Deleting GMail messages from an iPhone or iPod touch won’t “Archive”

I just paid way too much money for an iPod touch (because I’m a technoslut), and in playing around with the Mail application it comes with ever since Macworld and the “free Software Upgrade”, I noticed a bit of a gotcha while using GMail IMAP accounts.

It seems, that despite syncing up with my iMac’s accounts, the iPod touch (and, presumably, the iPhone as well), treat the “Trash” mailbox specially. Specifically, whereas you can map the “Delete” button in Apple to function as though it were the GMail “Archive” button (by following these simple steps), Mail on the iPod touch or iPhone won’t inherit the same behavior. “Delete” on the iPod touch really is an honest-to-goodness delete—forever.

Instead, to Archive GMail messages on an iPod touch or iPhone, you’ll need to tap the “Move” button (the folder icon with a downwards-facing arrow, second from the left on the bottom toolbar) and select the “All Mail” folder. I wonder why the difference in interface choices….

7 replies on “Deleting GMail messages from an iPhone or iPod touch won’t “Archive””

  1. Hi Dara,

    In short, yes, absolutely. There’s no doubt that the iPhone/iPod touch is incredible. This interface change isn’t even really that difficult to work around, requiring a single additional “click” (or tap, really…) than before, so it’s not a tragedy, and it still works wonderfully smoothly.

    I would, however, add the suggestion that you will most definitely want to turn on the option to “Ask before deleting” in the Mail Settings area of your iPhone. This will make it that much harder to accidentally delete a message you intended to archive (or move), since the delete and the move button are right next to each other on the interface. It will also make deleting a message require two taps, so you have parity with the archive process, if that does anything for you mentally. :)

    Have fun with your new iPhone!

  2. I use Gmail on my iphone 3g..and it always worked fine, until all of a sudden it stopped working. It would not update my email and just say “connecting….” and then “cannot connect to”. It was so frustrating! I tried several things, none of which worked. Finally I got a tip from someone online to just go into gmail on my computer and change my password to something more secure. Up until then my password had just been a simple word, but after changing it to something with a number and longer word in it, gmail worked on my phone again. But gosh it was so frustrating when it wasn’t working.

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