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Thread: Deleting email on iPhone does not delete same email on gmail

  1. #1
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    Deleting email on iPhone does not delete same email on gmail

    Greetings All.

    I am new to this forum, and a new iPhone user (coming from Android... sorry). I used Google Contacts with my Android, and when I deleted an email on the phone, it deleted it on Gmail. So when I opened T'bird on my PC (sorry, not a Mac) the email was already deleted.

    My son, a long time iPhone and Mac user, set up my new 4S, iOS6 using Google Sync and this procedure: http://support.google.com/mobile/bin...&answer=138740

    Unfortunately, when I delete an email on my iPhone, it still appears on T'bird, so it must also still be on Gmail. My son said his does the same.

    Is there some way to change the settings so deleting an email on the iPhone, also deletes it on Gmail, and consequently on my T'bird?

    Thanks so much...



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    Oh the fun I have had because of that very question.

    Technically it is a trick question and it has to do with how Google implemented the mail protocol. Allow me to explain the back story so that you understand the answer I am about to give.

    When Google mail first came out, it was touted as a "lifetime email service". IE you would never have to worry about deleting an E-Mail again because you would always have enough storage space to save them. And under the iOS Mail app, with the way you set it up (that link is the only way you should ever set it up in fact), you can not directly delete an email. Instead when you delete it, it gets automatically moved to the archive. Google is responsible for that implementation and they did it with very good intentions of following their stated goals. Sadly, it makes deleting emails under iOS harder than it needs to be.

    Most users leave the Mail app at either the All Inboxes or the direct, in your case google, Inbox. So when you delete it, it goes to the archive, which is how Thunderbird is still able to see it. But after you delete the email, you can go tap the Mailboxes button on the top left and then scroll to the bottom to find the full direct access to the gmail account. Click on it, click on All Mail, click on the email you want to permanently delete, click on the folder icon that is to the right of the flag and then finally select Trash. That will properly delete it.

    And that, simply put, is the SUCKIEST way I have ever had to do something on an iPhone. I would really like to blame Apple for this, but everything I have researched on it points directly to Google as the cause.


    OH and if anyone reading this knows of a better way, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY, please post it. I would be very grateful.

    *PS saying "Get the gmail app, or any other email app, from the app store", isn't an acceptable answer
    Last edited by Skull One; 10-15-2012 at 02:23 PM.
    Facts are the first casualty of bad information.

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    Thanks Skull, for the detailed explanation. Can you please clarify one point? I'm just a bit confused.

    Are you saying that T'bird looks at Archived Gmails as well as the Gmail Inbox? Or is the Archive, part of the Gmail Inbox? Just trying to understand how T'bird is able to see the Archived emails. Are saying that deleting the email on the iPhone takes it out of the Gmail Inbox?

    I guess I have 2 questions. How was the Android able to delete the Gmail, so T'bird couldn't see it?

    Thanks again...
    Last edited by MitchSC; 10-15-2012 at 03:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchSC View Post
    Thanks Skull, for the detailed explanation. Can you please clarify one point? I'm just a bit confused.

    Are you saying that T'bird looks at Archived Gmails as well as the Gmail Inbox? Or is the Archive, part of the Gmail Inbox? Just trying to understand how T'bird is able to see the Archived emails. Are saying that deleting the email on the iPhone takes it out of the Gmail Inbox?

    I guess I have 2 questions. How was the Android able to delete the Gmail, so T'bird couldn't see it?

    Thanks again...
    I haven't used the Android standard EMail app in about 18 months, so I can't directly answer how it does it differently.

    But I think when the iOS Mail app moves it from Inbox to Archive, it doesn't mark it as "read" and that is what Thunderbird is seeing. But I am not 100% sure because I only used Thunderbird for about 10 minutes.

    I know that doesn't help you much but maybe someone else with more knowledge can chime in.
    Facts are the first casualty of bad information.

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    Well I should start off by saying hello, I never got around to posting in the greetings and introductions.

    I was having the same issue with my Gmail. I forget where I read it but I wound up going into Settings/Mail, Contacts, Calendars/Gmail and unselected archive messages. Once I did that they now longer appeared online. Not sure if that will work for Thunderbird though.

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    Thank you both very much.

    Moe, I'll try your suggestion and post back. Hope it works for me too...

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    I am using iOS6, and it does not have to option to "Unselect Archived Messages"

    I thought I may have found a solution within the Gmail site, however.

    Open Gmail > Settings Gear Icon > Settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP. In the section entitled IMAP Access: When I mark a message in IMAP as deleted: Change from Auto-Expunge "ON" (default), to Auto-Expunge "OFF". Then just below, When a message is marked as deleted and expunged from the last visible IMAP folder: Change from Archive the message (default), to Move the message to the Trash.

    Based on what I read in the posts above, this seemed like the perfect solution. But it didn't change a thing. And I don't really understand why.

    Going through my Android setup notes, I realized why I didn't have this problem on that cell. It was setup using POP, not IMAP as with the iPhone.

    I've been searching the web for a solution, but no one seems to have addressed this specific issue.

    Any other suggestions?

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    Hmm that is funny as I am on iOS 6 as well. I am going to try and send a screenshot of it.



    This is the page I was talking about. Not sure if the attachment will show up as this is my first attempt at it.

    Last edited by MoeD; 10-16-2012 at 05:39 PM.

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    That is the OLD protocol for connection to Gmail. It doesn't use PUSH for getting emails. Which means you waste battery with the PULL method. BUT I do see that archive message setting and that would do the trick by using the old way.
    Facts are the first casualty of bad information.

  10. #10
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    This is very strange.

    I don't know how to post a screenshot of my phone, but I can tell you that my screen has (in this order): Account, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Mail Days to Sync, Mail Folders to Push, Delete Account. There is no "Archive Messages" switch.

    My iOS version is 6.0 (10A403) if that makes any difference. Any ideas as to the difference in our screens?

    Skull, I'm very interested in preserving battery life. Can you please explain the difference between "Push" and "Pull", and why Pull uses more power.


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