Frustrated with accidentally deleting emails in iOS 13? Here’s how to stop it

Apple’s iOS 13 hasn’t been the smoothest rollout, and many would agree to that, evidenced by the number of issues that users have come across. Though all the issues have been on the software side, one particular interface design-related change is frustrating for many users. Since the release of the iOS 13, several users have talked about accidentally deleting emails in iOS 13 because of Apple’s decision to replace the location of the reply button with the trash one. If this issue is also causing some inconvenience to you, there is a trick that could help you to stop accidentally deleting emails in iOS 13.

accidentally deleting emails in iOS 13

Tumisu / Pixabay

Why are users accidentally deleting emails in iOS 13?

Several users have taken to social media platforms to complain and discuss Apple’s decision to place the trash icon where the reply button used to be. This change to the Mail app was introduced with the iOS 13.

For some users, depending on the email account type, there could be an archive email button instead of the delete button. However, its location is the same, and thus, it is resulting in some users accidentally archiving emails, instead of replying to them.

The issue has also been highlighted by many high profile users as well, such as chief White House correspondent for Fox News, John Roberts. Roberts took to Twitter to complain about the UI change. His tweet spurred similar replies from other frustrated iPhone users who claimed to have accidentally trashed their emails at least a dozen times.

“Thank you @Apple for putting the trash icon exactly where the reply button used to be in iOS 13 Mail. Wow that’s silly,” a Twitter user said.

Apple can easily fix this interface design change, but it will be interesting to see whether or not Apple does. As usual, the company has two options – stick with the current design and force users to get used to it, or revert back the changes.

Even if Apple does revert back the changes to prevent accidentally deleting emails in iOS 13, it will take some time for the changes to reach end users. If you want a solution now, there is a simple setting tweak that could help you.

How to stop accidentally deleting emails in iOS 13

To stop accidentally deleting emails in iOS 13, of course, you can’t replace the reply trash icon or the reply icon in the Mail app. What you can do is apply a simple trick to ensure that you don’t accidentally delete emails in iOS 13. Follow the below steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on the iPhone.
  2. Scroll down to the Mail option.
  3. In the Messages section, toggle the button for “Ask Before Deleting” to green.
  4. Exit the settings and open the Mail app.

To check if the tweak you just did is working or not, open any email and tap the Trash option. You will now get a pop-up asking you to confirm deleting the email. Tap on cancel and exit the Mail app.

That’s it! Now, whenever you accidentally tap the trash icon, the email won’t get deleted immediately. Instead, you will get a chance to correct your decision.

This particular setting option has long been available, and will work even for those who are Archiving mail accidentally on both iOS and iPadOS. It must be noted that the iPads with iPadOS 13 and later are not affected by the accidental mail deletion issue because the Trash icon is not placed next to the Reply button. Nevertheless, iPad users can still enable the above trick as a precaution.

This trick could help as well

If you don’t want to enable the above tweak to get an extra pop-up each time you officially delete an email, then there is another way as well. This method won’t stop you from accidentally deleting emails in iOS 13, but comes into use after you delete an email. Once you delete any email, you have an option to recover that email. To recover an email that you accidentally deleted follow the below steps:

  1. Go to the account’s Trash mailbox, and open the email you want to recover.
  2. Tap the More Actions button, and then tap move the message to another mailbox.

Until Apple resolves this issue or until you get used to the new button placement, what you can also do is extend the time deleted emails stay in the Trash mailbox. Doing this will make sure that you get some more time to recover a deleted email. Follow the below steps to change how long deleted emails stay in the Trash mailbox:

  1. Go to Settings > Passwords & Accounts.
  2. Tap your email account and then Mail.
  3. Go into Advanced settings, tap Remove, and then select the time from the available options.

This is a useful setting option for other email accounts as well. However, not all email services follow this setting. For example, iCloud will keep deleting emails after 30 days, even when you selected “Never” in the settings.

About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at