Fix A Duplicate Mailbox Problem on iPad & iPhone
I’m not entirely sure why I have duplicate mailboxes on many of my email accounts that I use on my ios devices. But I do…and so does my husband and several friends. I suspect it has to do with how you setup the email account in Apple’s Settings – Email. It’s probably where you designate mailbox behaviors. I’ve discovered that IMAP email is actually quite complex in the way that it functions. I’ve tried to understand certain aspects, but really I only understand a very small portion of how IMAP email actually functions…and realized recently that I don’t really want to know more! I’ll leave it to the experts like my email server support department!
So the part I’m dealing with is how to fix it…how to get rid of the duplicate mailboxes. But of course, a little background information is necessary.
Below screenshot: Apple ios – Settings – Email – Account – Advanced
Background: How this problem cropped up for me…
Apple’s ios Email App Keeps Improving
My favorite ios 10 email improvement
Each year the email app gets a little boost in productivity. This year my favorite new feature is that when I move an email to another mailbox for archiving…the email app pulls up the correct notebook and suggests it before I can even leave that page to find it myself! This saves me a lot of time!
Cleaning up & organizing my mailboxes
With all my newfound time I spent a few minutes working on a never ending job…cleaning up my email accounts and their mailboxes! I have quite a few email accounts and I try to use automation as much as possible…but too inch automation can cause problems too. I learned that the hard way!
While moving emails today I realized that I had a problem I kept ignoring…or I thought I must have been ignoring it. Because, it’s unlike me to leave unnecessary things lying around. Yet in each of my email accounts I had duplicates of several mailboxes.
Some of my duplicate mailboxes were:
Yet the duplicates vary by the type of email account it is…for example Gmail accounts are different from straight vanilla IMAP accounts which are different from iCloud accounts. Regardless of the variety…the deletion steps are the same.
My First Attempt to Delete a Mailbox
I just today realized today that this seemingly simple task is not that simple after all! Which is why I have these straight to book a mail boxes laying around. I remember now…I have tried to delete them in the past…but they just keep coming back!
That’s because I didn’t actually delete them. Maybe I checked maybe I didn’t. But the mailboxes I had attempted to delete in the past were still there. I know this because I tried to delete them today and couldn’t. But remember I had that extra time today… so I was unusually persistent. When only one mailbox was successfully deleted on my standard vanilla IMAP account I decided to go to my iCloud account and to see if I could delete one there. Lo and behold I could!
For some unexplainable reason I noticed that when I pressed on the word delete this time the ‘delete’ word flickered just a little bit…it was a very faint flicker. So I tried this with another email account that I rarely use but, for whatever reason, I still keep on my iPad (because there were no more mailboxes left to delete on the iCloud account.) I found that if I pressed harder on the word delete rather than just tapping on it…the mailbox successfully deleted!
So, that’s the key to answering the question of how to delete unwanted mailboxes.
Don’t tap on the word delete when you’re deleting a mailbox rather, long press on the word delete.
Best Method: Steps to Delete a Mailbox
I illustrate the complete set of steps for deleting a mailbox in the annotated screenshots below. Begin in the email app where a list of all your mailboxes are displayed.