trash settings in advanced mail account settings as mentioned above.


    - The other one is mails that remain in the inbox for Microsoft Exchange mail accounts.

      (The trash setting is not even available for this type of account)

      The simple solution is to edit the mail list and mark the offending mails as (un)read.

      After that, they wil magically disappear, as well they should!




  • CatAZ Level 1 (5 points)

    thanks to all who suggested to mark these messages that won't go in the UNREAD.  It worked, they all went away, finally!!

  • Las Vegas Jimmy Level 1 (10 points)

    This solution worked perfectly for me on a Hotmail account. Thank you so much.

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