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iPhone, Gmail and Deleted Messages

August 6th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’ll be the first to admit the iPhone and Gmail don’t work overly well (using the iPhone’s Mail app). A bit of digging though and you’ll find the ideal way to set up Gmail on the iPhone.

The problem I’ve been having is with messages I want archived. Using the delete function on the iPhone certainly gets them archived but also adds a silly “Deleted Messages” label to it. I like control over my labels and this was a bit annoying.

Update – See ross71521’s comment below for a slightly more effective solution, although mine still works ;)

The solution: On the iPhone go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> {Your Gmail account} -> Advanced -> Deleted Mailbox. I set my Deleted Mailbox to All Mail (on the server) and the labels are no more.

Not noticed any bugs with this but let me know if there’s something I’ve missed.

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  1. August 6th, 2009 at 22:38 | #1

    I’ve just tried it out and you’re right, setting you deleted mailbox to “All mail” removes the label issue. I was worried that it would create two copies of the email in “All mail”, but not so. However, and this is only a minor annoyance but it would bug me, but doing this removes “All mail” from the Googlemail tree structure. i.e. instead of

    [Google Mail]
    >All Mail

    you get:

    [Google Mail]

    You can still access “All mail” but tapping “Trash” but this disturbs the feel of Gmail and is, if you will forgive me, very ‘Un-Apple like’. However, in a very ‘Apple-like’ way, there is a solution. The way I have been doing things since I noticed the “Deleted messages” label was to set my Deleted mailbox to: On My iPhone > Trash.

    This removes the email from you inbox but leaves the original copy in “All mail”. That way, on your iPhone, you can tap “All mail” to see everything you’ve ever archived and tap “Trash” to see everything you’ve archived from your iPhone.

    Like I said, there aren’t really any bugs with your solution, but my OCD-esque ways prefer the method I detailed.

  2. August 6th, 2009 at 22:42 | #2

    p.s. Forgive the shocking grammar in that comment, it’s not even likes it’s that late, I don’t know what’s got in to me.

  3. August 6th, 2009 at 23:16 | #3

    Nice, your way seems to work much better. Couldn’t find anything on this when I tried searching for it.

  4. Chris
    August 18th, 2009 at 21:28 | #4

    Neither of these things are working for me. I can get gmail to label messages, “deleted message” or “[GMail] All Mail”, but I can’t get it to actually remove it from the Inbox folder….so frustrating, I just want it to work like it used to!

  5. olen
    November 27th, 2009 at 17:34 | #5

    This annoying label thing happens when you use the manual setup for gmail on the iPhone when you want to archive when hitting the trash button.

    When you use the built-in gmail set-up thingy, the labels do not happen, so when you trash, it goes to the trash sans label, and when you want to archive you have to put it in the [Gmail]->All Mail folder.

  6. olen
    November 27th, 2009 at 17:34 | #6

    does this make sense?

  7. ScottNYC
    January 15th, 2010 at 22:48 | #7

    Ive been having such trouble with this. Ive been scouring the Internet for weeks and this post resembles my issue the most.

    Question 1:

    how do you make messages sent to trash in apple mail, go to trash in gmail and not go to “all mail”? I dont want every email I receive to go to all mail. If I delete it, I want all traces to disappear. I want all my email either in a label I created, in the box or deleted.

    Question 2:

    I followed the instructions mentioned in a goole help article titled “recommended IMAP client settings” found here http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=78892#
    after I changed the settings to that of the article, these labels appeared:

    what are these labels? why were they created?
    -deleted messages
    -sent messages

    can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4277558196/

    Now there are there 3 sent message sections,
    2 draft message sections,
    a trash and deleted section in apples mail client, how do they relate to each other?


    After these settings were changed, Some mail goes straight to trash, skipping the inbox, why is that happening, which setting changed that? (I have 1 filter configured to send all spam right to trash if that helps). Before I changed the settings to match the article, messages marked spam still went to inbox, now they don’t.

    Question 4:

    can someone explain the settings in mail>preferences>accounts>mailbox behaviors ? pic can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4277558174/

    -store draft messages on the server
    -store sent messages on the server
    -store junk messages on the server
    -move deleted messages to the trash mailbox

    how do these affect the communication between apple mail and gmail? (configured using IMAP)

    Answers to any of these questions would be greatly appreciated. I’ve been struggling to get a hold on my gmail account for months, but trying to stay organized is becoming difficult when messages are being placed in unknown areas/labels/folders and when Im unaware of how apple mail and gmail work in conjunction. Im trying to understand how to make apple mail and gmail behave the way I want them too. Thanks!

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